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City Council Wants to Hear First-hand Experience. Will Someone Share Theirs?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I went to our city council meeting and proposed the law be changed to allow backyard chickens (up to 6 hens). One of the things the council wanted to hear is first-hand experience. I have been unable to find someone local so thought I would try here.  Would anyone be willing to share their experience, especially with keeping coops/runs clean and smell free, how often they need to be cleaned, keeping chickens in the yard, any neighbors who complained, noise, pros/cons...? 

Thanks

post #2 of 9

What city and state are you located in? 

 

I could give you a dissertation about chickens in AZ, but barely an educated guess about CO.

 

I only ask because it helps to be clear and concise when speaking to people who have no idea, but plenty of questions, about things they don't understand.  

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm in a small Kansas town. I provided the the council with a packet of some basic information on benefits and common myths/concerns, as well as sample ordinances from other Kansas cities that allow chickens, and my own suggestions for a new ordinance.  They said they would further research and discuss the idea and bring it up again at the next meeting. One member said at the next meeting he would really like to speak to someone with first-hand experience since I do not have any, partially I believe so they can know what to expect people to do husbandry wise to care for their chickens, coops, to keep their yards clean and healthy so that neighbors use of their own yards aren't bothered.

 

Another council member brought up the concern about smell as well as chickens flying over fences and escaping. I think smell is one of the main concerns people have. There are many retired farmers and people who grew up on farms in our community. I think most people's experience is with smelly barnyards and so are concerned about their neighbors getting chickens and the smell and/or chickens coming into their own backyard.

 

I can't know for sure but if someone were to come I'm sure they would ask questions like; What were the chicken ordinances in your city? How many chickens did you have? How did you maintain your coop/run to manage the manure and smell? This is Kansas, there is always at least a breeze and smell travels easily. Did you ever have neighbors complain to you or the city and how was the complaint managed? Did you allow the chickens access to the whole yard or keep them contained? Did any ever fly over the fence or escape and how was that resolved?

 

asjustin, does this help?

post #4 of 9

The fact is if a person husbands livestock well there is no smell. I can't really say no smell but it is actually "pleasant" and not the acrid/nasty odor associated with commercially geared farms. Let's just think about normal practices and how they apply to two different systems. If you don't rotate fields in farming your pouring as much nutrients on them as possible. For a commercial system of milking for example the cows are confined to the barns, the fields are filled with corn and the liquid manure pits and tankers spraying it is one nasty thing to be around. Then you've dairy farms that rotate field crops, have corn and hay fields that rotate. The cows are pastured and line up to come out of pasture to barn at milking time. This farm system smells pleasant to me. Fresh poop doesn't stink and composted manure is sort of sweet smelling. Two different systems. Both functioning and making a profit one quit a bit more so as the cost of soil quality, animal welfare and extreme reduction in surrounding area property value. 

 

With a few backyard birds there would not be a problem at all. It would take serious neglect for there to be an odor. This certainly does not have to be address in an ordinance as it can be tacked on to animal welfare. They have rules for how you can keep dogs. Same would apply. People need to use common sense and the existing laws instead of making ten fold more for confusion and nitpicking nonsense from those that are uneducated about the subject. On this lien of thought why is there a need to state no "rooster" for a town that has noise ordinances? Come on, let's get real and go with common courtesy backed by a blanket ordinance. If the cock bird bothers the neighbors then it's a noise violation. I know of no township that does not have a noise ordinance.

 

The only rule that would be beneficial to all and future towns wanting chickens is mandatory rodent control plan. If towns made people put in  writing what means of rodent control they will practice prior to getting birds it would go a long way. There could be a list of means to do so that are approved so individuals can choose what would work for them. No plan at all in the beginning and everyone needs to resort to poison. That's not agreeable to all. I use it but hey, that's me and to each their own but if there is no plan you will have a problem. Inn lose proximity that means your neighbors have a problem. This sort of thing will be at the heart of any debate on keeping livestock in townships. It only takes one nightmare situation to ruin it for everyone. Not only in one town but neighboring towns and so on. The general public is uneducated about livestock. I do feel people if given a chance will educate themselves but things of this nature need to be pointed out from day one of getting birds not after they and their neighbors have rats in their houses. 

 

Time to turn this soap box into a racer.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #5 of 9

Basic ordinance of no more than two dozen birds at any time, no more than 10 adult birds would cover it. That and individual written plan for pest control. You've got a noise ordinance already. You've got animal welfare already which would cover the removal of waste and odor. 

 

This would allow for continuation of flocks. You need chicks to continue. You need a selection to continue a flock with good qualities. Hence the two dozen birds- chicks growing out. Ten adult birds covers the concept of this shall not be a business enterprise. Eggs obtained are for immediate family and friends with small sales of extra during those times of year when you will have extra. If a person housed cock birds in the dark they wont crow until let out. I've had birds in town and without the constant predators roaming outside the coop they are quite in a no window/sky light housing early morning- then you let them out. 

 

OK, now the wheels can go on that box. Finally done standing on it.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for you comment Egghead_Jr.  Rodent control is a topic I haven't put much thought into yet.

 

"The only rule that would be beneficial to all and future towns wanting chickens is mandatory rodent control plan. If towns made people put in  writing what means of rodent control they will practice prior to getting birds it would go a long way. There could be a list of means to do so that are approved so individuals can choose what would work for them."

 

What are some things you would list? I know it's important to store food in a rodent proof container as well as trying to not over feed and/or providing a feeder the chickens can't flip the seed out as easily. Besides poison what are some other steps you take?


Edited by mtnclover - 5/29/16 at 2:21pm
post #7 of 9

i'm cleaning out the coop/run each day so there is smell..

 

if compare the waste from my chickens vs my dog-- my dog's waste smell a lot worst (since she eats meat mostly (no dog food) ) while my chickens eat mostly their main feed+ grass+kitchen scraps (no meat)

 

using pine shavings for moisture and odor control

 

if you keep up with the cleaning and do preventive measures then it's not a problem

 

some of my neighbors have pools

 

if you don't clean.. and on windy days the pine shavings or feathers ended up in their pools or the smell reached their side.. it can be a problem

 

i wrapped insect screen around my chicken run.. to prevent the pine shavings and feathers from flying over to the neighbors' houses

 

The wind can blow a lot of stuffs around (especially during the monsoon season).

 

There's a noise and smell ordinance already in place here

 

my hens are not laying age yet.. so they are pretty quite and for past 2 months.. no problem so far.. but i do keep up with the cleaning and preventive measures to prevent any potential problem with the neighbors

 

rooster is not allowed by most cities..

 

gardening+composting+chickens go hand in hand :)

 

composting will help prevent veggies and fruit waste ended in landfill that can release methane gas :)  the same for chicken manure


Edited by BruceAZ - 5/29/16 at 4:51pm
What i posted above are just my opinions.. they are NOT facts.
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What i posted above are just my opinions.. they are NOT facts.
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post #8 of 9

All these ordinances were created as a result of chickens being kept improperly. Chickens that are kept properly have no smell, little sound, and have many benefits, such as fresh eggs and bug control. Instead of punishing people who keep chickens improperly, these laws are punishing everyone, even those who keep them properly. Thats not fair. 

Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes, Ameraucanas, and Welsummers
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Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes, Ameraucanas, and Welsummers
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by waddles99 View Post
 

All these ordinances were created as a result of chickens being kept improperly. Chickens that are kept properly have no smell, little sound, and have many benefits, such as fresh eggs and bug control. Instead of punishing people who keep chickens improperly, these laws are punishing everyone, even those who keep them properly. Thats not fair. 

 

this is how laws/regulations are made..because of the actions of the few.. it's nothing new really

 

in some cities they have "no text while walking" law 

 

because of people who didn't pay attention to their surroundings got run over by a car or caused major accidents. etc..

 

i'm allowed to have chickens here by the city and hoa.. so i'll do my best to keep this right.

 

since whatever rights i have it they will end when they infringed on the rights of others.. 

 

when complaints come in then rights get taken away or restricted.


Edited by BruceAZ - 5/30/16 at 9:37am
What i posted above are just my opinions.. they are NOT facts.
Reply
What i posted above are just my opinions.. they are NOT facts.
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