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Shhh...illegal aliens in my backyard. - Page 2

post #11 of 39

I've secretly kept chickens in a major city, at a pretty busy intersection right on a bus line, in the past.   We had lots of gunshots and sirens in that neighborhood.  No one ever knew, except the postman.  I'm about to start keeping them again at my new house, in the same major city but in a quieter neighborhood. 

Here are as many tips as I can think of to help you:

1.) Don't have a rooster.
2.) Keep a small number.  I had 5 banties the first time.  This time I'll have 4 to 6 regular sized hens.
3.) Hide them very well.  The first time, I built an "aviary / chicken run" on our large, locked, enclosed front porch.  The top of the aviary was built to be level with the top of some curtains we kept on all the windows (about halfway down the window).  No one could look inside the porch and see them this way.  We hung a curtain across the porch so that no one could see them if they came in through the porch either.  The sound of them cackling about laying an egg was subdued by the surrounding porch and windows. 
This time I'm building a secret run outdoors.  It will be long and narrow, built along the side of my garage.   The outside of the run will be a 6 foot tall wooden privacy fence with welded wire on the inside.   My entire yard is also surrounded by that same type of fencing, so I've got a "double barrier" to them being seen.  Neighbors standing on their back porches, however, can see right into the yard.  If anyone asks,  I'll tell them I built a "locked side yard" for my garage for my lawn mower, tools, wheelbarrow and bicycle, because theres no more room in the garage and I didn't want to "clutter up" the yard.   There will be a large insulated dog house converted to chicken coop in this run.  Their nests will be inside the insulated dog house.  This location is near the alleyway, which is as far away from neighbors actual houses as I can make it - over 50 feet in any direction.  The dog house insulation will deaden the noise of egg-laying cackles, as will the privacy fencing. 

For your situation, I recommend that you put an awning or roof on the top of your run so that the high rise neighbors can't look down and see it.  Consider disguising your small coop and run as a large outdoor sitting bench, a compost bin, a potting table (put potted plants on top to help the look), a recycling bin sorting set up, a dog house, a car port or a shed.  Maybe you can have a run hidden underneath an outdoor deck, or make it look like a little greenhouse, or put an awning on top of it.  Just make sure that standing outside your property, all "lines of sight" to your chickens are blocked by something that looks like it belongs there and like it doesn't house chickens. 

4.) Don't tell anyone.  Don't brag about your chickens.  When talking about them with your windows open inside your house, or out in your yard, use a euphimism like "the birds" or "the babies" or something.  This way you aren't over heard AND you don't have to worry that a friend will tell someone else or turn on you and turn you in.  If your city DOES allow chickens with a permit, but you dont want to get the permit, then lie and tell everyone that you DO have a permit.  Even doing this, don't let your neighbors overhear you.  Tell your friends who visit to keep their voices down because you only asked permission from some neighbors, but not all of them, to get your legal permit.

5.) Research and keep quieter types of chickens.

GOOD LUCK!

post #12 of 39

I saw a small 'city coop' for sale that looks like a garbage can! It was actually pretty cute.


http://www.tumbledownfarm.com/drupal/node/34

Don't see why you couldn't make it bigger to acomodate more birds.


Edited by Kansaseq - 6/18/09 at 3:42pm

                     Starting fresh: BBS Marans,Dellies, SS, Lav Amer, and Welsummers                               
                                 www.etsy.com/shop/PrairieWolfCabin                                         
                        Dog is my copilot, horse is my passion, chicken lays my breakfast!

   ...

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                     Starting fresh: BBS Marans,Dellies, SS, Lav Amer, and Welsummers                               
                                 www.etsy.com/shop/PrairieWolfCabin                                         
                        Dog is my copilot, horse is my passion, chicken lays my breakfast!

   ...

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post #13 of 39

You would be shocked how many people are keeping chickens and being secret about it. I honestly don't get why anyone would complain other then to just be nasty. Who does it hurt ? And why are other animals allowed and yet chickens have a law not allowing them ? I don't get it. So we should all buy our eggs from the store ? Doesn't that make it a egg monopoly ? And monopolys are against the law right ? hehe

post #14 of 39

I agree w/ Gnome's idea about a dog house. Better to disguise them as your pet "dogs" (love the ground dwelling parrots too).

Even though its legal where I live, I don't want to draw attention to it, so I made sure the coop is below my 6 foot fence. Best of luck !!!

"It's not that I don't like people. It's just that when I'm in the company of others-even my nearest & dearest-there always comes a moment when I'd rather be reading a book." 
Leave Me Alone I'm Reading by Maureen Corrigan, NPR book critic
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"It's not that I don't like people. It's just that when I'm in the company of others-even my nearest & dearest-there always comes a moment when I'd rather be reading a book." 
Leave Me Alone I'm Reading by Maureen Corrigan, NPR book critic
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post #15 of 39

Not allowed here either where we live. We are allowed to have 10 rabbits and 10 pigeons however. When I get my 4-5 chickens I'll just call them pigeons.

Good Luck. Happy Egging.

1 wife, 3 kids, 2 dogs, rabbits,  SLWs and some White and Partridge Chanteclers. Barred Rocks and BSL. I incubate eggs and grow rabbits too. Also have a pony and a draft team of grey Percherons. sudburypoultryandrabbitnetwork.webs.com
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1 wife, 3 kids, 2 dogs, rabbits,  SLWs and some White and Partridge Chanteclers. Barred Rocks and BSL. I incubate eggs and grow rabbits too. Also have a pony and a draft team of grey Percherons. sudburypoultryandrabbitnetwork.webs.com
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post #16 of 39

Tell your neighbors that you are a secret biological scientist agent doing research on attack chickens for the Canadian Army - they should keep it quiet if they want to support your national security.  I'm thinking about saying "bomb sniffing chickens" so you can't use that one!cool

I am looking for a Haasts Eagle to watch over my flock.
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I am looking for a Haasts Eagle to watch over my flock.
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post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by horsejody 

Get silkies.  City people will not even realize that they are chickens.


lau

Seriously though.  As long as you keep your house and yard pretty and clean, you'll probably be ok.  You may want to take extra care with your coop.  Make it look like a cute little playhouse.  without a rooster, they probably won't have any noise issues, and if everything is kept clean and tidy, you'll keep the 'eyesore' complaining neighbors at bay.
good luck!


Edited by Marie66 - 7/14/09 at 8:17pm
***We are responsible for our own happiness***Forgiving others is the first step to forgiving ourselves***
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***We are responsible for our own happiness***Forgiving others is the first step to forgiving ourselves***
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post #18 of 39

Isn't it about time that all of us who do keep chickens form some sort of serious alliance with the slow food/food with a face movement folks and start a campaign to educate the public on chicken keeping?  Given the growing interest in sustainability and healthy eating (heck even McDonald's has recognized the power of this trend), it seems to me that we could get the job done.

Four hens (hopefully more), a hand-me-down rooster, one dog, three cats, a horse, and a loaner donkey.

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Four hens (hopefully more), a hand-me-down rooster, one dog, three cats, a horse, and a loaner donkey.

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post #19 of 39

Hey, I'm in St. Catharines too, but by the General Hospital, and I"ve been knocking around the idea of keeping chickens. Keep the thread posted on how it goes downtown.

post #20 of 39

Theda's Mom :

Isn't it about time that all of us who do keep chickens form some sort of serious alliance with the slow food/food with a face movement folks and start a campaign to educate the public on chicken keeping?  Given the growing interest in sustainability and healthy eating (heck even McDonald's has recognized the power of this trend), it seems to me that we could get the job done.


Wonderful idea....how and when do we start??  At the city council meeting in the next town over, a man said " if chickens are allowed salmonella would come and spread and spread and spread"  - guess he thought it would start a pandemic.  There's a lot of education to be done.  Count me in.

sheri

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