Forced to give up hens, but not giving up!

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by Klukkin Ken, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Klukkin Ken

    Klukkin Ken Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 22, 2010
    I built my dear wife a coop a few years ago, after checking with our local city ordinances and found out we could have up to 6 hens (no roosters) as long as our coop was 100 feet away from our neighbors house. She raised 3 buff orp's and 2 Auracanas and they became her babies. A year into raising them and getting very spoiled on their eggs, the neighbor behind us filed a complaint with our PD. I think he did so because his two German Sheppard dogs kept digging under his fence and trying to get into our yard. I had my fence barricaded so they never could get in, but they would get stuck in between our two fences and I would inform him each time they got out. I also asked him to repair the holes his dogs had dug under his fence so they wouldn't eat my chickens...Anyway, the animal control came out and said we had to get rid of them and I needed to go down and talk to the Chief about it.

    I went and talked to the Chief and asked why I had to get rid of them and was informed that my coop was closer than 100 feet (90 to be exact) and they were spreading West Nile virus from their poop!!! Keep in mind, we would clean the coop out weekly and it never stank and I would happily gather up the poop and put it in my 55 gallon barrel rotating composter that has a lid on it to feed my garden. When I questioned the Chief about the difference between my chickens and all the natural birds we have here that are constantly "pooping" in all of our yards, he became very defensive about it and quickly sent me on my way. Needless to say, my wife was heartbroken over the whole ordeal.
    I have decided to move the coop over about 40 feet from it's current location with permission from my next door neighbor since it will be closer than 100 feet to his house and have another go at raising hens again. Unfortunately, there is no place in my whole backyard that will allow me to be farther than 100 feet to one of my neighbors, but I get along with all but the one that complained about them.

    Any advice from the members here on how to handle the situation before I tear everything down and rebuild? I sank several hundred dollars building the thing running electrical out there, etc. and would hate to have to get rid of them again. It has been 3 years since we have had the girls and store bought eggs taste like...well you all know what they taste like.
    Sorry to be so long winded here.
  2. silkydragon

    silkydragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 1, 2009
    ohio valley
    lol did he rly say westnile from chicken poop? forgive me but the chief is a (cant find smiley with the steel plate over its mouth) and needs a [​IMG]
  3. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Infuriating story - jerk neighbor.

    I would definitely keep the birds though - it's so difficult to find good homes. Our birds bond with us as we do with them. It sounds like your birds were perfectly legal - the coop location was technically the thing that was illegal. For anyone reading this that runs into a similar situation, keep your birds till you can sort out the coop location situation. Birds could 'technically' be staying in a shed elsewhere on the property, or 'technically' even be staying in your house. Who's to say, really? When there's a will....

    I hope this works out. Again, sorry about the 'neighbor'. I have a couple of those myself. One is flooding me out by having broken all sorts of development rules when they built uphill of me. And 2 others let their dogs roam illegally and have caused all manner of havoc and stress for me and my feathered friends.

  4. boogiedog

    boogiedog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2010
    Oakland hills, CA
    If you have a good relationship with your other neighbor the coop is close to, I wouldn't worry. We have a similar ordinance here, no limit on hens (which I have taken full advantage of) and a 20' distance. I have one neighbor who is the bane of everyone's existance and she is starting to make noise that she may complain. If you are within your ordinance it will likely play out in your favor (albeit with some anxiety along the way). You can probably go to your city's info page and look for municipal codes - print out the one regarding chickens and keep it in a file. I am within all codes, but prepared for a "visit" from our local animal control officer. It is definitely stressful (honestly, I can feel my blood pressure rise when I hear my neighbor outside next door), but I am working to keep things in perspective.

    As to moving the coop, you may want to get a letter of "permission" from your neighbors, for your file, should your backyard neighbor try and call to complain on their behalf.

    As stressful as it is, it would be a long process for them to get you to get rid of your chickens. I'd hang in there; enjoy them and try not to stress out about the situation.

    It is unfortunate that some people go to such lengths to make others unhappy. Hang in there. I suspect there are many more than just us in the same situation...
  5. OrloffTom

    OrloffTom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2010
    I've not had any problems yet but I don't live in the city limits. I think within the city it's a 50' from property line. Although, I've caught my neighbors dogs barking at my chickens and coming into my yard to snoop around so I don't know what I'm gonna be getting into if they hurt my girls or my big boy!
  6. Klukkin Ken

    Klukkin Ken Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 22, 2010
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Just to clarify, all this happened 3 years ago. Since then, the neighbors have put up a privacy fence, yet their dogs still dig under it. Luckily, they cant (or haven't) gotten into our yard. They also have an above ground swimming pool that stays green most of the year. I honestly believe that is where the swarms of mosquito's are breeding. Great tip on getting next door neighbors permission in writing. I want to have the coop relocated by Feb/Mar when the new chics get here.
  7. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    Call and find out if there is a ordinance about keeping pools clean. That is a health hazard and will get you fined around here. I think everyone has one of those neighbours. One of ours is complaining about dust (on a dirt road in the desert), barking dogs (his are all anyone hears), kids riding their bikes up and down the road, all kinds of stupid stuff. I also just found out this idiot is taking advantage of our bus schedule and steeling my eggs. I take the girls to the bus stop and leave our gate open(+-15min), dogs locked up. He comes over while I am gone. Now that I know I will start leaving the gate shut and dogs out. My poor girls, I thought they were just getting old and was going to eat them!
  8. dntd

    dntd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2009
    Chickens can get west nile but they can't spred it. They are able to fight the illness off really quick, chickens are used as a waning the west nile is in the area by don't a blood test looking for positive antibodies in the chickens blood. According to the cdc there is not many illnesses they pass on to people that backyard owners have to worry about, wash your hands.
  9. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Ah....3 years ago. Got it. Wish it was now so we could have encouraged you to keep the birds!
    Hope it all works out from here forward.
  10. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Make what adjustment you need to to have the coop 100 feet from the complaining neighbor's house. If it is closer to another, friendlier neighbor, ask them if you can "give" them a chicken, and keep it in your coop. Thus, that neighbor's chicken will be kept in your coop, meaning the distance to their house is not an issue [​IMG] Make sure to give them the eggs from their chicken, though.

    Quite frankly, though, I think you should have appealed to the city council. The real issue was the dog digging out of the neighbor's yard and trying to get into yours. It could as well have been any attraction in your yard.

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