Going to village to implace urban farming guidelines

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by maizee19, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. maizee19

    maizee19 New Egg

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    Jul 23, 2010
    Hi All i'm so happy to find you i am having an issue my neighbor decided about a year ago to get chickens and roosters. I live on main st in our village and at first they were not a problem now it has become unbearable. I went to the village about it as she didnt have a permit etc. they continually dragged their feet until finally asking for her to apply for a permit and low and behold all the neighbors are in opposition. Well now i;ve asked to go in front of the village board members to try to get some laws down for the village as it is sad for both the neighbor of someone who is farming incorrectly along with the poor animals. In this situation she CURRENTLY yes right now has 4 chickens, 2 bantum roosters and a red island rooster in a 6x10 run/makeshift coop. I came home shockingly the other day to a chicken wandering my back yard with hair completly missing on its back. I have since learned this is normal but what is not is the stench and the amount of feces that they live in everyday. We have never seen them out to clean the pen and when applying for the permit she had to list what it was used for the coop is located to a mound of discarded garbage then there is a garden and a "compost pile" which consists of chicken manure with hay on top of it. It took me until today i was so mad and aggravated or more irate than anything the village is no help and this woman continues to think that there is nothing wrong and as she has yelled at me that she has the "right to farm." It dawned the village really doesn't know what to do and what she doesnt understand is that i am so into her having that right but i'm not into her not farming correctly. I called the village yet again with the hairless chicken and they gave me the mayors cell number which is normal i guss anyways he said that the problem is that there is nothing that is laid out as this has never been a problem prior, well it's a problem now. I contacted the head of the farm bureau in my county and after speaking with me listening to me and all my concerns he too became on board. His idea is that its people who want to farm but do so incorrectly is a problem that is not just locally it happens across the nation our town just has not had to deal with it until now... soo what i am looking for is if anyone knows of anything that could help me when i go in front of the village. I am looking for dimensions like per chicken it needs to be how many square feet, and a coop needs to be made out of what material and can't be any bigger than to house so many birds. I also need some guidance on composting like it can't be bigger than this size, and needs to be contained in this type of box. Also proper ways to secure the chicken coop and if having a rooster how many roosters per chickens. Honestly anything anyone could do to help me i would soo appreciate even if you have someone local in your town that is a good resource i will call because i really am looking to make a difference. Urban farming is becoming such a push that i want to make sure that in my village we are farming but farming so that it has the least impact on your neighbors along with making sure that you are ensuring the best product that you are producing. Also we live in a village but it is completely country outside the village and chickens have attracted foxes etc. so i was wondering of anyway to ensure that the people of the village are safe from foxes or any other vermin that might be attracted to the coop. I am from upstate NY btw. Really i have just been banging my head against the wall with the village and its time to take some action if we are going to be going green we need to make sure that green is clearly defined and people dont think that a tarp and a circle of chicken wire is suitable while allowing your kids to beat it with their baseball bats. I really could use any advice or guidance as i'm not really farming savy and want to make sure that i have the best knowledge/ideas to go to the board with .. THANKS!
     
  2. speakup4kids

    speakup4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Yuba City , CA
    I wonder as I read your post if it is more about chickens or some neighbors that just don't like how another neighbor is doing things. I completely understand that we would all like to have nice places to live and when in our minds we feel that is threatened we assume we are in the right but that is not always how it is. You can probably continue to raise a ruckus with the village government and cause a lot of trouble for these people but as far as I'm concerned that isn't the right tone to set among neighbors. As far as space, your neighbor actually has plenty of space for the chickens she has. 7 chickens in an 8x10 coop/run (by your guesstimate) is adequate. Doesn't matter what it's built out of, how tall, how many chickens etc... The sq. feet are merely a suggestion and your neighbor has extra room anyway. Bet you didn't want to hear that? She could go buy more chickens! It sounds as though the chicken with feather loss was a hen that may have been the roosters favorite. This can happen with chickens and if you were concerned talking to the owner probably would have been better than reporting it. As far as composting, done the natural, no money added way, it doesn't look like a pretty bin that you buy at Lowes. What your neighbor is doing is being green.

    IF, you and the other neighbors would really like your neighborhood to look better and think a nicer chicken coop and composting area would help that happen, why don't you offer up your help instead of causing problems? Have a barn raising (or coop raising) and help your neighbors out instead of alienating them. Cause I hate to be the bearer of bad news but urban farming isn't two tomato plants and an orange tree. If that neighbor of yours decides to fight you... you very well could lose...Cause you are pretty much wrong. If you were picking this battle against me, I would be looking for every tiny little violation you have every had at your house and nailing you to the wall. But that's just me [​IMG]
     
  3. JanetSmithery

    JanetSmithery Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2010
    Eugene, OR
    I don't know...just because you own a little spot of land in a city doesn't mean you can do whatever you want on it. It's basically just a glorified apartment without a landlord. You've got to take your neighbors' quality of lives into consideration to some extent, and you've got to be polite and responsible about doing it. It really annoys me when a neighbor a few houses down lets her dog wander about the neighborhood. As a child, I let my dog wander about the fields and woods around my house. None of my (distant) neighbors ever said anything about even *seeing* the dog. But I've seen my city neighbor's dog nearly miss being hit by a car several times, and the neighbor will happily tell you all the times strangers have picked up her dog and taken it to animal control or posted "Found" Craigslist ads for it. That doesn't seem like being a responsible pet owner to me. There's no way I'd let a chicken wander around my neighbors' yards. Heck, if they went next door, they'd run a good chance of eating broken glass and cigarette butts.

    I would have hoped there would have been a better way of dealing with a problem neighbor than going right to city council, but I think it does sound like your neighbor should rethink the urban farming thing. Compost shouldn't be a big, open pile of trash in a city. That's sort of what our compost was like two years ago, and then a neighbor every kindly (yes, kindly!) showed us a video she shot from her child's bedroom of dozens of rats swarming through our compost. The rats were giving her toddler nightmares! So of course we constructed a 'rat-proof' system (which seems to be working...we've not seen rat evidence in ages). We also monitor our compost very carefully now, and there's practically no smell coming from it. However, even though we've got a pretty sweet compost set up...I still wouldn't cage a rabid dog next to it, much less chickens! It's nice compost, but it's not *that* nice!

    As far as the ratios go...three roosters for four hens seems an abysmal roo-to-hen ratio to me. No wonder the neighbor's hens are going bald and looking for an escape! In my rural school days, a chicken savvy parent of a friend wouldn't keep any fewer than twenty hens for every rooster. She swore that if she let the ratio dip to 17:1, the roosters would get more aggressive and the chickens more stressed. Maybe this woman was being overly cautious, but given how often I saw her rooster on her hens, I'm a bit inclined to side with caution myself.

    As far as living space goes...60 square foot area for 7 birds is probably more than many people do give their birds, but I've found the 4 square foot per bird for the coop / 10 square foot per bird for the run / 1 linear foot per bird for the roost ratios to work really well for a small flock that doesn't have the opportunity to free range. That seems to be what a lot of people on this forum recommend for a base guideline, too...at least for large fowl. Bantams get a little more flex...but two of them should at least equal one large fowl, in my opinion. The accommodations don't have to look pretty...but they've got to be predator-proof and they've got to give the birds adequate shelter from the elements.
     

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