Help! Neighbors are complaining!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MentoringMom, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. MentoringMom

    MentoringMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2011
    I've had chickens for almost 3 years now, and we are up to 16 after starting with 6. Yesterday, I received this message from a neighbor:

    "I am trying to work and your chickens are making quite a bit of noise; they are disturbing me. The neighborhood covenants clearly say we are not allowed to keep livestock. I would appreciate it if you would get rid of these chickens. We are forced to listen to them whenever we are outside our home gardening or just enjoying our property or in our home with open windows. It is very unfair especially since we all are not permitted to keep any livestock according to our neighborhood covenants. Please stop keeping chickens and comply with the neighborhood covenants. Thank you."

    We have lived here for 6 1/2 years, and only saw the covenants for the first time a few months ago when the lady who heads up the neighborhood watch emailed them to everyone at the request of another neighbor, most likely the one who is now complaining. I don't think my chickens are overly noisy, certainly no worse than a barking dog, and their noise is not constant as she implies.

    Do any of you have any suggestions of how I can somehow make them be quieter? I could move them to the other side of the yard, further from the complainer, but I'm not sure how much good that would do. My kids were bawling last night when I told them, as our chickens are beloved pets more than they are livestock. We would rather move than rehome our chickens, but of course we can't do that overnight. I am just feeling sick over this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Spifflove

    Spifflove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2012
    I doubt anything will satisfy him at this point but...

    You have to communicate. Get to know your neighbors. He probably would have been mollified by some deliveries of fresh eggs.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Yes, I agree with Spifflove - you have little to lose at this point if you make contact with the neighbors - perhaps some dialogue along with some fresh eggs would go a long way to getting them to ease up. Hope it works out for you.
  4. MentoringMom

    MentoringMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2011
    I actually did offer them some eggs at one point, but they had just bought a whole bunch and declined. They have not ever shown interest in our eggs. I will be replying to the message, but I need time to process this and make sure I can be amicable in my reply first. And I'd like to be able to present some sort of solution that will not involve us rehoming all our chickens.
  5. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Instead of swapping notes, I would invite them over to talk with you face to face. You should find out the exact rules of the covenents before this though. If they insist that the "no livestock" rule be followed after chatting with them, then you will need to make a choice. Present your case to the neighborhood board to have the rules changed or to rehome your chickens. Of course you could always offer that you plan to move within a certain timeframe if you can't live without your birds. You could also offer to add soundproofing in your coop but I doubt that you want to go down that road.
  6. tadpole98

    tadpole98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2012
    hopefully they do not just live in their coop. that would only be good for at night when they are in there. you cant soundproof your yard. but that is a good idea if they are in the coop a lot, i hope you can keep them! [​IMG]
  7. Spifflove

    Spifflove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2012
    He could soundproof his coop then lock up the rooster(s).
  8. 123ChickieLou

    123ChickieLou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2011
    If you lived there before a neighborhood covenants was made, they really shouldn't hold ground with this. If that was put in there specifically for you and your chickens, fight back but do it nicely as everyone has stated. Check your local laws and be sure you're in compliance there before taking the neighborhood watch on.
    I have a neighbor that would complain when my chickens would go over to his yard. We kept them out of his yard, now we're in good standing. Some people just don't 'get' having chickens so maybe if you talked to them about having them and their personalities and just how pet-like they are, they may lighten up. If not, deliver them some eggs overnight. To their front door. Really hard.
  9. 4HDad

    4HDad Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 14, 2011
    West Central, Ohio
    As others have stated, have a conversation with the neighbor. Maybe you can work something out.

    I would also recommend checking out not only your covenants, but also state law. Here is why I suggest that. The community I live in does not allow "livestock"; however, the community does not define "livestock". Therefore, the definition falls to the state. In Ohio "livestock" does not include poultry or rabbits (for some reason poultry are treated seperately as poultry and rabbits are "backyard pets"). Due to this we are allowed to have both chickens and rabbits.

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  10. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008

    Oh, excellent advice. Commiting a criminal act will surely help the situation.

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