Hoping to get hens


9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
Encinitas, Ca

This is my first time on a forum. Hope I am doing this (forum thing) right.

We have several friends with hens and we love it when they share eggs with us.
We are hoping to get hens of our own, but there may be a problem. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I live in California. My cities municipal zoning website states that I can have up to 10 chickens and 2 roosters so long as all enclosures are at least 35 ft. from any dwelling unit on an adjacent lot. We live in a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association. My HOA restrictions do not address chickens (or anything pertaining to animals whatsoever). It does, however, have a section titled "NO NUISANCE" which reads...."Nothing shall be done on any lot which is or may become an annoyance or nuisance to the other lot owners. For example, no external speakers, bells or horns shall be permitted on any lot, other than usual and customary burglar alarm systems...."Obviously, this is very vague. We called the HOA to ask them if chickens were permitted. We were told "yes" but were also referred to the "NUISANCE" clause.

My husband and I would like to get 3 or 4 hens (for eggs) for our family of 6. We have three neighbors whose properties touch ours. As a courtesy to my neighbors, I mentioned to all of them our intentions, letting them know we would be responsible hen owners (keeping coop clean, etc) and to let me know if they had any questions. 2 of our neighbors think it is a wonderful idea, but 1 is highly against it. (To the point of threatening to call the police if our hens wake him up at 3am). He would not even listen when I tried to assure him that the hens would be sound asleep at 3am.

With the very vague language of our HOA, we are concerned that our 1 disgruntled neighbor could repeatedly cry, "NUISANCE, NUISANCE!!" every time he hears a cluck from our yard, resulting in us having to get rid of our hens.

Has anyone experienced a situation like this where 1 angry neighbor has prevented you from raising hens?

We would really appreciate any suggestions or help, as we hesitate to invest in hens and then get "zinged" by the "NUISANCE" clause.
from Tennessee!!!!!!!!!! Sounds like the neighbor may complain, but it likely won't do any good. Good luck!!
Honestly. I don't think there is much he could do. I highly doubt hens would fall under the Nuisance clause. Roosters, probably, but not hens. I don't have my chickens yet but as an example, I have a neighbor whose property closely borders mine and I didn't even know they HAD chickens until one came into my yard one day. He can't really complain if there is nothing to actually complain about. As long as they don't roam it shouldn't be an issue. You could also try "peace offerings" to your neighbors in the form of an occasional box of fresh eggs!
from S. Florida! Glad you joined us! As for the neighbor, hmmmmm. You did tell him you aren't going to have any roosters, right? Yes, you are right, your girls will be sound asleep @ 3:00 a.m. for crying out loud!! Sounds like he is just a closed minded individual.
One thing thats going to be on your side, is the remaining neighbors are for you getting some hens!! Best of luck, and most of all enjoy your girls!!!
Thank you to all of you for taking the time to read my post and send your encouragement.

Here are a few more details....
Yes, we said No roosters, only 3 or 4 hens. We offered to locate them as far as possible from his yard. He flat out stated that he would be upset if we have chickens ANYWHERE in our yard.

This neighbor recently spent a fortune renovating his backyard into an outdoor room with built in fire place, built in BBQ/Refridge, synthetic putting green, hot tub and waterfall, etc. He often throws parties, where he entertains his clients. He is certain that if we have hens, he will be able to smell them or hear them while he is trying to enjoy his backyard dining experience. (he referred to a visit he made to someone's home where the smell was so bad that all of the diners had to go indoors. He also stated that this home was in a rural, farming community. When we asked him how many chickens there were, he had no comment. It is my guess he was smelling more than a few hens and maybe even other animals from the surrounding area.)

The frustrating part is that he is not in the least open to being educated. He is certain that if we have a few chickens, his oasis will be ruined.
Hmmm... sounds like a control freak to me... Why does he think he can control what you do with YOUR property within the guidlines set by the HOA and city ordinance! Tell him is parties are the NUISANCE! You don' NEED his permission!

I'm new to chickens as well, but from my limited experience, hens are NOT a noise NUISANCE! My 3 dogs make more noise than my 17 hens put together! The hens make soft clucks which I find quite soothing. The only time the make any "noise" is when they have been upset by something (like taking their eggs right out from under them) or sense danger.

However, I would locate the coop as far as possible from his yard. He sounds like some one who might try something mean and stupid to get his way.

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