Let me be honest...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by avionator, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. Ask my neighbor to remove all fowl.

    0 vote(s)
  2. Ask our code enforcement officer to post a notice.

    3 vote(s)
  3. Chicken feast!

    0 vote(s)
  4. Ask our neighbor to move his coop to the other side of his tiny lot, still have all the problems the

    0 vote(s)
  5. Sell our home and move to a tree house deep within state land and avoid all conflict. Actually this

    4 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. avionator

    avionator New Egg

    Apr 4, 2017
    Saranac Lake, NY
    ... I am not a chicken owner! I'd like to introduce myself as a neighbor of a chicken owner. A neighbor with a problem I want to talk to actual owners before I approach my neighbor.

    The situation:

    We have 0.23 acre lot within village limits (Saranac Lake, NY). Our house is placed right up to the back of the lot, but within the 15ft set back. Our new neighbor abutting our back property line has decided he wants to raise chickens and ducks. He now owns about 12 to 15 chickens and several ducks. He also owns a rooster (actually, he had about 5 roosters at one point, got rid of them then had another...). He has had chickens for close to a year at this point. The chicken run is fenced, but they frequently escape. The coop and run are set up directly on his and our property line, in the corner of his property.

    The problems:

    Noise: We live in the Adirondack mountains and chickens and ducks are a farm thing. We do not live near any farms. The rooster is all hours noisy. They are 15 feet away from our bedroom window. We specifically bought a home on this street for it's heavily wooded, mountain-side aesthetic.

    Smell: The smell of chicken waste constantly floats into our lot. We cannot open windows on the back of our house, much less use our back deck or patio. It is not fun to try to eat a lunch while inhaling chicken poop. When i'm grilling my chicken i don't also want to be bathed in chicken-stink. To be honest we often cannot use our front porch during the summer because the smell wafts all the way around out house.

    The code (abridged):

    Chickens are allowed within village limits with several conditions met:
    All setback rules are followed
    No roosters
    no more than a certain amount of chickens per acre (he is fine on this one)
    no smell may accumulate
    no nuisance may be caused or accumulate for neighboring properties
    All birds must remain on the property of the owner

    I like my neighbor. He is a good guy from an urban area who has moved to the sticks to be somewhere quiet. I think he has misinterpreted where he lives, though. I want to be fair. I want to be a good neighbor. But at this point I'm beginning to think being a good neighbor means he needs to find a new home for his fowl.

    I'm reaching out to actual chicken owners to try and be fair. What do you folks think? Honestly, I'd like to ask him to simply remove his chickens and then cite all the violations if i have to. FWIW several of my neighbors on my street agree.

    I respect the idea of raising your own food or just liking birds. please, give me your honest feedback.
  2. Jiffyrocks

    Jiffyrocks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2017
    Louisville KY
    Well if you like your neighbor and get along well enough, maybe have a talk with him. I recently had the city people come inspect my coop (it's only been up 2 weeks - no smells- no roosters) so I know it wasn't an issue, but obviously one of my neighbors thought it would be. I passed with flying colors but now I'm just wondering which neighbor was it? I much rather them just come talk to me if they had an issue.
    I understand it being smelly. I wouldn't like my yard being smelly, let alone it being caused by someone else! But it shouldn't be smelly. He must not be doing something right - cleaning it or using the right bedding- or something.
    And the rooster thing, that's rough. That's why I don't have one lol.
    But I would talk to your neighbor first. Address your concerns over a beer or burger (maybe if he's on the patio in the stink he will see where you're coming from!) or something and just speak to him about it, nicely. Then if nothing changes, you can always get the city involved.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  3. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    I think he has a right to have his chickens if he's allowed, but he is breaking several rules. I don't think the goal here should be to make him get rid of all his chickens, the goal should be to have him fix what's wrong.

    Firstly I would ask him to get rid of the rooster. Now, I have and love roosters but if he's not allowed one and it's bothering you then he shouldn't have one. Let him know that the rooster is bothering you and that by law he cannot have one and you really would appreciate if he found it a new home. If he's a good guy he'll understand.

    The second problem is the smell. Something isn't going right there either, because while chicken poop stinks, if the coop is properly maintained, the smell shouldn't be wafting all over the place. Either his coop is too small for the number of chickens he has and they're fouling it up so quickly he can't keep up, or he's not cleaning it out often enough. I would bring up this concern with him as well and just let him know it's causing problems for you and he needs to better maintain the coop, clean it more often, maybe get rid of a few birds so the poop doesn't build up as quickly, etc.

    As to the escaping issue, have you told him you have a problem with them escaping onto your property? Some people like to have the chickens visit their yards because they are fun to watch and provide the service of eating up bugs like ticks. Ask him to keep them in their fence and if they keep flying over ask him to clip their wings so that they can't.

    If he doesn't agree to make the changes or says he will and then does nothing, then at that point it's fair to get the city involved. But I'd give him a chance first.

    Just going from your poll options you seem to think there's no choice but to try to force him to remove all his chickens, even the ones he legally owns. That's not true and not fair. Not to sound harsh, but if you didn't want to live in a place with chickens you shouldn't have moved to a place where chickens are allowed. Your neighbor needs to be doing more to keep his poultry from affecting you but if he gets rid of the rooster, keeps the smell down, and keeps his birds in, there's no reason he shouldn't have them.

    Chickens and ducks are very much not a farm thing, that's why this website for people who keep chickens in their backyards exists. Even in New York City you can keep three hens. So while I think it is unfair that he is keeping the chickens in a way that is negatively impacting you, I also think it is unfair for you to expect that he get rid of all of them, even the ones he is legally allowed to have. If he fixes the problems, then there's no reason he shouldn't be able to keep his birds.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
    10 people like this.
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Pyxis has nut-shelled it! I 100% agree.

    ETA: By contacting BYC, you have shown that you are willing to work on this (or at least understand things chicken-related). I hope that you have some constructive dialogue with your neighbour.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
    2 people like this.
  5. Cntry1958

    Cntry1958 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2017
    Somewhere in Maryland
    Let him know there is a problem and what those problems maybe for you. He may not even know that the chickens are bothering you until you say something. Give him a chance to fix them so both of you are happy and you stay good neighbors.
  6. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Yep Pyxis hit the nail on the head!

    I live smack bang in the middle of suburbia on a residential block and I am always checking in with the neighbours that the girls are not annoying them. We are legal and only have 5 female bantams in a 6 chicken, no rooster zone.

    The coop is cleaned daily and there is deep litter in the run which means no smell.

    While I often check with the neighbours, it sounds like he does not as you have not mentioned him speaking to you about the chickens. He may be totally oblivious to the issues you are experiencing and I definitely think that speaking to him and giving him a chance to make any required changes is a good first step.

    Speaking as a chicken owner, I would prefer my neighbours to come and tell me any problems they are having with the chickens and give me the opportunity to correct them as opposed to officials turning up on my door step.

    Good luck .. I do hope you are able to find a solution that suits you both.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Agree totally with Pyxis. Give the neighbor a chance to make changes - maybe he doesn't know better. It isn't like he sneaked in chickens after you moved in. He had them first.
  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and :welcome! Happy you joined us. I hope the situation gets resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Best wishes! :)
  9. N F C

    N F C home again! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Pyxis has given you some good advice. I hope the situation can be resolved peacefully and to everyone's satisfaction.
  10. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    I also agree with Pyxis' post 100%... hope it is resolved happily...

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