My neighbor complains that my chickens visit his property

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by greenSearcher, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. greenSearcher

    greenSearcher Songster

    Aug 22, 2010
    I have been raising chickens for 6 years, and the girls go visit when they want bugs from his woods. He was complaining about my NEW electric fence that surrounds the cleared area of our land, concerned that I would neglect it and it would curl and interfere with his mowing the fence line. (He does keep it well trimmed) He told me the girls really shouldn't be there as his land is an official wildlife habitat and I might have wildlife officers visiting. Humph.... I can understand his complaining when the girls and escort visit his shed, which is probably a 100 feet from the fence line but generally when he comes out with his tractor they make a beeline home. So anyway in the spirit of harmony I am seeking your experience with breeds of chickens that are not flighty or inclined to wander far hundreds of feet from the coop.
    Factors that need to be taken into account:
    1. I currently have about 35 hens, I like to have close to 50. Right now being late winter, I can sell more eggs than they lay 3 times over. Most of the flock are pullets, and I expect them to start laying within the next month, since they are no longer screaming and running away from the cockerels, just fluff their tails and walk off afterwards. The youngsters are EE and New Hampshires. the older girls are sex links.
    2. I have an ongoing war with the neighbors dogs, I finally put up electric fencing surrounding their foraging area (175'x340', basically the cleared area of the property we live on.). I haven't seen dogs since then, but I know it is not going to stop coyotes or bob cats if the animals approach from the south side, I only have 3 wires there, where as the property line fences have barbwire and electric wire. I am not concerned at night, the coop is locked securely.
    3. I can't hit the broad side of a barn, the gun is just a scary noise maker. If I should every hit a **** dog, it will be SSS. I am not going to discuss the issue with my wondrous Texas neighbors.
    4 My kindly neighbor suggested getting heavy breeds and leave the food out all the time. I live in Texoma, and even if I do like living in a rural community, I do not like the weather here. (My heart stayed in NM when we moved here.) I have avoided heavy breeds because I do not want to kill them off during the summer heat. Temperatures move into the 100's usually in May, and can range from 95-115 until Sept. I have let the girls take over my porches, it is the only deep shade available. Considering we are starting our 5th year of drought, letting them have the porches is a necessary sacrifice, I can not use city water to wash them, though maybe with my expanded rain water harvesting, I may be able to clean them this year. In the meantime, I have plans to build shade houses for relief from the baking sun. I have no trees or large shrubs for the chickens to take refuge When I first got my chickens I did a mix, and it included a couple of Marans, and a barred rock, These girls didn't last the summer. The light weight birds some days struggled, but none those died.
    So here is the question:
    I am thinking about getting more Naked Neck, they aren't overly curious and they actually thrive in the heat. I am hoping that perhaps the Dorkling, Buckeye or Barnvelder might work. I would like the California Gray for white eggs, but I fear they may be flighty. Please share your experiences with these breeds.
    To deal with the heat will plant shrubs along their yard fences, and other places around the house. Even if I plant trees, it will be years before they offer shelter. Misters on the porch to cool the girls is not viable, the water restrictions are severe. We use only 2 units a month. All outdoor water is collect from rainfall.
    I hope I was clear and this made sense
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Rather that seeking different breeds you need to properly contain your birds - good fences make good neighbors. Your neighbor is very much within his right to request that you keep your animals on your property. As you have already installed the electric fence, it will give you good "bones" to work with to add wire more designed to keep the chickens in while still allowing the electric wiring to keep predators out.
    3 people like this.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I agree. You are not going to find breeds that don’t wander. They are going to his woods for shade in summer, for cover from flying predators, and because they find a lot of good stuff when they scratch in those leaves. That’s perfect habitat for them. It is your job to keep them home.

    I don’t know how big an area you are trying to electric fence. Electric wire is unlikely to stop a chicken. Their feathers insulate them from the shock so once they get their heads through without touching wattles or comb, they just go on through. Since he does a good job of trimming under the fence (he gets high praise from me for doing that) your options are somewhat limited. You can’t use welded wire or chicken wire fencing to keep the chickens inside that fence. Lowering the electric wires would make it a lot harder for him too. I don’t know what method he uses to keep it clear and keep the vegetation from growing up and shorting out your electric fence, but most just don’t work with mesh type fencing. Weed eaters can be really hard on electric fencing too if he can’t stay below it.

    You might want to look into electric netting. I got mine from Premier. It requires maintenance, mainly keeping grass and weeds from growing up into it and shorting it out, but it is really effective at keeping ground based predators out and chickens in.

    Good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    You can keep your fencing a few feet on your side of property line so you mow along the fence instead of them. That way there will be no "accidents" harming your fencing. Electric netting is a bit pricey but a great investment and I'd make sure my neighbor didn't have rights to mow alongside it if it were mine even making sure to verbally contract with them not to do so.
  5. Put the electric mesh fence 3 - 4 feet inside the existing fence. The space between the fences will allow you room for mowing. The original fence will prevent your neighbor from mowing near the electric mesh.
  6. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    I do agree with the above posters, unfortunately he is well within his right to request that you keep your birds on your own property. And I don't know of any chickens that won't go out of their own yard if the inducement is large enough.
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welded wire 'goat fencing' from the farm store; it's 4"x4", and with electric on top, works well here to keep my flock out of the neighbor's yard. Mine is on steel posts, and works great to keep our dogs and theirs home too. Chicks can get through it, but aren't out there until they are too big to get through. I also don't have breeds known to be big flyers, which also helps. I also have trees and shrubs for shade and a better cooler summer environment. The sooner you plant, the sooner life will be better for everyone. Chickens come from the jungle and will head for cover wherever it is. Mary
    1 person likes this.
  8. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chirping

    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    Yeah... can't blame the neighbors for not wanting your chickens in their yard.
    My hens recently discovered that they could squeeze through a section of hedge and get into the neighbors' yard. I don't know if my neighbors cared or not but I put a stop to that immediately with some spare fencing material.
  9. I can understand neighbors being upset by your chickens on their property....... I would be upset if my own hens tore up my flower beds.
  10. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    My entire property is fenced with chain link and wooden privacy but to keep the horse & chickens away from my house I installed cheap 4"x2" welded wire (like you get at TSC for $60 per 4'x100' roll) on t-posts. It looks neat & professional. I built it about an inch off the ground so I can get the weed eater string under it to trim after mowing. I installed an electric wire on top to keep the horse from beating it down. My chickens are heavy RIR and don't fly over it, and if they did I'd simply clip their wings.

    My neighbors are always grumping back & forth at each other and trying to get me involved in their problems. I tell them "Look, as long as it happens on the other side of my fences I don't give a crap." Likewise, on the rare occurance when one of my birds does escape and gets killed by a dog, I blame myself not my neighbors.

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