Need some advice about hens going visiting!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MamiPollo, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2011
    My Coop
    I need some advice. My hens are visiting my neighbors and it is time to take action. What would you do?

    I have 5 hens who are about 7 months old. They have a lovely coop you can see in my profile pic and I have been letting them free-range in my suburban backyard all summer. They are very happy little hens.

    My next door neighbor on one side of my house loves my chickens. He is a 79 year old man in fragile health, and he loves to come out and visit my hens. Some of you may remember that he was throwing feed over the fence for them. Well, now I believe he must be putting the feed down in his own yard. My hens have started visiting his yard regularly for the past week or two, and I see them scratching in the grass like they are going after feed. He sits outside in a plastic chair and enjoys them.

    When I see them over there, I call them back and toss them some food on my patio and they come home.

    Well, this past weekend, the neighbors in the next house over noticed my hens in my neighbor's yard, and became enamoured. They came over and started asking a lot of questions. The wife stood by my fence and watched my hens with a goofy smile on her face for about an hour. I would not be surprised if they don't get some chickens.

    Well, yesterday I found 2 of my hens in that yard (2 doors down from me). The husband said his wife had been outside "talking to them" while they were in my next door neighbor's yard. Jimminy Crickets! I can't have my hens visiting all over the neighborhood!

    Here is my dilemma: I bought bamboo poles and netting to attach to the chainlink fence to construct a temporary fence 7 feet tall, but when I told my next door neighbor he got very upset. He said his wife would not like it. She is very particular about her fence, and if I were to do it she would probably call the county on me. I'm not sure if this is a violation or not, but I don't want to invoke the ire of my neighbors because we currently have a good relationship. However, letting my chickens go visiting is definately a violation of the city animal ordinance and my birds could be immediately confiscated if a city official sees them outside of my yard.

    I have fence poles up for a run, but never have enclosed it due to the fact it was working well for the hens to free range. It is on the opposite side of my yard. I think my neighbor will be brokenhearted if I confine the chickens to the run, because they are on the opposite side of the yard from his house. I do not really want a fence there. I do not really want to pen them in.

    The city is getting ready to come out here and inspect, because the neighor on the side saw a rat. So, my girls are going to be confined to their pen for a few days. If those city inspectors see my hens go over the fence, they can confiscate them on the spot. :-(

    How would you solve this problem?

    1. Put up the temporary fence between our yards in spite of the neighbors' objections.

    2. Enclose the run on the other side of the yard and hurt my neighbor's feelings.

    3. Some other solution I have not thought of yet (please specify!).
  2. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    get a 10x10 ft dog kennel and a cover?
  3. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    Why don't you just make a temporary fence around your coop for the city jerks to see. Keep it up for a few days and then take it down. I would also explain to your neighbors that you greatly appreciate their love for your flock, but ask if they could fed the chickens on your side, so they don't get confiscated. Maybe even put up a gate so he can walk over by the coop and enjoy them there. You can also get your neighbors to sign a community agreement between the three of you that agrees to the chickens providing fertilizer, insect reduction and health care for your elderly neighbor, is not only appropriate, but welcomed and encouraged. You may just accidentally create a precedent that allows others to share in the same agreement.

    It is great that you have good neighbors. It is not only a reflection of you and your generosity, but of theirs as well.
  4. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2011
    My Coop
    Oh great! Now there is a preschooler in the yard behind my next door neighbor calling my chickens! [​IMG]

    It is a good thing that my chickens are creating so much positive vibes in my neighborhood. They are bringing people together. I have lived here 7 years and never got to know the people 2 doors down.

    Too bad they can't just fence hop all around and come home at bedtime, kind of like we used to do when we were kids. lol
  5. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    Quote:Oh that would suck.
  6. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    I would say you could keep them penned when neccessary, and let them roam when you are home. Have visiting hours, like in the evening when city inspectors won't be working and the hens only have a bit of time before bed.
    You could always claim the escaped if someone catches them... just act frantic, like you are looking for them... they would buy it!
    Most of the time as long as the critter looks happy, you get off with a warning (like walking a dog through a park where the city is too stuck up to allow dogs in ANY park) No one WANTS to confiscate your pet. I bet they do what the guy who always seemed to catch me with my dog would. He would greet the dog by name, pet him, and then try to sound serious and stern as he gave me an official warning. He knew we weren't hurting anything- neither are your hens!
    I would certainly explain to all your neighbors the concerns you have and tell them only to feed them in your yard. And you could always let any broodies you get hatch some eggs and share chicks with neighbors!
    Also, I have noticed that my hens were quite adventurous in their first year, but after that, they quit fence hopping. It's just the young ones who wander mostly. Next year it might not be a problem.
  7. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2011
    My Coop
    That's good to know that they might settle down next year. I guess they are like teenagers, wanting to get away from mom and having some adventures. lol
  8. wava1vaughn

    wava1vaughn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2011
    Cairo Ga.
    Hi from Ga. As nice as it is to let them free range you might think of covered run to keep them in. That way you shouldn't have to worry about the neighbors. [​IMG]
  9. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    First look up the ordinances. Then I would build a cover run and keep them there. As for your neighbors, set up a sitting and viewing area and invite them over to watch them there. Not only do you not want your chickens taken by the city and possibly fined for having animals on the loose, but they can get into a lot of trouble roaming the neighborhood (eating bad stuff or kill someone's patio plants). Foremost these are YOUR chickens that you got for yourself and your responsibility for their safety and health.

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