Neighbor complaining, how can I keep my chickens home?!

Chickens&Ducks

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 5, 2011
20
0
22
Virginia
(If this is in the wrong section, please accept my apologies)

I live on 10 acres and would let my chickens free range during the day frequently. They are cooped at night. Well, the chickens liked to go visit the neighbors. We've asked if they were a problem and it was no, no, no.. this has gone on for almost 2 years. One time they complained that the chickens were in the horse pen, then told us that they'd been buying chicken feed and feeding them! Well no wonder they're coming over!!! But this hadn't been an issue for a long time- only at the very start, then it was all fine.

Anyways, last night the neighbor's wife comes over, super short with me, practically yelling at me. She says that the chickens were in her front yard and she didn't like it. That's FINE. I will try to figure something out to fix that but we're not mind readers and if you last said it was okay and that changes, then you need to inform us of the change and it's unfair to go from fine to END OF THE WORLD without some sort of "Hey, this IS becoming a problem" in between. I'm frustrated.

So here's my question:

How can I keep them home? Their coop is behind a 4-5' fence. If we clip their wings, is that enough to keep them out? Do I need to put netting on top? HELP! The request to keep them out of their FRONT yard is rather difficult. I can't really tell them to stay in the back. They don't listen to reason. They are chickens.
 

brandislee

Songster
8 Years
Feb 15, 2011
510
18
133
Southern Minnesota
Clipping their wings SHOULD be enough to keep them from crossing a 4-5 foot fence, but why are they even crossing it to begin with? One of my pens has 5 foot fence and I only have hens fly out of it if they're confined for more than a few days, because the pen is 10x50. If they have 10 acres and a fence, they should have no reason to fly over the fence.
 

Mtn Laurel

Songster
8 Years
May 18, 2012
1,534
201
216
Northern Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
Either a taller fence or netting on top of the fence should do the trick. Netting will be the less expensive and quicker option. I use deer netting on top of my temporary fence and no one has gotten out yet.
 

Chickens&Ducks

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 5, 2011
20
0
22
Virginia
The whole yard isn't fenced. The fence is just around the coop. It's a decent space 30x15 maybe but the 10 acres beyond that is very intriguing and inviting to them, I guess. Our lot is narrow and long probably about 1.5 acres wide by 6.5 acres deep. I WISH I could get them to go back into the depth of the acreage (wooded) but they like going next door to where the horses are.

Any ideas on how to get them to go down the hill into the depth of the wooded part would be appreciated.

My husband went over and talked to the neighbor's husband, a much more calm, level headed person. Apparently, they put down mulch in the front recently and the chickens have been going through it for about a week, instead of coming and telling us. She waited until it all just bubbled over and she was ticked, saw another bird and came over to demand things of me.

The husband said, "Ah, it's fine" and "Well we LOVE them eating the bugs and watching them".. OF COURSE they do! That's a big part of why we allow them to free range. We live in semi-rural area where the ticks and mosquitoes are awful (we have a small creek along the back of our properties) The chickens keep the bug population down but they won't be able to do that much confined to the fenced in area. It's seems they want their cake and to eat it, too. They want the chickens to take care of all the bugs but also to keep them out of their front yard and I can't do that w/o confining them!! JUST FRUSTRATED.

My husband unexpectedly lost his job last week. It wasn't his doing or fault and the company refuses to give a reason why (it appears to be very politically driven and nothing to do w/him at all but rather his manager) so spending a ton of money or something isn't really an option right now. Feeding our kids is a higher priority but I also do not intend to be a bad neighbor not caring for others complaints!!
 
Last edited:

Wrooster

Songster
8 Years
Apr 13, 2013
150
34
136
Northern Florida
There was an old song something like "How you gonna keep them down on the farm, after they've seen Paree?" Your chickens have seen the world, from a chicken's point of view. 30 x 15 feet ain't gonna keep them happy. If you really clip one wing back that might not keep them in but it will slow them down. If your husband is willing to spend a few days running after chickens and throwing them back inside if they escape, their little brains might forget how good life used to be and start thinking of the prison yard as home. It might help if you can extend your fence a bunch. Depending on the layout, if you can put up some carboard or plastic or something to keep them from seeing the neighbor's yard, if that's what they head right for, that might help. You wouldn't have to do it forever.
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Chickens go where they want to go. If they trespass over to the neighbors, that is simply not allowed. Livestock must not leave one's own property. There just isn't much more to say.

As for "training" them to go here, but don't go there? I've never found that to work in over a half century. One either has to have a fenced run, fenced property or have no neighbors closer than a half mile. Sorry.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom