Neighbor Complaining/Threatening Ordinance

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by HoosierSilkie, May 23, 2017.

  1. HoosierSilkie

    HoosierSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2017
    Southern Indiana
    Hi all,

    We were out in the yard with our 3yr old and chickens tonight. We live in town. Our back yard is completely enclosed with an 8ft privacy fence. Our 70ish yr old neighbor came out and "voiced an opinion" about several things. Her back door overlooks our backyard.
    Her first complaint: the chickens stink; she then pointed to the temporary coop we had some chicks in but haven't used for a month.
    Second: they pose a health hazard for her and her husband. She claims they cannot even sit out in their yard because of this.
    Third: our dog (inside dog) barks at the chickens in the yard all day.
    Fourth: the rooster that we have now crows and wakes her up, but the one we had before didn't bother her.
    She then cited an ordinance that we are only allowed 4 chickens in town. Her husband is a retired state cop and he knows this to be true.
    I'm not really sure how to address these complaints because
    1: the chickens live in a small garage that we converted that truly doesn't stink - it's cleaned regularly and fresh bedding is put down.
    2: What health hazard do they pose? Is this my responsibility to address?
    3: the chickens are kept in the coop during the day, so the dog is not barking at them. She could be barking, but she's kept in the basement of the house when we're gone. Our other neighbors can't hear her.
    4: we have the same rooster that we've always had. His habits haven't changed. He does crow a few times around 7am most days.
    Finally, I checked ordinance before getting chickens and our city doesn't have one on poultry. I even called the police department tonight to check.
    How do I handle this? I have to live next to these people, so I'd rather not be on bad terms.
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    Offer her some free eggs!!
     
  3. HoosierSilkie

    HoosierSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2017
    Southern Indiana
    We don't have any yet; my hens are only 4-5 months old. A dog got into our yard last fall and killed all but my rooster, so we are starting over. We did give them eggs before when we had extras.
     
  4. cra-zchicknlady

    cra-zchicknlady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2015
    If the town doesn't have any ordinance on farm animals, there really isn't much your neighbor can do. Does she live on a hill to see over the fence? That isn't your problem if so. Make sure you keep the poop cleaned up and properly dispose of any old eggs or carcasses. She might try to take you to small claims court for the health hazard thing, but as long as you've kept it clean, she doesn't have a case. As for the noise complaint, explain decibels to her, and that a rooster's crow is around 90 decibels, less than a lawn mower. Maybe try a crow collar? It worked on our roo.
     
  5. HoosierSilkie

    HoosierSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2017
    Southern Indiana
    Her house is on a raised foundation, so her back door is high enough that it opens almost on top of our fence. Our chickens are kept in a building on the opposite side of the property from her home and only allowed to free range in the evenings when we're home (we have a hawk problem). Honestly, we wouldn't let our 3yr old daughter play in the yard if we didn't keep everything as clean as possible. Our roo is a silkie and has the puniest crow I've ever heard. I'll have to look into a crow collar. We've asked the neighbor on our other side if they have the same concerns and they thought we were crazy. I don't know what to do. We've had chickens for over a year and never had a problem.
     
  6. cra-zchicknlady

    cra-zchicknlady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2015
    It sounds like she's bored. Too little to do. Just be nice, offer her eggs, invite her over for tea or something. Make friends and get her involved. If she still complains, all you can do is ignore her.
     
  7. Barbara Q Dad

    Barbara Q Dad Just Hatched

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    May 22, 2017
    Sounds like your neighbors aren't happy unless they are complaining
     
  8. Barbara Q Dad

    Barbara Q Dad Just Hatched

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    May 22, 2017
    Sounds like she is just unhappy with life. Try sending her the help wanted ads regularly. Perhaps if she gets a job she will have less time to complain about your girls and roo
     
  9. HoosierSilkie

    HoosierSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2017
    Southern Indiana
    I think we're going to go over tonight and see if we can address her concerns. It baffles me because she was telling us last summer that she thought our silkie girls were cute and that she enjoyed seeing them. Last night was a 5 minute tirade while we stood there in shock. It was like two different people. Now I'm nervous because my husband is really ticked that she basically threatened us with ordinance (that doesn't exist), creating a health hazard, and her husband's background as a police officer to - I don't know - try to bully us into getting rid of the birds?
     
  10. HoosierSilkie

    HoosierSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2017
    Southern Indiana
    I've gotten the impression over the past 5 years of living beside her that work is not something that she or her son are familiar with. The son (approx 30 y/o) lived in the house when we first moved in and his dad had to come over and mow his yard because he wouldn't do it himself. When the son married a woman with a kid, the parents moved out of their larger home across town and switched with him. I'm thinking we're dealing with a woman who has lived a life of entitlement and is used to getting whatever she wants. ☹️
     

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