Neighbors and noise


9 Years
Jun 9, 2010
I got four Buff Orpington pullets last April. They are in a coop inside a fenced run, actually a dog kennel that's 8x12.

A few weeks ago, the neighbor closest to the coop asked if I planned to continue "the chicken thing" next year. Apparently he doesn't like the periodic squawking. I offered to move the coop around the corner of the house next spring, and that seemed to satisfy him.

But, a couple of days ago, he called, said he'd thought it over, and just moving the coop wouldn't work for him; he wants me to get rid of them. These are neighbors with whom we've had a great relationship for 14 years. I'm certainly willing to move the coop, but not get rid of my girls. And they do squawk, mostly in the morning. Our town allows us to legally keep up to five hens without a permit (no roosters).

I know free range hens spend most of the day poking around, foraging. Mine did that initially until all the grass was gone. I do throw a handful of scratch around in the run when I let them out so they can muck around for that, but is there anything I can put down daily that would keep them more occupied? Hay? Dried leaves? I can't really let them free range - the coop is already being dive bombed by redtail hawks (they are safe as the run is roofed with chicken wire, but they don't know that).

Any suggestions welcome (I know - bribe the neighbors with eggs, which I should have thought of - but right now mine aren't laying much with the short days, plus they seem to have just finished molting). Thanks!


10 Years
Aug 12, 2009
I say ignore them 24/7. You going to do everything they request of you? Ofcourse not.The moving of the shed was VERY generous imo. The neighborly relations you have had with these people is now over,or perhaps it was never really there. I could understand a rooster at 4am,but a few hens is no worse than dogs or say a crow.Ever notice how annoying a single crow can be when it kaws in a tree near your window???

Offer eggs if you want,but I would be very cool with someone who told me to get rid of my animals after I made a serious effort to please them. They are old and hopefully will move soon or pass on. If you are lucky they will warm up to the hens.Watch out for posions or tacks thrown in the yard.Also,keep things very tidy as they might file complaints with the city to get them removed.


Oct 29, 2011
They sound like grumpy old curmudgeons. I agree that your friendly relationship is over, if not at least strained. You will be resentful if you let others dictate your life like that. They are lucky you offered to move your pen. Move it where you can enjoy them without having to look at the grumps next door. Luckily, I live on a farm. I have the worlds loudest rooster and he and two neighbors' roosters compete daily. We love the sound. If I don't hear him by 4:30 am, I get worried.


9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
Sullivan, IL
If I were in your shoes I probably would have told them, "I'm sorry but getting rid of my hens just doesn't work for me. I'll be happy to move them farther from your property so that they are less bothersome, but I'm not getting rid of them." As long as you are doing everything legally, they have no leg to stand on and will just have to suck it up. They'll get used to it, just like I've gotten used to all the little yappy dogs in my neighborhood that bark every time the wind blows.


Family owned, family run
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
Florida - Space Coast
Keep copies of the local law allowing hens, if and when he says anything again hand him a copy and tell him you thought he might find it interesting reading.

After all it is YOUR property, so unless he wants to buy your house and pay the taxes he can't tell you how to live.


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
Opelousas, Louisiana
As long as you're in compliance, then I wouldn't worry about it. Sounds like grumpy neighbors to me. Maybe if he got some chickens or a hobby to keep him busy, he could stay out of your business.
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