Neighbour complaints

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by luciack, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. luciack

    luciack New Egg

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    Hello. New poster long time reader and I was wondering if people could advise on a problem.

    When we got chickens we were very concerned about not annoying neighbours so we built a heavily insulated house with a timer on the door so they don't make a peep before 8.30 on weekdays and 9 on weekends. We only have 2 and they have quite a big area so not much mess accumulates. We also have a treadle feeder so the food is not accessible to anything lighter than a chicken (need to stand on the treadle to access the food)...anyway houses in our area are mostly rented so we get New neighbours relatively regularly. Last night a guy from across the road knocked on our door and said the odour and rats caused by our chickens were becoming a problem. We were very friendly and apologetic but now worried about what on earth we can do: we spotted a rat or two so put down loads of poison, it went and we didn't see any more. We have no food available so can't see that we'd be attracting them any more than any other garden. Anyway, as a sign of good faith we're paying to get professional pest control in. We are also going to do a deep clean of the co-op. But the thing is that we can't smell the hens at all. Not even standing in the coop on a hot day. And this neighbour is across the road!! So we're worried that the neighbours are smelling something else and just assuming its the chickens and that whatever we do they will still have rats and Smell because ultimately it's not us causing it... What do people think? Am I in denial?
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hi and welcome to BYC - sorry to hear of your woes. I think that you are doing everything possible to accommodate your neighbour - over and above actually. There's no way that 2 chickens can create a detectable odour from so far away. I'd just keep a record of the steps that you have taken (receipts etc) and politely tell him that his complaints are being misdirected should he come calling again. Some people are just plain awkward and seem to get kicks out of such things - i'm sorry that you have to put up with it.

    CT
     
  3. luciack

    luciack New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Thankyou - that's reassuring. I want to invite him round and show him that the coop doesn't smell, but we're in the middle of completely redoing the garden (including the chicken coop) so everything's a total mess and so I'm scared he'd just say "look at this place, no wonder you have rats!" Just so worried they're going to call the council and make us get rid of them for no reason :(
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I'd leave him be and hope that it takes a while before he begins to complain once more, rather than inviting him around - messy garden or not [​IMG] Good luck!

    CT
     
  5. jahliciyaadaddy

    jahliciyaadaddy Out Of The Brooder

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    Some people just have nothing else better to do then to pick! Just keep your coop filtered and your feed rodent free as possible, Good luck!
     
  6. N F C

    N F C just blowing in the wind Premium Member Project Manager

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    [​IMG]

    I agree with CTKen...it sounds to me as though you are doing everything possible to accommodate your neighbors. I hope it's ok with your council for you to have the chickens, a complaining neighbor (even one without a good reason to complain) can make things difficult if chickens aren't allowed in your area.

    Good luck to you, hope all works out alright!
     
  7. luciack

    luciack New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Yeah, we're not allowed "livestock" - so its a grey area whether 2 chickens (which we consider pets) would be "livestock" or not. I think they could make the argument and we would probably lose, so that's why we're so concerned to keep everybody happy!! And thats why its so concerning if we can't actually fix the problem, because we're in "the wrong" even if we're not causing any problems whatsoever.
     
  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas and :welcome. Happy you joined our community! Sorry to hear about your overly sensitive neighbor. Hopefully he will be able to see reason. Best of luck to you!
     
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    People like to pretend that calling your chickens 'pets' does not mean they are livestock, poultry or whatever but the blunt reality is what you call them or consider them has little bearing on the actual legal definition they fall under as a species...

    So yes if they are in fact prohibited in your area and you are violating the law, then you really don't have much ground to stand upon beyond attempting to change the laws or placate the neighbors and hope for the best... I know that is probably what you don't want to hear but it's the reality of it...

    May I suggest you be proactive and pursue getting the laws in your area changed to allow backyard chickens, as the outcome once you have made it to an anti-chicken neighbors radar is generally not good...

    Also in your first post you talked about tossing poison down to kill off rats, may I suggest you not do this, rats and mice like to 'pack' away and store food for a later date, if that location happens to be where you chickens might stumble upon it you could very well end up with poisoned chickens...
     
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  10. luciack

    luciack New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2016
    I know, thats whats so worrying because they really could make us get rid of them if they complained - but we've had them for 5 years and no problem at all so it would be such a shame is is misplaced complaint finally means we have to get rid of them when we're not actually causing any problems. (the neighbour said he liked the clucking, but just not the smell)..

    Oh don't worry we're not "tossing" poison anywhere - we have proper bait stations where the poison can't be removed, just nibbled in situ, Its also specifically "pet safe" stuff and is not within the chicken coop. The rats aren't living in the chicken coop, in fact I'm not convinced they are living in our garden at all. we found a hole, but it was under the fence leading from another garden (opposite direction to complaint neighbor), so if neighbours are also putting poison down (he said he was) which isn't as safe, there's nowhere within the coop for it to be stored by the rats. we've been quite careful about that!
     

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