Summons because next door family complained

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by amorrisonmo, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. amorrisonmo

    amorrisonmo Hatching

    Nov 10, 2007
    St. Louis, Missouri
    I have a small mix breed flock of bantams. My neighbor keeps complaining to the city even though I keep the rooster inside a dog house inside the garage until after 8:00 am. Does anyone know of arguments that I can use to keep my disappearing breeds? I live on about a quarter acre.


  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Well that just sucks Splort with a silly straw.[​IMG]
    Have you checked your by laws and zoning laws and the other word that's escaping me right now...
    If you are zoned for livestock/farming animals, then the neighbour can't do anything.
    If you aren't then you're up a creek. And you may have to get rid of said rooster. Or keep him quiet until later in the day.
    I also had "THE VISIT" from the Health Dept because my 2 pound Leghorn cockerel's crowing was making a neighbour's "migraines" worse...
    She never even talked to me about it...just ratted me out to the authorities.
    I found out after doing a ton of research that I can be hip deep in hens, but no roos UNLESS I'm showing or breeding...
    And I had to keep it quiet...doesn't help when a hen starts crowing either...[​IMG] I learned to muzzle my crowing hen...and it helped to keep her quieter.
  3. Cassandra

    Cassandra Ranger Rick

    Oct 27, 2007
    Southwest Mississippi
    First thing, I guess, is to ask if you have tried negotiating with your neighbor to find out what the problem is and if you can do anything to make them more comfortable with the situation. If you've gotten a summons, I would assume that you are breaking some local law. I have a few suggestions, if you haven't tried any of these already.

    Talk to your alderman (or whatever the equivalent is in your area.) Find out what the specific complaint is and if there are any ordinances that you are breaking.

    Is the complaint that your birds are too loud? There could be a noise ordinance, but you could argue that they are no more noisy than a dog.

    Is the complaint that you have too many? There may be a limit on the number of birds you can keep in your yard. You could try hiding some if that is the case, but if your neighbor has pressed charges against you already, he/she will probably keep poking around and report you if he suspects anything.

    Is there a livestock ordinance? If there is, you could argue the birds are pets, but it may be hard to convince a judge of this. People keep all sorts of birds as pets, though. If this is the case, you might try getting some pictures of you & your family holding and playing with the birds.

    If there is some ordinance that says "you may not keep chickens at any residence inside the city limits" you might be in trouble. Anything less, and you might find a loop hole.

    Good luck!

  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Maybe what S.C. was trying to thing of was CC&R, Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions, your homeowner's association type rules.
  5. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    it sounds like you are more considerate than most. i have no idea if this is possible, but could you show research on how it is a cultural something or other? like historical or ?

    did they say you had to get rid of the rooster or the hens, too? if you can keep the hens, you might be able to have them pay a visit to another rooster somewhere. that is what a lot of people do with goats.

    is there a certain number that would put you under the regulation?

    that is one of the benefits of living in a bad neighborhood like i do. on about the same amoutn of property as you, i have three goats, two geese, a duck, five chikens, plus cat and three dogs. lol.

    i gave my neighbors eggs from the start, even though it meant a lot fewer for me. i figured it was good business sense in the long run. also, i told people i would donate the first goat kid to the neighborhood for a bbq. not saying that would work in your neighborhood, just an example.

    i have had past neighobrs give me HELL for little things (not animals but just as ridiculous) and make my life horrible. so, even iwth all the problems, i feel lucky here.

    oh. and can you find out the noise ordinances? there are usually certain hours, like you referred to. and also, like comparing to a dog, they can't bark for more than fifteen minutes (or whatever) in an hour. i haven't heard even the most annoying rooster do that.

    good luck. it sucks to have people get into your business for no good reason.
  6. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    I hope I never have that happen. I did get rid of the rooster after my neighbor complained to me --glad he did that before calling authorities. The hens cackle alittle and my DH said they will cackle ALOT when they lay an egg (haven't had one yet so don't really know!) but I hope that isn't too disturbing to anyone. My coop is at the back of my backyard and so it isn't within 100 yards of anyone's house we border, I am going to keep my fingers crossed. Our ordinace allows 10 chickens....I have 12 ...shhhhhhhh!!
  7. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    If my neighbour had come and talked to me directly instead of calling the law on me, I might've been alot nicer and I would've done things to make Jerry quieter, like leave him in longer, take away things that might cause him to crow...
    then when her son threatened to bash Slifer's head in when SHE started crowing...I called the cops because it was a THREAT...
    I'd talk to the Animal Control Officer and the Health Dept. The Health Dept was the one who investigates Noise Pollution. Roosters crowing is considered Noise Pollution even though my research turned up information that babies cry at a higher decibel than roosters...banish babies then...
    You had a nice neighbour, Scrambled. Mine I hadn't even said 2 words to in the 15 years we've been here...
    And she was on the next street over and her place doesn't even adjoin our yard!
  8. frankenchick

    frankenchick Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    Benton Twp., Michigan
    We give our neighbors eggs and honey from time to time. I also casually mention that while I was stung by wasps twice this summer alone, I've had a total of 2 bee stings in the 5 years we've kept bees.

    Sometimes gifts and good PR go a long way to help things.
  9. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    I have thought about sharing eggs when my hens start laying, hopefully that will stop any future complaining. I just hope the egg laying is done quietly and heaven forbid none of my girls start crowing, geez!! No transgender hens for me thank you [​IMG]
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I don't know how accurate this is, but The City Chicken mentions St. Louis on their chicken laws page. At least it's a start.

    "St. Louis, MO. You can keep up to four chickens without a permit. If you want to keep more, you must file a permit (cost is $40) with the Health Commissioner."

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