The predators are really my neighbors, but...


10 Years
Mar 7, 2009
where chickens dare to tread..
So to preface:

We live in upstate NY. Very woodsy, rural.

We have grump neighbors. The kind who complain about everything. But expect no complaints in return. (They blast music at all hours... drop off their young daughter here for babysitting without payment or thanks, etc.) They like a perfect yard, but NOT animals. Not sure why they're living on the Appalachian Trail.

We recently bought a composter. The Organic Choice kind? It's near their fence line. Last week, the neighbor called to complain because their motion/light sensors in their yard were going off at night. She said she was smelling skunk too, and she thought that it was because of raccoons/skunks in their yard heading toward our coop. Then she claimed they hired a trapper who said the same. Now... I didn't mention they feed two stray cats who might be setting off the light sensors. (Or why not use shades on their windows? Or shut off the sensors, for goodness sake?) But I said our composter was more likely the problem, since we just put it in and the chickens had been there for months. So I gave the composter away to make her happy, despite the fact we'd spent $80 on it two weeks ago.

She called again today, to say she still smelled skunk and that we need to get rid of our chickens. Now. She was ticked.

The chickens have been there since April. Would skunks all of the sudden be interested night after night? Our coop is Fort Knox; they'll never get in there. If it is indeed the coop the skunks are into, will they give up eventually?

And more importantly... if we don't smell skunk in our yard in the morning, how can it be our coop that's causing her annoyance?

Ok. Rant done. Really what I need is info on skunks and chickens. And on annoying neighbors. I'm so stressed out. She's the type to call the cops, CPS, etc to get what she wants. (She's done so to our neighbors because she hates their barking dog.)

Thanks for reading this ridiculously long email.
There always seems to be one in every neighborhood, or in your case, your rural "neighborhood". I have one of those too, no matter what you do, they will never be happy. It seems that all they enjoy in life, is to make others lives miserable, just like they are!
I hope you get to the bottom of their complaining. I can understand how upset you must be.
We have a skunk that digs up our yard, but nowhere near the chickens. I can't really see how a skunk would be attracted to chickens? But I can see a skunk being attracted to cat food left out for stray cats......

Sorry you're neighbors are such jerks, but as long as you are allowed to have chickens where you live there isn't anything they can do to make you get rid of them.

Edit: so after reading this, I guess they can be attracted to chickens, but if there's no skunk smell in your yard, it's probably something in their yard they are after.
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Check your local zoning codes. Are you allowed to have chickens? If so, ignore her. If not, then you probably will have to bow to her demands. You should not have gotten rid of your composter. There are no ordinances against them that I know of. By getting rid of that when she complained, she feels that she has the upper hand and will push it for all it's worth. Some neighbors just HAVE TO complain...about everything...about everyone...about it all. These people are also of the mindset that if they complain long and loudly enough then they will get their way. Unfortunately, they are right because the rest of us get tired and worn down listening to them, and just give in to shut them up.

I hope it works out for you. I'd tell her to go bother someone else, but that's just me. I had neighbors just like that in my old neighborhood. Boy, I don't miss them.
I wouldn't have gotten rid of the composter. If you set precidence then she will keep going until you have a nice manicured lawn like she wants it to be. It sounds like she is a bully and is used to getting what she wants. I'd stop taking her calls and ignore her. Make sure you are lawfully keeping the right amount of chickens.
Wow, that would be the day my neighbor tells ME what to do with MY chickens..... She sounds like a real winner. Thankfully I have great neighbors even though we are struggling with them keeping their LGD in their yard. She likes to come over and herd the chickens around. She is only 5 mths old so when I see her out there I call her over and talk to her and let her sniff the chickens. She always goes home smelling to high heaven like stinky chicken mud from all the rain! She's never white when she leaves here LOL! She's never offered to hurt them and I would rather her learn to respect them and watch them as a good LGD should.
They are really nice people though

Sorry about your stinky neighbors.
if you are legal to have chickens, then tell her to pound sand. stop babysitting her kid immediately too. you really need to nip this one quickly. and if it were me, and legal to have chickens....i would get more of them! you can put your compost anywhere you darn well please on your property. you taking it out to please her has only fueled her feeling of dominance. time to knock her down a few pegs.

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