Transitioning from roofed to roofless run

K0k0shka

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Jul 24, 2019
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Thanks for the update! It's too bad more people haven't bothered to actually read your posts before adding 'clutter' to this thread. And I really hope things work out in your favor, this is a miserable experience for you, totally thanks to one idiot neighbor, not to mention certain officials who are trying to please everyone, which usually can't be done.
All the best,
Mary
Thank you! It's amazing how one single person has managed to upset the lives of so many. And all that just for 5 chickens. But if all works out and the revisions are indeed passed, then he will have achieved the opposite of what he spent half a year trying to do. The satisfaction of knowing that will be enough to counter the trauma of the past half a year for me! 😈
 

K0k0shka

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What a quagmire this neighbor has caused . I hope the town board has the guts to pass the new ordinance and end this once and for all . Seems nowadays the inmates are running the asylum . Keep us updated and here's hoping for a good outcome for you KokOshka :fl
Thanks! I'll post updates when I have any developments.

For now, the only update is that 2/3 of the roof is gone. It's been raining non-stop for the past couple of weeks, which is slowing things down. But I'm not exactly breaking my back to rush this. I can use the rain as an excuse and drag it out. The chickens had never felt rain before, and now live entirely in that dry 1/3 of the run during the day. If they happen to step outside of the dry zone, they shake themselves like they've been fouled with flying poop :lol: And it's not hard rain either, it's just drizzling lightly non-stop. Spoiled brats. Another change I've noticed is that they now have a much better view overhead. The roofing was clear, but still, with the corrugation there was enough blur and distortion that they could only make out the shadows of birds flying over. Now they can see everything clearly and have been getting spooked by birds and squirrels flying overhead. They are 27 weeks old and I'm still waiting for the first egg, so whenever I hear the alarm I rush out there all excited, only to find them staring up yelling at some non-existent threat... 😒 It will be an adjustment. What I'll miss the most, personally, from the roof, would be dry feet. I like sitting in my low beach chair with chickens in my lap, and I really enjoyed their perfectly dry, clean feet. Now they'll be tracking wet stuff on me. Ugh. I'm picking up a truckful of wood chips on Sunday to dump in the run, hopefully that will help.
 

countryladyNH

Songster
Feb 22, 2016
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OP here. The run build was approved one year ago - last fall - by two town officials, but the trouble is that it was approved verbally over the phone, with no evidence. Now one of those officials (the head of the building department who calls the shots) has gone back on his word and is saying the roof is not okay and he never said it was (WTF); the other guy still says it's fine. First guy outranks him so it's whatever he says. He says I should've asked for his approval in writing, so I have evidence. I didn't realize I needed that, but I guess you can't trust anything and anybody (and I never will again). Like I've said before, this is a gray area in the law because of the ambiguous nature of the run (is it a fence? a building? a pen? how is it classified?) It's up to said guy to interpret the law and decide how to apply it. So I can probably get a lawyer and spend a whole bunch of money, but at the end of the day, I probably won't achieve anything because there is no specific law to be enforced here, it's a matter of interpretation. So that's where we are right now. I've been fighting this for half a year, it's not like I'm passively letting it happen. It's just that I've exhausted all avenues and am left with what seems like the only option left - to take the roof off.

I'm fighting this on multiple fronts, the roof is just the building department side of it. There's a whole other fight with the health department and a very old and ambiguous law that requires 150-foot setbacks for animals housed outside. It was meant for large barn animals like cows and horses, and the town added an exception for chickens a few years ago. However, the exception was very poorly worded and doesn't hold up in court. My neighbor knows this, hired a lawyer and has been pushing hard for the town to enforce the rule and take my chickens away. To please both sides, the town issued me a corrections order for the violation of the 150-foot rule, with the understanding that they will revise the rules to make it explicitly clear that chickens are not to be regulated, and will pass the revisions before the order's deadline, thus making the order null. Several departments have been working together all summer to craft a new version of the rules and rewrite everything regarding animals in the town, to avoid this from happening to other people. I'm actually very grateful that they are taking the time and resources to do this (all spurred by my case), in a year when they also have COVID to deal with. The only problem is that my deadline is November 3rd (as if that day wasn't ominous enough already), and they haven't voted yet because the lawyer on the case is taking too long crafting the language. He wants to avoid any potential loopholes, like the one that spurred the case. Which is great, but I'm running out of time. So now I have 3 options: 1) hope they can give me an extension, which they're looking into doing, 2) give my chickens to somebody else to house temporarily, or 3) bring the chickens into my basement while I wait for the vote. I don't have 150 feet to spare, so there's nowhere else on my property they can go but inside the house, where the setback rule can't reach them. All of this is ridiculous given that the town's intent is to pass the revisions and make all this unnecessary. But the timing sucks. And now instead of carving pumpkins with my kids, I may need to spend the next few days clearing out the basement as emergency shelter for 5 measly pullets that have gotten the whole town tied in a knot...
We are just so very sorry you have to deal with all of this. We just love our chickens, and know how you must feel. The poor kids---They must love them too and this must be hard on them as well. (BTW, we sadly know exactly how you feel about not trusting anyone). Well, we for one will stop giving advice and only say that we hope that all this gets resolved soon and that your chickens can then be back permanently in their beautiful home. We hope that when you hear anything you will post an update here. Sending all good thoughts.
 

hfchristy

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Apr 10, 2012
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How is the run attached to the coop? Friends had an issue a couple of years back because the lake their cottage was in had its flood plain map changed and suddenly their house extended into it. Or, at least, their deck did.
They spent an absurd amount of money disconnecting the deck from the house and making it a free-standing structure, but when it was all said and done, the BUILDING was no longer extending into the floodplain.
 

K0k0shka

Crowing
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Jul 24, 2019
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We are just so very sorry you have to deal with all of this. We just love our chickens, and know how you must feel. The poor kids---They must love them too and this must be hard on them as well. (BTW, we sadly know exactly how you feel about not trusting anyone). Well, we for one will stop giving advice and only say that we hope that all this gets resolved soon and that your chickens can then be back permanently in their beautiful home. We hope that when you hear anything you will post an update here. Sending all good thoughts.
Thanks! I really do appreciate the outpouring of sympathy on this thread. It makes me feel better. The kids are too young to grasp or care about the drama in all this... They think having the chickens in the basement would be a blast and want to just keep them there forever :he:lol: To them, it would be fun, sure, but for me, who will need to clear out room among the basement clutter for them, fence it off and prep it, and then sanitize the crap out of everything after they move out so we can have a poop-free basement again... Not so fun.
 

K0k0shka

Crowing
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Jul 24, 2019
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How is the run attached to the coop? Friends had an issue a couple of years back because the lake their cottage was in had its flood plain map changed and suddenly their house extended into it. Or, at least, their deck did.
They spent an absurd amount of money disconnecting the deck from the house and making it a free-standing structure, but when it was all said and done, the BUILDING was no longer extending into the floodplain.
The attachment type doesn't matter. I moved the coop back and now it's in compliance with zoning. It's just the run that this is all about now, and the run, apparently, can't be within 8 feet of the line if it's gonna have a roof.
 

NatJ

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Mar 20, 2017
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clear out room among the basement clutter for them, fence it off and prep it, and then sanitize the crap out of everything after they move out so we can have a poop-free basement again
When I've brooded chicks in a garage (concrete floor), I found it worked well to put down a tarp (waterproof), then large flat cardboard, then bedding on top of that.

I used a variety of dog-kennel panels, pieces of chicken wire, and cardboard boxes to make sides and a top, keeping the chicks in their own area of the garage. Because the garage itself provided protection from predators and weather, I could get away with something that would never be adequate outdoors.

My chicks got dust all over everything in the garage, but the actual droppings mostly stayed inside their area. Of course, adult chickens scratch much more vigorously than chicks, so they would probably make more mess.

I hope it goes well for you, and gets resolved quickly!
 

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