What would you do?

kira782

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 18, 2011
76
2
39
Littleton, Colorado
Before getting my heart totally set on owning chickens I called my city, asked about ordinances involving chickens and was told I could own up to 4 hens as long as the coop was a certain size providing them enough room. Perfect! I only wanted 3 or 4 and the coop I was planning on was bigger than the minimum size! Well now after I've ordered the chicks and started buying coop materials I find out that the person I spoke with failed to mention the coop/run can not be less then 15' away from a neighbors property line, which of course makes where I wanted to build it against city ordinances. The only places in my yard that would provide the needed shade in the summer and sun in the winter are all along our fence line and there isn't rally any other practical place in our yard for them. The fence is short chain link so the neighbor would obviously notice they are there but on the flip side she has a barking dog which certainly gets within 15' of the fence. I should also add the the coop will be insulated for warmth but we are also assuming it will help at least a little as far as sound goes. What would you do? Build in the original place and hope you never have any problems or complaints or scrap the chicken idea completely?
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Do any of you own illegally placed chickens and had anyone problems?
 

abooth

Songster
10 Years
Apr 20, 2009
251
1
129
Bourbon County Kentucky
Don't give uo! Maybe you could make it so you could move it around. Put wheels on it or make it in small pieces you could carry. Put it where you want and if they try to close you down you could simply move to the legal area until things blow over. If your neighbor is not the one complaining you could eventually move it back to the place you like. Thats what I'd do. Build light these things get heavy quick!
 

ruger22mama

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 23, 2011
14
0
22
Kansas City
We lucked out so our girls are legal, but bear in mind that if her dog is that close to the fence, you may want to move your coop site anyway. I'm sure you would hate to build it and then have to disassemble & move it! Trust me, animal control and the other powers-that-be aren't going to side with the "chicken people" should your illegal coop be reported. Better to avoid that mess altogether.

Also, if her dog is barking and stressing out your birds, that can lead to decreased egg production. Since your flock is small (as is mine) consider doing what is best for your birds' well being; it will only pay off in the long run.
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bryan99705

Songster
9 Years
May 16, 2011
1,509
39
194
North Pole, Alaska 99705
Go with a chicken tractor and insulate one wall and keep it facing outward so it helps block noise both ways. You can move it around and if it winds up too close to the fence, blame it on your other half or that you moved it to mow and forgot to move it back. Sneaky, huh

Following Abooth's advise, keep it light as possible, rig it like a wheel barrow and that way when the snow gets too deep, you can strap on a ski
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I would not be too worried about cold as chicken are tougher than some give them credit and you need good ventilation both summer and winter. Do your chicken tractor research and along with some cool designs, maybe you can camoflage it as a tool shed or mother-in-law apartment. Good luck
 

allpeepedout

Songster
8 Years
Mar 2, 2011
519
23
131
Southern Indiana
I think it's better to find a legal solution instead of putting your neighbor in an uncomfortable position. Maybe call the planning department and ask them to help. Would they grant you a variance, for example, given the constraints regarding shade/sun and if your neighbor agrees to the slightly closer location?

Or find a physical solution, per tractor suggestions. For summer, cover the run and south side of coop with shade cloth and maximize ventilation, maybe with two or three open (hardware cloth) sides / run a fan like people do for stalled horses? For winter, close up some vents and let insulation do its job. Add a windbreak? Fast growing vegetation?
 
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kira782

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 18, 2011
76
2
39
Littleton, Colorado
I just talked to my hubby who suggested we build up and have a coop on stilts 15' over the property line. He also didn't care for the "blaming the tractor being too close to the fence on him" although I thought it was a great idea. I'm not sure a tractor would work for us unfortunately as we're not going to be able to let them free range as our perimeter fence it too low and the last thing I want are the chickens in a neighbors yard or in the street. I'll give the city planner a call and see if there is anything they can do to help us out (I'm not going to place all my hopes on that), otherwise I think Project Chickens 2011 will have to be scratched, we simply don't have any other area away from the fence that will work.
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Thanks all for your suggestions!
 

WoodlandWoman

Crowing
12 Years
May 8, 2007
5,717
78
283
Wisconsin
Chickens are pretty adaptable. If you take more time, I'm sure you could work out a design that would work for the chickens.

Unless they live in a cave, they're going to get a certain amount of ambient outdoor light, even if they don't have full sun.

I don't think their need for shade will be nearly the problem for you that it is for someone in the deep south or the southwest. It just doesn't get as hot where you are and you don't have the humidity issues that make heat more dangerous. You can provide shade for the run with a roof. Lots of people do that. You can also add some vines or other plantings for additional shade, if you build a stationary coop.

I would look at your site and think about ways to make it work, if you really want chickens. If you want to, you can post pictures of your yard and people would be happy to give you ideas on designs and placements that they think would work the best for the chickens. A lot of the time, the first plan people have for their chickens, isn't the one they end up going with.
 

MANNA-PRO

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