Added stress from neighbours wanting to keep chickens

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brat17

MyPTSD Pro
Saturday my neighbor approached me while I was out in my yard. Our back yards but up against each other and my pool is just a few feet from my fence. She told me that she intended to build a chicken coop in her yard but discovered that she needed special permission regarding zoning int he city and that someone would come and talk to us when the covid is under control. I was taken back and didn't know how to respond or even how I felt about it. She said she has 6 chicks in her garage awaiting approval. Mind you, 25 yrs in this house and never a squabble with any neighbor. Its been great. I began researching backyard coops and did not like what I found. With the covid, I have little to look forward to but our pool this summer. Mind you, our lots are 50 ft wide. She said she has been keeping them in her garage awaiting approval. Once approved, will build a coop for free range chickens, assuming me there are no roosters. Today, she had them all out with her 3 children with chicken wire wrapped around their swing set. Meanwhile, over the weekend I researched issues. One of them being stitch, cackling hens, attracting rodents, etc. My husband and I discussed and agreed we do not want this, particularly since our paradis (pool ) would be no more that 15 ft away from coop. Today when she had them all outside with her children, I could see the attachment. I felt like the old witch that is going to stop this. Then I realized what an unresponsible parent she is to get them and let her children attach before getting special permission. I sure hope that I don't have a barnyard next to my home, just 8 ft from my kitchen window. With the covid, we have so little to look forward to, but this would ruin our summer completely during more isolation. I hate opposing this but its a residential area, and today they were running thru the yard and off the ground a few times. She also assured that there were not roosters.( internet says that you cant tell sex as babies) and one of her children insisted that her chhick is a rooster. The kids have been coached as to what to say but the little girl was telling the truth. Has me so stressed.
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
Well there's always the chance she will drop the plannings.

Or kids get bored.
Or kids decide they don't like / want chickens anyway, anymore.

Maybe a long way to go until the summer and just because it looks that's what she's up to, now? Doesn't mean it will follow through full.

How agreeable is she to a discussion about anything?

And if your husband is less unnerved by her efforts, could he have a chat with her on both of you behalf?
 

Friday

Moderator
but this would ruin our summer completely
This is the one piece I would really urge you to challenge.

Especially as all the problems the chickens bring? Are

1) already problems in your life. There’s noise from kids/ cars/ neighbors/ parties/ storms/ etc.; and rodents attracted to bird feeders, & kitchen compost, & garbage cans, & water sources; wild animals who -unlike pets, won’t be given medication when they get sick- and are carrying parasites & disease (and this one, not next door, but in your very own yard).

2) Fairly easily dealt with IF the problem happens enough to impact you in any way. Like a rooster crowing? Against city ordinance to even own a rooster. Report the rooster and it will be taken. Unsanitary conditions? Both animal control & the health department. Et cetera. All potential problems with very straightforward solutions. All in addition to the baseline of being able to present them with any bills you ensue, the same as If one of their kids threw a ball and broke your window. If your kids or pets make a mess on someone else’s property? You pay for it to be remedied.

But even if the above wasn’t true? (And it is! :D)

The helplessness & lack of self confidence (in being able to deal with any problems IF they happen) wrapped up in something -relatively minor- completely ruining your summer? Is heartbreaking. Because that’s rating someone else’s pets as important and influential to you and your life as your husband dying, or getting hit by a car and having your back broken, or your house burning down, or finding a dead kid in your pool, or anything else that would be likely to completely ruin your summer.
 

FauxLiz

Sponsor
She told me that she intended to build a chicken coop in her yard but discovered that she needed special permission regarding zoning int he city and that someone would come and talk to us when the covid is under control.
Okay I have a little bit of experience with this I recommend that you check out your city's zoning ordinance. If she has to get special permission that often times means that she has to get the approval of the property owners on all surrounding sides (check your city's zoning ordinance which should be online) and find out what the requirements are for backyard chickens. Personally, I don't understand the urge for people living in confined spaces of a city setting to want to raise farm animals with little or not care for the impact on adjacent property owners but then I also don't own a dog because I feel it is cruel and inhuman to lock it up inside whether it is in a crate or not for the majority of the day and make it wait until I have time to exercise/walk it. No I am not a vegan or vegetarian a true carnivore here but that doesn't mean I approve of animal cruelty and if your properties are only 50 feet wide her back yard "free range" is an insult to the concept of raising free range animals.
 
Sounds like your neighbour has grand ideas.

I reckon - give her a few more weeks of 'raising those chicks' and the three kids along with it and the chicks will be sent to a better life? :cautious:

And the kids might stay? Dam it. :hilarious: Cos the if it was the other way around - the chicks will never knock on your door to ask if they can swim in your pool - but the kids might?
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I see your stress but I wonder what is the underlying issue? If the issue is you do not want chicken coop in your vicinity and you are given an opportunity to decline a permission, you have the right and even urge other neighbors to follow suit. However, if I were you, I would let her know that I was not keen on this idea so she is not blindsided or surprised. On the flip side is, you may have a disgruntled neighbor which is also painful experience.
I think deal one issue at the time, she asks your permission and you can tell your decision.
ps. I would not add to your stress her parenting skills or her other issues with keeping chicken.
 

Changing4Best

MyPTSD Pro
I would have my husband politely explain that you cannot give permission for personal reasons. Allow no further discussion. Keep it short and sweet. You might be able to get the birds removed now, especially since one is a suspected rooster. That is what I would do.
 
What is the problem with having chooks anyway?
She's only got a few. She's not starting up a farm with 40,000. A few for pets are common here. They don't make noise except when clucking after laying an egg.

The rodents will only go to the food source if it's available. Do you have any food you leave laying around? You could deal with rodents if they come along. Rodents are attracted to date trees over here. We don't ban the trees just sort out the rodents.

I'm not sure why you anticipate any problems. Of all the animals neighbours can keep, chickens are not the loudest.

Dogs bark, cat's jump boundaries, budgies chirp, pigeons coo. I've had a neighbour who had a few orphaned lambs, potty calves, frequently a couple of horses.

Why not wait and see.
 

FauxLiz

Sponsor
What is the problem with having chooks anyway?
Okay again my 2 cents but the problem with chickens is most people that want backyard chickens have zero experience with them, they see the cute chicks on TV, in the store where ever and think oh it would be so great to have fresh eggs. And yes it is great to have fresh eggs right up until the point when the hens stop laying and they do reach an age where they no longer provide eggs. But at that point the family will have a choice of keeping a non-producing hen which defeats the purpose of getting the chicken since most cities limit the number of chickens you can have or they will need to kill it, you can't take a chicken to the humane society and abandon it as if it were an unwanted cat or dog and re-homing is unlikely as well. And if they do kill it, are they going to eat it? At the age it stops laying the hen is not longer considered to be a good source of meat as it will be tough and stringy and the likelyhood that they can stomach the killing, cleaning and processing of the hen which I don't know to many people that weren't raised with the mindset of killing and cleaning their own meat can then well you will have a neighbor that put her kids through getting attached to an animal and then losing it.

But again just my 2 cents take what you want from it and leave the rest.
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you all for your input and support. I really appreciate it. I finally discovered the city ordinance and law. No chickens aloud without permit. She said she applied for permit, the city assured me that she did not. When I told them there was 6 chicks running around (which are pretty big), they said "Oh no, she will get a letter to rid of them immediately). To get a permit, must apply (not during covid) and then neighbors must approve. If even one neighbor opposes, they cant get permit. I am very relieved about that. Ive never had a problem with any neighbors in 25 yrs in my home, but Im almost sure this is going to cause some discord.

Once you give permission for the chicks, they can add more chicks, roosters, not take care of them, and it is an ongoing battle if the permit was allowed in the first place. Thats my big issue. Its not a lets see what happens and if there is problems we can stop it. We would have lost our rights by then. So evidently they will have to get rid of the chickens. I am sorry for the kids because I see that they have attached, but I think that is what she was counting on, my soft heart. Finally, a law that works for us. lol
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
Friday, yes ruining summer is strong words. They have 3 kids and 2 dogs. I have 2 dogs. None of this is a problem. I have talked to people and they say the feathers fly, they stink up the area, my husband works from home and could not even open his window because it would be above these chickens. Its an eyesore. My husband just lost his job after 40 yrs and after 2 months is now working from home for a hospital. He is on conference calls and meetings constantly. The ONLY thing we have to look forward to this summer is our gardening. Our backyard is our retreat. We have not been on vacation for 20 yrs. With the covid, we may not even be able to have guests, we don't know yet. But we do have our little back yard to look forward to. We eat outside almost daily and use the pool daily. Its our only escape. If it smells like crap, or we have chickens hopping the fence, we are not going to want to be outside. The summer could be gone before its resolved. As the law turns out, its better to not give permission because once you do, they dont enforce cleaning, smells, noise, feathers, critters, etc. Also we may sell our house because his employment is and hour and half away. Much harder to sell with chickens out the kitchen window, right off our raised deck. I was feeling panicked. Much harder to fix after allowed. We are doing what is best for us. If quarantine is lifted, will have relatives here, unless it smells bad.
 

Friday

Moderator
I was feeling panicked. Much harder to fix after allowed. We are doing what is best for us. If quarantine is lifted, will have relatives here, unless it smells bad.
Wasn’t saying there aren’t -potential- problems wih city chickens... I was saying to back away from the panic & catastrophizing to right-size those problems.

You lucked out and got your best case scenario. But even if the phone call had resulted in victory-garden legislation being pushed through in your area, like it is in many places, to allow flocks of 20-25 (which is what can feed an average family of 4, 2 eggs per person, per day) for the first 5,000 feet, and 5 chickens per person for every 1,000 feet or household member thereafter? Or that whilst chickens were under ordinance, there was no limit on the number of Chicks & Pullets (hens under 1 year old), so for the next year she could have 6, 60, or 600? Completely legally?

1. You’re absolutely clever enough to have worked out a way to keep your paradis, despite potential or proven problems. I don’t know you that well, but I know that much about you!

2. You may have very good reason to suspect your neighbours of being abusive & neglectful chicken owners, if they abuse and neglect their kids and dogs.... but I also rather think if they DID? You’d have had problems with them before now. And you say you’ve always been on good terms with them. So, more than likely, they’re not irresponsible idiots or malicious villains. Which means a) you could work with them in a neighbourly way on the proximity issue, so that their coop & runs aren’t snugged right up next to you & your property & b) all the horror story problems people post online about abusive & neglectful assholes whose stinking disease ridden filth pits of evil are ruining their enjoyment of their own yards? Not gonna be the people your neighbors are, nor problems you would face. So future tripping to a world where your neighbors are evil, and you’re powerless to do anything but stay locked inside your home, miserable and trapped, by ...chickens? Is a waste of grey hairs!

You’re capable, and the problems are manageable.

Deescalating the panic, catastrophizing, & helplessness.
Right sizing the problem & potential problems.
 
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