Chickens in an urban/rural area..Opinions?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by The Funny Farm, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. The Funny Farm

    The Funny Farm Active Member

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    I would really like it if you would all give me your opinion on this. We just built a small, very neat chicken coop to house 4 or 5 laying hens so we can have fresh eggs. I plan on planting flowers out in front of it for camoflage so it won't be obvious from the road. My father, who lives in the house behind ours, is literally pitching a fit about this! Ranting and raving about working his whole life to have a nice home and yard and now we have the audacity to do "THIS". :no: You would think from all the carrying on that we planned to raise hogs in the living room or something. I asked the only close neighbors if it would annoy them and they just laughed and said no. Is there really something wrong with me just because I like having chickens around? OK... Rant off...please tell me
    I'm not the crazy one here... :eek: :waa: :waa: :waa: :waa: Kathy
     
  2. Annie in S.E. Ohio

    Annie in S.E. Ohio Active Member

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    Your father is really overreacting! If you plan on keeping just laying hens there won't even be any noise from the hens, just soft clucking after they lay an egg! It's the roosters only that crow, not hens.

    If you keep the bedding ( baled pine shavings are the easiest to get in non-rural locations, you can even get them at Wally World cheap) changed, there won't be any smell at all.

    70 years ago everyone, even in towns, kept laying hens and even a milk cow to provide fresh, cheap eggs and milk. In the small town of Davis, WV where my grandmother lives there are the old chicken houses and small barns that housed the cow still remaining after all these years, most were torn down, but the better built ones still remain. They were always at the rear of even the smallest lots, by the alley. The local feed stores made deliveries right to your barn/coop with your feed every week or so, as very few people had pickups back then, you know, back in the days of the milkman.

    After your Dad tries the fresh eggs maybe he will calm down some and change his mind about the hens!

    Be sure to feed your hens fresh picked greens from your yard (make sure it's not from a chemically treated area!) and garden/flowerbeds everyday, they will eat most anything that's not garlic or onion, and it helps cut down on the feed bill.
     

  3. VAkat

    VAkat Member

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    We rescued a few old hens, they were 7 years old. Built them a little coop for them to live out their golden years..or what was left. We just have a half acre lot (for now). They were used to being free range, but their elderly owner had to go into a nursing home & no way could they do that here (though I would have rather they did).
    Anyhoo, one was a big black bird with a huge wattle & comb. Must have been a cross. Two years after getting them my neighbor finally came over & asked me when it was going to crow (waiting to complain!!!). I could hear her thinking "Gosh dern it KAT, just let hear one of your nasty old birds crow! I can't wait any longer! Just can't take it! I'm choppin' at the bit to call the cops on sumptin'!!! I'm coming over!" hahahaha I told her the story, she liked the idea that they were hens & I caught her feeding them cheese after that. We actually got friendly.
    Longer story short, since we got the girls (both since passed on) 4 other families on my block have them now. There are more veggie gardens too. It was almost like no one ever thought of it before. Yeah, you can live a little back to nature on a very tiny lot.
    I agree, he's over reacting. I covered the bottom of my caged area in lattice (around the chicken wire). It looked cute.
    KAT
     
  4. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    Actualy its the new yuppy faze. People are spending thousands of dollars on fancy ready built little chicken coops. I think even martha stewart did a piece on backyard birds. Tell your father in law he is way behind the times. When I lived in town I had a couple hens and two dwarf goats and the neighbors were great, most didnt even know they were there.
     
  5. The Funny Farm

    The Funny Farm Active Member

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    Thanks you all, I've been thinking this over so much that I started wondering if maybe I AM DOING something weird. Even though we aren't exactly out in the country anymore, this is WV and no place here is very far from the woods so to speak. I miss all my animals I used to have when we lived farther out. (Goats and rabbits and chickens). Having just those few chickens is important to me because I'm feeling like a duck out of water here anyway. Even my mother would LOVE to have a few hens behind her house for the fresh eggs and both of us are wanting to grow organic veggies for the freezer. Thanks for making me feel like I'm not doing something outrageous here!!!!! :) Kathy- who doesn't live up a holler anymore :no:
     
  6. Ana Bluebird

    Ana Bluebird Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The problem will be neighbor's dogs killing your chickens. They do manage to get in. My area is quickly turning into 5 acres and two big dogs, new developments going in all over the place. Guess I'll have to look for land farther out--the city is coming to get me!
     
  7. The Funny Farm

    The Funny Farm Active Member

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    Ana,
    I thought about that too, the dog issue- The pen is done in chain link and thankfully we don't have many dogs around (knock on wood). Also, I can keep an eye on it from one of my bedroom windows. We'll just have to see how it goes. I'm really hopeful it all works out ok!!
     
  8. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

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    You'll still want to clip one of their wings or put a netting on top of the chain link fence. You might be surprised how high a chicken can fly. Ours will roost in the plum tree during the warm weather - the lowest branch is at least 5' high.

    My biddies in town were contained on my half acre with a 4' chainlink. They didn't get out often, but they did occasionally.
     
  9. The Funny Farm

    The Funny Farm Active Member

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    Hi Cyndi,
    The pen is made so the house and feed storage area is like a roof over the run area so that the whole thing is covered. Some chickens will fly pretty good even with one wing clipped!! My very first chickens were some lightweight game hens.We clipped a wing on them and let them go out, worked good for a week or so then we noticed them trying to fly...pretty soon they had figured out how to get in the trees even with that one clipped wing. My poor hubby had to wait for dark one night and skinned the tree and handed them down to me. After that I just fed them at night and they seemed happy to come on in. Where I'm at now, it's not going to be possible for them to run loose because of neighbors (mainly my dad :haha: ) He's not taking this well at all so I doubt if chickens on the lawn would help win him over!! :haha: :haha: :haha: :D
     
  10. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Kathy, are you allowed by law to have the chickens? If so, don't worry about the neighbors or relatives. The only problem we can see is the noise they make. Our 9 hens are very noisy with their chickens sounds. Sometimes we can't believe the noises we hear are coming from them. Our chickens are so fun. We used to take our lunch out to their coop and eat near them. They are so fun to watch.
     
  11. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

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    Can you spray them pink and call them flamingos??? :haha: :haha:

    Good Luck!
     
  12. The Funny Farm

    The Funny Farm Active Member

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    Hank and Narita,
    Sorry for taking so long to answer you!! Got busy with kids and other things. Yes, we are allowed to have any kind of livestock here with no restrictions. There are other chickens and rabbits and even a few goats within a mile of me. I just don't see what all the fuss is about since you read about yuppies having them right in town. And they think its cool to have fresh eggs. Does this make me a yuppy too?? :haha: :haha: :D :D :eek:
     
  13. Nan(TX)

    Nan(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kathy, and welcome to the wonderful world of chickens. We would love to see you (all ) over at the poultry forum. In my opinion (since you already have poultry in the area) this may be more of a control issue than a chicken one. How would your Dad take it if you gave him restrictions on what he could and could not have on his property? If it were me to belay his concerns I would ask him what he fears and or dislikes about your chickens. This way you can explain your reasons for having them in a non confrontational manner.
    Good luck Nan.

    For those who are interested on how to clip wings here’s a link.

    http://www.backyardchickens.com/LC-wingclipping.html
     
  14. Gercarson

    Gercarson Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What most people don't know is - often (not always) you will be allowed to keep up to a dozen hens (hens only) "in town" with the appropriate accomodations. It's like having a still - you are allowed to make just so much for your own comsumption - here it's eggs. It is a comfort to know whether or not you'll be able to legally keep your chickens so I suggest you do a little research.
     
  15. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    There is no question that poultry make noise. Sounds like that (or having the birds too close to someone else's (your parent's?) property would be the only valid avenues of complaint. Go to the poultry forum by all means, and there are other forums they can steer you to as well.

    Obviously you'd be crazy to chance having roosters. Beyond that I think you ought to research which hens are quietest, print the research out and keep it so that if there are any complaints you can demonstrate that you made a special effort to go beyond what was strictly necessary in reducing noise.

    And yes - for heaven's sake calmly get a statement from your father about why it concerns him that you'll be getting pets (call them pets).
     
  16. The Funny Farm

    The Funny Farm Active Member

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    Good morning folks,
    I don't know if I posted this before or not, but my fathers main complaint is that it is "tacky" or "low class" to have chickens ANYWHERE but a bonafide farm setting. He seems genuinely embarrassed that one of his offspring would even consider such a thing. It's true that he and I are just pretty much polar- opposites in every way. I just feel that if you are going to eat eggs and/or chicken, you shouldn't have a problem with caring for the animal it comes from.
    He has a very weak stomach, maybe thats part of the problem. I really think its more of a pride issue than anything else. (He has a few really odd ideas about life and living) :rolleyes: Oh well..... onward and forward I go......if he takes my head off I'll be sure to post the juicy details here for your amusement!!! :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:
     
  17. Qvrfullmidwife

    Qvrfullmidwife Well-Known Member

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    Be aware that it may be legal as per city ordinance, but not allowed due to a neighborhood's deed restrictions.
     
  18. Nan(TX)

    Nan(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Look there is no reason for your father to worry unless you start exhibiting some of the symptoms on this list.

    I myself have 2, 3, 8, 11, 12, 18, 20, and 28.

    Signs you just might be a Red Neck...
    You take your dog for a walk and you both use the same tree.

    02. You can entertain yourself for more than an hour with a fly
    swatter.

    03. Your boat has not left the driveway in 15 years.

    04. The Salvation Army declines your mattress.

    05. You offer to give someone the shirt off your back and they don't want
    it.

    06. You have the local taxidermist on speed dial.

    07. You come back from the dump with more than you took.

    08. Your grandmother has "Ammo" on her Christmas list.

    09. You think a subdivision is part of a math problem.

    10. You've been involved in a custody fight over a hunting dog.

    11. You know how many bales of hay your car will hold.

    12. You have a rag for a gas cap.

    13. Your house doesn't have curtains but your truck does.

    14. You wonder how service stations keep their restrooms so clean.

    15. You consider your license plate personalized because your father made
    it.

    16. Your lifetime goal is to own a fireworks stand.

    17. You sit on your roof at Christmas time hoping to fill your deer quota.

    18. You have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say CoolWhip on the
    side.

    19. The biggest city you've ever been to is Walmart.

    20. You've used your ironing board as a buffet table.

    21. You think a quarter horse is that ride in front of K-Mart.

    22. Your neighbors think you're a detective because a cop always brings you
    home.

    23. You missed 5th grade graduation because you had jury duty.

    24. You think fast food is hitting a deer at 65

    25 You think a stock tip is advice on worming your chickens

    26 Your home has more miles on it than your car.

    27 Your only condiment on the dining room table is the economy size bottle of ketchup.

    28 More than one living relative is named after a southern Civil War general.
     
  19. The Funny Farm

    The Funny Farm Active Member

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    Nan!!!!!

    BWAAHAAAHAAA!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
    A lot of those fit me !!! Guess you confirmed what I always knew anyway...... I'm a tacky hick!!! :D :D :D Did you come up with all those or did you read them somewhere else?? They're funny!! Thanks for making me feel better, Kathy
     
  20. Nan(TX)

    Nan(TX) Well-Known Member

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    I looked them up on Google. :haha: