Grumpy Neighbors

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by wjoerob, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. wjoerob

    wjoerob Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    We've had one every place we've lived (6 different addresses around the same town in 27 years). And NO, it's not US! The latest we haven't even moved in yet. I introduced myself, shook hands, and the lady said, "I hear you're going to be puttting goats in right beside me." I said, "Well, no, they're sheep." She said, "Oh, even worse -- dirty, and smelly." I said, "Well, they're small sheep (Shetlands) and only 10 of them, plus 2 llamas." She said, "Well I hope when the creek floods (once or twice a year) their waste doesn't wash up in my yard." (It won't, but somebody said I should have told her "No charge for the fertilizer.") We bought 20 acres because 4 1/2 acres had neighbors too close, and before that .87 acre and farmer wouldn't sell us any that surrounded us. Before that lived on a lot 32 feet wide in town, don't know how we did it. We've had at least one grumpy neighbor at each place. My conclusion: you don't control any land unless you own it, and even then it can be a challenge!
  2. CarlaWVgal

    CarlaWVgal Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Wild, Wonderful WV
    You should have told her you were putting in hogs :D Then practiced your "hog call" right in front of her " here suey, suey, SUEEEEYYYY" lol

    I guess I'm lucky, get along with my neighbors great, except one, and they just keep to themselves, so it's not a problem. Hope she doesn't give you a hard time once you move in.


  3. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

    Jun 8, 2004
    Yep, when the new neighbor is grumpy before you even move know it's not you!

    I was really lucky with my neighbors when I moved out here last year. I even had one stop by and say how pleased they were that this old homestead is being put back to it's proper use, and how they enjoyed hearing the roosters and goats. How pretty the Nubians look in the pasture. Needless to say, they went home with eggs and homemade jelly!

    I hope things improve for you. You've gotten to start at the bottom, so things can't get too much worse!
  4. Snugglebunny

    Snugglebunny Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2004
    Meg - I think you got the right idea, even if the neighbors are grumpy - Kill 'em with Kindness, right?

    That's what I suggest - and to make sure her complaints aren't valid. She has a proper concern - some farmers aren't very careful, and might allow such a thing to happen. So, be sure to keep good care of the animal waste so she doesn't have a reason to complain (or much of one anyway) - then surprise her with a dozen fresh eggs, cookies, bread, or some other homemade treat.

    At least then, if she's still grumpy, you can rest easy knowing you didn't do anything wrong, and indeed, you did all you could to win her heart.
  5. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 17, 2003
    Hey Snugglebunny, you said:

    "So, be sure to keep good care of the animal waste so she doesn't have a reason to complain". That is sort of ridiculous isn't it, how do you keep good care of animal waste? What are they supposed to do, diaper the sheep or follow them around the pasture with a Super Duper Pooper Scooper at the ready? Animals eat, animals dump waste, fact of life. I can't think of anything in a pasture less offensive than a few sheep turds.
  6. Snugglebunny

    Snugglebunny Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2004
    I'm saying... take good care of your animals! That's all I'm saying!

    Her neighbor specifically mentioned the waste going into the creek, then overflowing onto her land during the spring thaw. That's what I was talking about...trying to keep the animals from pooping directly into the creek, or trying to keep the water runoff from fields going directly into the creek. I'm talking about being responsible. As a livestock owner you are responsible for the care of the animal and the animal's waste!

    Not all people feel about livestock poop the way you or I do.

    There's a big difference between a few sheep turds in a field and a creek-full running up and overflowing the banks onto a neighbors yard.
  7. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2004
    I had a neighbor that called the sheriff on me once because bees were on some flowering bushes beside her front porch. There were 2 other people within 1/2 mile that had bee hives, & several wild swarms close by, but mine were the only ones visible from the road. She wanted me to make my bees stay away from her house. The sheriff was a good friend of ours, & he thought it was funny, but I didn't. How did she think I could control where bees go? I never liked the old biddy after that.
  8. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    I agree with snugglebunny, you must make sure your animals waste does not pollute the stream. Maybe your neighbour knows that the stream regularly overflows and has had a less responsible neighbour before you. She may have already gone through the mess and was just asking you to do right for her and the environment.
  9. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

    Dec 13, 2003
    Floyd County, VA
    I got new neighbors in behind me last week and have been afraid of this. It is a fancy place - 3 wooded acres with a 2000 sq ft house with pool, pickleball court, wrap around decks, etc. A local mill worker and his wife lived there and built the place, they were great neighbors. It sold for a quarter million!!! Only one like it around here.

    Well yesterday was nice so I was out checking my place for standing water after the heavy rains we had been having and heard crashing around next door. I went to the fence and 30 ft away is my new neighbor flailing at some salaal in his woods - no real pattern just lopping stuff off and throwing it around.

    I called hello 4 times and I know he saw me because he looked right at me but totally ignored me! He looked really unhappy so I left. Then a woman came out and I heard her say - you aren't having a good time are you? Geesh. My worst fears - city folk wanting to clean up their dirty forest and hating every minute of it, let alone plain rude. Why in the world did they buy that place???? They turn left at a salvage yard and go down a gravel road that borders my property to get to it, it's not like they can expect a city environment!!!

    I worry about what will happen next. I had gotten a house warming card and was going to go over with that and a dozen eggs, but now have second thoughts.

    I had a nightmare neighbor in Denver that would rap on the fence to get my dog barking and then call animal control!!!! I had to give away the dog, it was horrible.

    I have a feeling I will soon be posting questions about how to defend my rights to live on my own land, I guess it's the way of the world any more.
  10. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2003
    Sometimes it's a legitimate concern from the neighbors - I only have to look at my own yard during fly season and heave a sigh of relief that I have no direct neighbors -, but sometimes the people are just weird and contrary. Your story reminds me of the mother-daughter pair back in a canyon here in town that I worked for once. They're from California where they both "were poisoned by pesticides and have been deathly sick ever since". Not questioning their history, but then they decided to move to the country (here) where life is so much healthier, right, and promptly battle their new old-time neighbor for getting them sicker by having chickens (those birds must have mites!!, she said) and yet again for using pesticides on the chickens in response to the mite complaint (Mom and I almost died!!, she said)
    Now, these two women have a house that's a filthy, disgusting mess, over-the-door spice racks filled with organic and new-age nutritional supplements from top to bottom, gold wire pyramids that they wear on their heads for healing, etc., and they deliberately chose a country neighborhood outside of California as their new home, but having livestock beyond their fence is just shocking, just SHOCKING, I say! Gimme a break. Oh, and wildlife is ok - they're not worried about flea-infested cottontails at all, or about sick elk or anything like that.

    I'd repeat the advice given above... make sure that you do your part in being a good neighbor and responsible livestock owner, and don't worry too much about unreasonable complaining. If your place is zoned for livestock and your neighbor doesn't like it, she can always move to the city where there's nothing beyond little yappy lapdogs and the occasional escapee pet alligator :)
  11. caryatid

    caryatid Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2003
    I'm a horrible person.
    I've lived here a year, and haven't met my next door neighbor yet.

    As for my other neighbors:

    across the street- has kids the same age as mine. So of course, we were the first ones to meet and exchange numbers. They think we are wonderful becasue we are so laid back. They ignore the tall weeds in our yard (we were caught unprepared for this climate. Next year we will be ready for them!) and we ignore the fact that their dogs loves to occasionally steal our eggs, get into our trash, and their son broke my 2yo son's arm (an accident- boys roughhousing).

    diagional- I met one of them when she came to pick up her 3 kids from my house. She got caught in town (30 minutes away) and couldn't get home in time for the school bus. She called the school and had her kids dropped of here- she didn't have my number, so I had no warning. She moved in 2 weeks ago, knows no one, but our daughters are in the same class. Apparently we are the "Safe House" for them. (I kinda like that idea. :) They used to live next to meth labs...)

    Diagional the other way- We met them when their big black dogs came into our yard and tore a chunk out of my dog. Hubby went over there absolutely livid, but ended up just talking with her for a while. She was mortified, and even said she woulnd't blame us if we had SSS, especially with young kids playing in the yard. We ended up hitting it off- in her book, anyone that owns livestock is "good people".

    I"m very lucky in the fact that somehow I end up with great neighbors...or at least they seem to forgive us for our quirkyness after they meet us. :)

    Landlords however....that's another story...
  12. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 6, 2004
    Michigan's thumb
    I think I'd plant my garden between the neighbor and the sheep, and plant tall flowers along the fenceline. If you practice managed grazing, she shouldn't have anything to complain about. Sheep do not like to get their feet wet, so they should keep away from the creek except for a drink. A few chickens (like four or five for eggs) will help to control flies, and will sratch the manure.

    It is possible that when she sees adorable little lambs frolicking in the spring, her heart will soften. If you butcher the sheep, be sure and send her a couple of pieces.
  13. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Jul 27, 2004
    Oh geez.. I can imagine the reception from my neighbors if I dropped off a "few pieces of sheep!"

    They're not country folks, and might be more than a little horrified!
  14. trickham

    trickham Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    The Lone Star State

    But I thought lamb was supposed to be a delicacy? :haha: :haha:
  15. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    The hubby of a neighbor couple died of a heart attack late last year. The daughter of the surviving widow came to help her mother move in with her, so the house went up for sale. I sure hated to lose those really nice neighbors. :waa:

    The new neighbors had moved in from out of state, spent everything they had just getting the house, and had trouble finding work. :no:

    They are a real likable couple with a young daughter to care for, so I felt compelled to help out. Twice a month, we would go grocery shopping and buy extra. We kept them in groceries for about 6 months or so, until they got back on their feet and caught up on their bills. It also gave us the opportunity to rotate some of our stored emergency foods.

    Too bad our other neighbor isn't as nice as them. :(

  16. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2002
    Well, we have 17 neighbors at the farm. Some we get along with, some we still don't know and some might consider us the grumpy neighbors.

    I ask other people to respect my property and my wishes regarding it and I try to act respectful towards others property.

    It will get kind of interesting as we plan on putting in a line fence along part of our property. Ohio law says the neighbors can't stop us. In fact, Ohio law allows us to force our neighbors to pay for half the cost (as long as we follow the guidelines). I'm leaning against asking them to pay but I need to find out a few more things before starting to contact folks. I have spoken with a couple neighbors and they have no issue with the line fence (did not indicate whether we will ask them to share the cost). If it is just field fencing them I'm thinking about not asking them to pay. If they want something else (one neighbor wants chain link along the 400 feet I share with them...go figure) I may consider it if costs are shared.

    In any event, I have a feeling this may cause some grumpy neighbor issues....particularly the one that I had to call the sheriff on for hunting my posted property (and building tree stands onmy property).

  17. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Feb 24, 2003
    Well for the most part my neighbors leave me the he!! alone,stupid idiots :eek: :D

    Me Grumpy :rolleyes: now why would you think that?

    big rockpile
  18. Mastiff

    Mastiff Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Northern California Mountains
    We these neighbors that were so bad the 5 other neighbors on the road all hated them. Everyone had to drive through their property. Most right in front of their house. They had 6-8 pigs they kept some 15 feet away from their house that they let run loose all day. You had to hold your nose to drive by. Their pigs wandered up here a few times when the dogs were inside.
    Their cow used to wander up here as well...she was real sweet though. Her hubby tried riding their go cart up past our place after we moved in but I put a stop to that. They called the cops on me. I called them on them. Turns out everyone at the sheriff's department hated them. They gave me advice on how to deal with them Because they had been called by both sides out here many times.
    We got an extra good deal on this place because there was another easement battle with them. We have three easements on their land. They violated a court order to keep them from blocking easements and the DA took them to court and we won.
    They had pretty much intimidated everyone else in the neighborhood. All the rest of the neighbors immediately liked us because we were not going to be intimidated. I told them that flat out the first time we had trouble with them. Their yard was pilled with trash. Their kids all ran around barefoot in the pig turds and trash.
    All us other neighbors would be out working on the road together putting in culverts and working on ditches and I would walk away they would be out yelling and trying to start trouble. Out would come the sheriff's to try and calm things down.
    They are about 1/4 mile from down us but that was to close.
    I have not even come close to describing all the problems with them.
    I was seriously going to get the domain name neighborsfromhe(ll).com

    They split up and he moved out - she got rid of the pigs - and the sweet cow... she has actually turned into a fairly nice person and everything is peaceful now. But now she has been trying to sell so we get worried what if we get someone like that again.

    Everywhere I have lived in the mountains, it sure seems that you always get to know your neighbors much better than in the city. Most of the time it is good but when you get a bad one!!!
  19. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    My nearest neighbor is over 3/4 of a mile away thank goodness. That is waaay too close for my tastes but those are the breaks. I really only have 4 close neighbors. I have one neighbor who doesn't keep up his fences and his cows get out into my timber quite a bit and one other neighbor about a mile away tends to forget where his fence is during hunting season. Other than that I don't have any trouble with neighbors. I would be happy if my nearest neighbors were 30 or 60 miles away but that is the hermit in me talking. I lived in a town of 13,000 for a while for work and I can't express how much I hated it. I also had short term stays in metro areas and I was incredibly unhappy. I simply could not live in a big city. I would go crazy. I hated the filth, I hated the crowds, I hated most of the people I met, I hated the noise and about everything else. I did enjoy the libraries, museums, symphonies and opera. Yeah I'm a hillbilly who likes classical music and opera. That and some of the restaurants were really good.
  20. Canadian

    Canadian Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    You should have pointed out that they are a Green way to mow and fertilize the lawn and offered her their service. :haha: