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Posted (edited)

Hi all, 

I’ve been lurking on this forum since 2012 & after 2 children, 2 house moves, a job change & much MUCH research, am finally in a position where my chicken dream looks like it could become a reality. OH is on board, we’ve designed our new build garden to ensure it can accommodate a cube (pref. Mk1) with a walk-in run, & I’ve been in contact with local Pekin bantam breeders (we primarily want them as pets) and feel as clued up as you can ever be before getting new additions!)

As we live in a new build, we have close neighbours on either side & at the back, so out of courtesy spoke to them all last year to make sure they were on board. 3 had no issues, one had a couple of questions re. noise & smell but said not enough to pay heed to the idea, just that they wanted us to be aware. 

From reading on here & researching, it seems that good husbandry should manage most smells, and generally a trio of Pekins shouldn’t be much noisier than 2 under 4s or a family dog; both of which we already have with no complaints 😂

Anyway, since speaking to the neighbours last year, one had now moved & the newbies are very much NOT on board with our chicken idea 😳 we spoke last week & she said they will attract rats (her main issue) smell, be noisy & that she doesn’t want to look out of her bedroom window & see a ‘monstrosity’ (her words) of a coop. Their house is behind ours so our gardens are back to back.

She asked why we can’t just get guinea pigs instead...

Is it all over? Is there anything I can do/say to alleviate her worries?

Should I give it all up & as she suggests just get a trio of cavvies instead?!

Feeling so disheartened now but don’t want to cause a rift with neighbours.

Edited by HappyFeet

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It’s not up to your neighbour. As far as the coop goes - you wouldn’t ask your neighbour if you were going to put a shed / summer house / huge rabbit hutch would you? An Omlet Cube and walk in run isn’t a monstrosity and depending on how you ‘style’ the run can be very attractive. 

Smell - the only time mine ever smell is if I haven’t cleaned them out for ages and it’s been wet for ages (like if I’ve been poorly in the winter or something) - but even then you can only smell them when you’re right by them - if you look after them well that’s DEFINITELY not an issue.

Rats - again, this is down to good husbandry. If you don’t leave food lying around you won’t attract rats. I’m probably lucky but I’m not strict about this and leave food out all night etc and have never had rats.

Noise - you’re right - 3 pekin hens wouldn’t be any noisier than small children or a dog. They’ll usually shout for a few minutes after laying an egg, if something upsets them (pretty rare in my experience) or occasionally have a whiny moan for no reason - but through double glazed windows I doubt your neighbour would hear them.

As long as there’s nothing in the deeds of the house to say you can’t, I would get them anyway - especially as all the other neighbours are ok with it - then if this woman complains you can tell her the things you’ve done to mitigate her concerns and hopefully over time she’ll realise she’s worrying about nothing.

This is why I hate people!

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Posted (edited)

We have Pekins, at one point we had 9 and although we've now dwindled to 4 due to old age and a couple of unexplained sudden losses over the years the noise issue is minimal compared to dogs and other domestic noise like lawnmowers etc. I'd echo everything everyone else has said re rats, smell etc and maybe if you registered your birds at the vet, that strengthens the fact that they are pets and not livestock … we currently have 3 newcomers, full sized monsters in comparison (blacktail, skye rock and black chestnut rock) in isolation so it will be interesting to see if they're more vocal than the Pekins but I really hope you fulfil your dream and in time, the neighbour won't even notice they're around :-)

Edited by wez

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On 6/30/2019 at 8:17 AM, HappyFeet said:

Anyway, since speaking to the neighbours last year, one had now moved & the newbies are very much NOT on board with our chicken idea 😳 we spoke last week & she said they will attract rats (her main issue) smell, be noisy & that she doesn’t want to look out of her bedroom window & see a ‘monstrosity’ (her words) of a coop. Their house is behind ours so our gardens are back to back.

 

What absolute follicles ! Aren't they just little rays of love and sunshine?

1. I have had chickens (roughly 15 bantams) in this house since i moved in - I have never had rats here, or in any place I've had them before, but then I have 2 lurchers and a hunting cat! The only time we had rats was on my gradndparents' farm/smallholding and that was because of the stream which ran through the property. As you say, good husbandry, and perhaps some bait boxes under heavy stones (to stop small people prying) will sort it out. You are more likely to get rats form a neighbour leaving food out for the birds, or someone putting food on their compost heap.

2. As I said, I have a sizable flock and there's never any smell; I rake Ground Sanitising Powder through the run litter weekly and clean them out every week> There has never been any discernible pong unless you stand right in the run.

3. Noise.... put it this way; a new neighbour had been in her house for 6 months before she realised that I have chooks, and we have long slim gardens alongside each other. I think that I am more aware of/sensitive to any noise than others  are. I have a weekday lodger and her room has Veluxes backing on to the garden, she says that she rarely hears them.

We have all the youngsters in the street round to see the chooks and learn about them - neighbours get eggs when we have enough to let them... never had any problems.

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I’d get them and ignore the neighbour. It’s not up to her to dictate what is in your garden.  As for rats, yes, I’ve had problems for the last couple of years ( out of10 ) but that was caused by neighbours extending their house and damaging the sewers!  It’s managed by taking in food and water and bait boxes.  They’d still be there even if I didn’t have chickens! 

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