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Consider the Neighbors

You don’t need consent from your neighbors to keep chickens. If the rules of the zone you live in allow you to keep poultry, no one can stop you. However, getting the neighbors on board is a very good idea. If they’ve never kept birds themselves, they may be concerned about noise, smell, vermin, and a sense of “there goes the neighborhood!”

Naked Neck and Araucana hens free range
These Naked Neck and Araucana hens might look good to you, but what do the neighbors think?

You can reassure them on all these issues: chickens are a good deal less noisy, and a lot more pleasant, than the everyday sounds of motor cars, aircraft and other people’s music that most streets have to put up with. A well-tended and sizeable run or high quality coop will not generate odours that will reach a neighbor’s sensitive nose; and everyone knows that humans in towns are never more than a few yards away from a rat! If a rat does take up residence under your chicken run, it won’t be taking up residence in the neighbor’s garden, cellar or attic, so what’s not to like?

As for bringing down the local house prices, remind your neighbour that keeping hens is allowed in the local area’s ordinances – i.e. this is a chicken-keeping part of town! Also, keeping hens for eggs is exactly the kind of thing environmentally-friendly, organically-minded, wealthy house-hunters are looking to do themselves. A well-tended coop of backyard birds will actively enhance the neighbourhood.

There is also the prospect of fresh eggs. A few free ones will sweeten the deal.

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