suburbian chickens : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

hope you can help i'm just getting started in this lifestyle I live in the suburbs of sandiego. I have a 1/4 acre lot just over half to use for food production. with countrysides great help have done alot with raised beds and have canned or dehydrated most of this years supple of vegetables. I want to take it one step farther by getting some chickens (much to my wife's chagrin) but i'm not zoned for it how can i do this and keep them quiet enough os not to alert to much attention just need some help Shaun

-- shaun cornish (, February 23, 2000


Personally I don't think chickens are worth getting in trouble for. As for keeping them quiet - GOOD LUCK ! If their cackling doesn't give them away, the smell will. Besides, if you're looking to get laying hens - I don't know about anyone elses' but mine cackle quite loud when they are laying eggs and that makes a chain reaction with the other hens. If you're wanting to butcher meat birds - you need a fairly large area (I think it's 2 sq. ft. per bird for the shelter alone)and if you get a bunch of cocks- around 8 wks. they start trying to crow. Maybe my opinion is wrong, but I'd certainly check further on this if I were you. It's not worth the fine !!!

-- Pat (, February 23, 2000.

How are your neighbors?Can you talk to them? I would only buy hens .I would give the neighbors some fresh eggs .And most of all keep them clean!Have a good looking building ,insulating it will help cut down on the noise.

-- Patty Gamble (, February 23, 2000.

Shaun, I am from ElCajon, transplanted 14 years ago to Texas. When we lived in suburbia in Texas we had hens, raised beds etc. We had an all wire hoop-style construction, it was very pretty and I grew vines on it. We had just 6 hens, it was enough back then, and I also had my rabbit house in their also. I kept it clean and their was no smell. A cleaning once a weekend was quick and I had a compost pile. We had 3 roosters, we called them our spite roosters, because our lot was long enough we could have anything without hooves. We kept the crowers!! after a neighbor was ugly to me. Now we live on 13 acres in the National Forest and I love it! Vicki McGaugh

-- Vicki McGaugh (, February 23, 2000.

we live in town and keep goats and chickens, we talked to the neighbors before we got them [all sides of the fences]we have a small two story chicken house[ plans in countryside] and two chickens[hens] they give me eggs and sift my compost for me[throw some in each morning]and are great garbage disposals[husband hates them but puts up with them for me]I had a problem with pillbugs in my compost and beds until i put them on the job,use a portable dog run with cover on the garden beds once or twice a season and they do the rototiling.

-- kathy h (, February 23, 2000.

I agree with Patty Gamble. You can do most anything if neighbors don't complain. Before I moved to the country, I kept a rooster and 9 hens at my home inside the loop in Houston (downtown). They were old english black breasted game bantams. They hatched babies, raised them and everything. My neighbors enjoyed hearing the little rooster crown. When I first got my chickens and put them in a pen in the back yard, the little rooster started crowing and I was surprised to hear some roosters answering his crow. I had never know there were any chickens around until then. Once, someone made a complaint. I never knew who it was. The man from the city came out to the house, took a look at my chickens, laughed and said, "I don't see any chickens" and drove away. I never heard any more about it. Good luck!! Eagle

-- eagle (, February 24, 2000.

Shaun - I don't know if you live in the unincorporated County or a City....I live in Escondido, & posted this same question on some eboards 9 months ago...I was looking for info on roosters which had been surgically de-crowed....never really came to grips with it, don't need roosters for eggs...and, I push the zoning envelope too many ways already & don't wamt to push any farther for fear of multiple consequences ( I also have one neighbor who's a jerk) if you're otherwise pretty clean zoning-wise and OK with the neighbors, maybe its worth the risk...Good Luck.

-- Guy Winton (, February 24, 2000.

My situation is similar to Kathy H.'s, except that I have about 15 chickens, all hens, (and more in the summer when I'm raising meat birds). I talked to my neighbors before getting any chickens, and I give them eggs periodically to keep them happy. I also sell quite a few eggs, which largely pays for my goat and chicken feed, but I digress.

The real key for me was to talk to the city Animal Control Department. The city code said no farm animals, but Animal Control said that plenty of folks in town had pot belly pigs, pygmy goats, chickens, and the like. If they didn't get valid nuisance complaints, there wouldn't be a problem. Hens do cluck rather loudly when laying or alarmed, but it doesn't last long enough to be deemed a nuisance. One person did complain once about the goats, but we discovered what was making the goats call out in the middle of the night, and it was resolved. (Our son was making midnight forays, and the goats were being companionable.) I've had my animals going on two years now, and no other problems.

-- Laura Jensen (, February 25, 2000.

thank you all for the advice I do have great neighbors so keep it small keep it clean and bribe the neighbors got it. its nice to know some of you started out in my spot thankyou again Shaun

-- shaun cornish (, February 26, 2000.

Not trying to point away from the chickens but have you thought about raising quail? A little smaller but I doubt there would be any noise problems.

-- j (, March 01, 2000.

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