The Straight Poop…Chicken that is…

Aug 18, 2011 | Homesteading | 21 comments

Poop is NOT the word I want to use.

I am trying to keep up with this website AND prepare for a baby, and pull weeds (ya right), and store food, and make food and clean house and remember to brush my teeth and to keep my attitude in check…

Ya right.

I am behind on all accounts.  

I have been absent ’cause I haven’t known what to say.
A neighbor called the City about our chickens. 
 (During that heat blast a couple weeks ago they complained about the smell – under further investigation by MOI (IE: face to face confrontation) it turns out it was our compost bin and the fact that in haste I cleaned the coop and dumped it in there one day and NOT the coop or birds themselves that stunk.  

It was petty of them, they could have come to us and now we are outed.
I just couldn’t believe it, we always talk to and 
greet these neighbors – I still can’t believe it.

At the same time in this town the vote for whether one can or can not have chickens is Thursday. 
 Many say it looks very hopeful.  
Hopeful for them maybe.  Not for me.

You know, Aldermen/women are chicken experts didn’t you?

She wrote with much sarcasm.

Turns out, the coop has to be a stand alone structure able to withstand 90 pounds of snow and 65 mile an hour winds.  
You know, not everyone has the funds for a Martha Stewart type set up.  We were very proud that we constructed ours from stuff we found in our garage for almost nothing.  Sounds like another way for the City to make money with a permit – never mind they want $50 for a CHICKEN PERMIT!
Our coop is well hidden in our huge garage.  Warm and private.
And the run has to be 10 feet from any property lines, fully enlcosed (NO chicken wire!!!!) and NOT on the side of the house.
Our run is on the side of our house and is not enclosed.  We clip our chickens wings and they wander freely behind a 6 foot high fence visible ONLY to us out our kitchen door… funny, our birds have never dug up our neighbors freshly planted veggie seeds or jumped in our neighbors fire pit… in a live fire… they don’t bark at the kitchen window when our neighbor does their dishes…

All things that our neighbors dogs have done.

The City has been snooping around our house since they knocked on my door last week.
They’ll probably want to re-access my house value for taxes cause I turned my side of the garage into a “school room”, or maybe they will want to back fine me for the flagstone patio I put in without “permission.”  

Did I mention how aggravated I am?

The lady across the street trains German Shepards in her backyard
 – wonder what THAT smells like?  
AND she walks hers EVERY night without a leash.
Have I mentioned how many times a day people blow the stop sign in front of my house?
You can have pigeons, pot-bellied pigs AND parrots – in your damn house but I guess I am going to destroy the city with my girls in my garage and pecking along the side of my house.

Look, I am an ornry girl.
I know it.
I knew from the get-go that I could get busted. 
 But I never thought my neighbors with whom we have/had an amiable relationship with would CALL THE CITY without coming to me first.  
And over a problem that was short lived and temporary!

Thankfully the City employee that came to my door is someone I like, she was great when we put our fence up last year and she was really nice this time too.  ‘Called the rule completely stupid… but she asked me if I could house them somewhere else and I said NO!  Are you kidding?  These are our pets, we love them, THEY FEED US and I am not going to send them packing to who-knows-who while the village comes to a vote!!!

I don’t like rules, at least stupid ones.  They grate against me and call me a child, but I can’t let it go.

No texting while driving.
Don’t speed.
You can’t build a giant play structure for your kids on the parkway grass.
You can’t sit in the park and pound beers, 
I get it.


But quiet, non-dangerous, small, backyard animals and how I choose to house them is my own damn business.  Never mind that I save $20 a week on groceries because of them. 

 They never bark when a baby is taking a nap either!

  I bet the City doesn’t inspect DOG HOUSES!

And no one has to WATCH my chickens poop – do you know how it makes me wretch to see a big dog being walked by my house only to have it squat in my yard and then see someone pick it up with a plastic bag, swinging that lump all the way home.


Look, I should be able to tell my neighbors (which I did), keep them happy and leave it at that.  This is just another example of government micro-managing something they know nothing about.  I am so upset… did I mention they only are handing out ten licences this year and you can only have 4 hens???  

…As many dogs as you want, let your grass grow high enough to feed cattle, start to paint your house eight years ago and never finish it, put a toilet in your backyard as decor, let the weeds along your house grow a mile high, let your filthy cat roam the neighborhood crapping in every sandbox he can find, be stoned out of your minds and walk by my house what seems like every day… all things that go on in our charming neighborhood…

But let’s worry about the pesky chickens and how they might become out of control.

My garden is DONE, the layout is such that there is no room for me to plop a new, expensive chicken coop and run right in the middle of it.  We don’t even have grass for crying out loud.

I could spit.  
I’ll readily admit I am not handling it very well.

tolerance for this kind of stuff.

That’s why I have been away.
I’ll come back after I cool off – 
Wish me well for the City Meeting on Thursday.


  1. Sush

    Oh Farm Girl…that is just awful. We are allowed chickens in our city, I’m not sure of the details. But we have neighbors that have their girls and we love them. They have an enclosed run and a small coop visible from our backyard. Occasionally the ‘girls’ get out and all the neighbors consider it our duty to round ’em up and bring them home. This is for protection for them only. I don’t think any of us mind them wandering, it’s a precious sight to behold. BUT we have chicken hawks in the neighborhood and we are all looking out of the girls safety. So poo on your officials…we have coops etc all over town and it is a status thing to have them…in all of the finest neighborhoods, lol. Good luck sweet thing and relax…you have more to worry about in your life than chicken poop…

    PS I reside in a fairly large size city in one of the mid atlantic states…


  2. Lady Farmer

    I say just take a copy of this post and read it to the idiots~oops!I mean, City Officials! It pretty much says it all!
    Hope it goes well for all the chicken owners!

  3. Renata

    Grrr… I’m annoyed & I don’t even live there – I can’t believe they are charging you a permit for keeping a couple of backyard chickens. I hope it goes really well on Thursday (for you & your girls). If not you’ll just have to do what we did & move to a farm!!!

  4. Amy @ Homestead Revival

    So sorry to hear this. Really. I just don’t get why so many people have such strong objections to chickens. But perhaps the vote will go in your favor. Do you get to speak at the meeting before the vote? I recently worked to change the chicken rules in our very rural “gated community” which everyone said couldn’t be done. I was very nice, but not a push-over. I had all my facts with handouts for the board members and with their permission, I got over 200 signatures. When it came time for the vote, there was no discussion – they passed it just like I request!!! I was so thrilled!! We can now have 10 chickens per acre rather than 10 per property. Praying it goes well for you tomorrow!

  5. Mandy

    prayers! someone warned me about our garden in our front yard. seriously. i may knock someone upside the head with a crookneck if they come knockin’.

  6. Dawn Dutton

    Best wishes. I will be thinking of you.

  7. Mourning Dove Farm

    This makes me REALLY mad too. But there are many places that are changing these rules. Do your research and maybe read what you wrote here? On second thought–you might want to calm it down a bit! LOL! Anyway, I pray this goes in your favor. I have had chickens for years and would be as upset as you!

  8. SueBee

    This is what blogging is about….Let it out! I’m sorry you are going thru this, I can’t wait to hear the results. Goodluck!
    I got a ticket for parking in the wrong direction in front of my own home! $10.00 fee!!! Do you know how many county trucks I see parked the wrong way now!!!!! Pisses me off!!!

  9. Mac n' Janet

    So sorry to hear about this, we’ve wanted chickens for a long time but they’re not allowed where we are. Your neighbors sound like real charmers.

  10. Pur et Simple

    I happened upon your sight and LOVE it! We raise Kinder dairy goats in Washington state – (mmmm -French Chevre!)Government sure doesn’t make it easy for small family farms, do they? They really don’t want anybody to be self-reliant! I pray that you are able to be heard at your county meeting and that your points will be well taken, AND that you will be 1 of the 10 to get a chicken permit!

  11. Adrienne

    I agree with Lady Farmer – read this post at the meeting.

    I think you know my feelings on our government being completely out of control.

    Good luck!

  12. Kimberly

    Angela, I am up in arms, holding a picket sign in your behalf over here in Florida! I, too, am a “closet chicken owner”. I live in the city limits, and although we are allowed to own hens (as long as they are 50 feet from anyone’s house and don’t pose a smell-issue or an eyesore of a coop), my HOA is another story. We are not technically allowed to house “farm animals”, so we just call them other names, like “exotic birds”, “beloved pets who live outdoors, like cats”, “our sons 4-H projects”, etc. So far, about 6 of our neighbors know and love it. They’ve all had their children over to see the girls. It’s the crotchety ones with nothing to do that are on “The Board” that I’m worried about. My husband has already said if we get one iota of trouble from anyone, we’ll put a for sale sign in the front yard. We have an immaculate front yard, my husband is always the first to go help out a neighbor with his chainsaw if trees need trimming, etc. We pet sit all the neighborhood pets. Really, do they want to make a fuss over 6 quiet little beauties who live in a delightful little cottage out back? The cardinals and crows make more noise than my chickens. My chicken coop smells like honeysuckle and marigolds. When everyone in this neighborhood gets rid of their boats in the driveway, their cinch-bug infested lawns, their algae-covered PVC fences, etc., then we’ll talk about what I’m doing in my backyard. I’m so angry for you! Nosy people can just suck it. And I say that with all the love of Jesus. ~~Kimberly

  13. Victoria

    I know you are angry about this, but don’t let yourself get crazy at that meeting. Listen to others’ concerns, state your case (write it out beforehand if possible so you keep cool) and defend yourself.

    Bring up the umkempt grass (a law), toilets and other debris in the yards (law), dogs not on leashes (law) and retain that you ARE a law-abiding girl. General levels of decency are down, lawlessness is way up. Not stopping at the sign is an immediate danger, and you should bring that up, too.

    But I hate to say it, to keep your chicks you might have to pay that fee. I have to for my cat, so do dog owners.

    I know these laws suck. They pick on the little person and micromanage them. Liberals are not reasonable, so they don’t deserve your level-headedness, but do your best!

  14. Deanna

    we do our best to follow the city ordinances. A few years ago we received a city letter stating that we had x amount of time to get our untagged old auto out of sight. Hubby cleared room to park it in the garage. City ordinance doesn’t like old untagged autos in sight. I have yet to drive the town and see if the other people that had violated this rule hid out of sight their untagged vehicles.

    I grumbled about this, but we followed through…i just think everyone else with the same violation should have to honor the ordinances like we had too.

    God bless you and may all go well with the baby coming and tending to your sweet children and your lovely home.

  15. Vickie Wiles

    You hang in there, Angela…what a bunch of bull crap or chicken crap – whatever. It’s still a bunch of crap. Just another sign of our screwed up times! Jeez…don’t get me started…

  16. Kate

    Oh Angela, I’ve been meaning to call you about baby things and faith, but had crap going on with our roof and such, and I see you’re having a hard time as well.

    We *might* be breaking the law with a particular pet as well, but I’m not paying an $80 a year kenneling fee to have a cat who never goes anywhere outside this house (except the vet). Chickens are illegal here too, but people have them. And who cares as long as they are being taken care of? Seriously?

    I get so frustrated when I see animals outside all day (it’s illegal here because the city concrete makes it so damn hot), and we have people who seriously abuse dogs, from dog fighting to just cruelty… but have you ever noticed cities tend to crack down on the good pet owners? Why your neighbor wouldn’t have spoken to you is just odd. Especially as you seem like the type who would have been trying to find a solution. I hope that the chicken law passes and that then you can begin lobbying the town for different structures…theirs seems unreasonable.

  17. Marta (Montenegro) Martin

    That really bites. I’m so sorry to hear this! Just know that the urban homestead movement is growing and likely these antiquated laws will soon be a thing of the past…I don’t understand them either, specially since they do not harm anyone!

  18. DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family

    Angela…these are the same idiots that are harassing the Lemonistas.
    You would think that Big G would back off with a self reliant family such as yours. I wish you success.
    Your neighbor surely didn’t think about the consequences of her whimpy actions.
    I love your spirit!
    Hang in there, sweet!


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