Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hens & neighbors

Today Owen's friend and his father, J, were granted an audience with the new chicks who currently reside in a little cage in the room formerly known as my office. J's face took on this wry expression, half amused, half disgusted. He said, "I'm frankly not much of a chicken guy. I bet your neighbors are going to have some feelings about this."

Well, I bet they are. Like I hadn't thought about this? 

I said, "I called the county office and you're allowed to have up to twelve chickens on a lot of this size."

He said, "Did you ask any of your neighbors what they thought?"

"No," I replied. "They don't ask me how I feel about their dogs." 

I should have brought up leaf blowers. Dogs don't bother me but I absolutely HATE the leaf blowers. 

I did actually consider asking our neighbors if they'd mind if we got chickens. But someone might have said, "Yes, we mind." Then I would have had to say, "Hmm. That's really too bad, because we're getting them anyway."

Better not to ask. Am I wrong? 


  1. At the job I had for 11 years, every fall we had a staff retreat that started with an icebreaker. One year, each of us had to tell the vice-boss the best piece of advice we'd ever received, which were then distributed anonymously and we had to guess which person went with what advice. Two people submitted some form of "It's easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission." Almost 20 people in the office attributed that to me. And I stared at them all, thinking, if that's really the best advice I can give, why would I tell you that up front and for the boss to hear? But of course, it was because alas, in that office, it was usually the best way to go about things. Oversight was negligible (or negligent, depending upon whom you might ask) and so just doing things the way you wanted to until someone called you on it was really a good MO, which I did tell new people when they arrived.
    All of which to say: you are right. Don't ask about the chickens. Just build the coop and hope deer are the most aggressive things that breach the fence!

  2. How could anyone complain about a move that is so environmentally correct!! Natural fertilizer, healthier environment, educational for youth, better food value, bypassing the cruelty to chickens alleged in factory farmed eggs. All for the good. Heavens, I can't imagine a good neighbor doing that.

    As to leaf blowers, those vile sources of air and noise pollution!A different issue...

    Now about those bees...

  3. Yes, I know. The bees. I think I may have to knock on some doors before I install them. What if someone is allergic. . .

  4. Yes, but say it thusly: "I just wanted to let you know that we have bees."

    And chickens are really not that smelly (once they get outside, because MY WORD do they stink up a house), unless their pen is atrociously filthy. If they have enough space per bird you'll be just fine, unless people are going up and nuffing the coop, in which case they have problems you can't solve.

  5. Agree with Layne.

    And let's hope the neighbors haven't seen this clip:

    There are several oddities about the clip, or is it just me?

  6. The neighbors should be engaged on this. And this post should probably be deleted.