One of my biggest anxieties about preparing for our chickens was telling the neighbors. What if one neighbor put up such a stink that it derailed our plans? I was so nervous about this step that I actually tried to enlist the Rooster for the job. Then it dawned on me...why not have our 5-year-old daughter come with me to tell each neighbor? How could they say no to a cute, little girl?
On our chosen "tell all" day I had my daughter practice what she was going to say. Once I felt she was up for the challenge, the girls and I went from neighbor to neighbor to share our plan. Each time my daughter perfectly executed the following lines: "We are going to get chickens. No roosters, just three hens. If they are noisy, please call us." My 2-year-old daughter then politely handed over a small piece of paper with our name and phone number.
Neighbor #1 - "Oh fun! I actually wanted chickens when my girls were young."
Neighbor #2 - "So just call you if they start squawking a lot? Thanks for telling us ahead of time."
Neighbor #3 - "I think that's great. My son and roommate had a chicken and it was very quiet."
Neighbor #4 - "Thanks for letting us know. We just got a puppy so don't hesitate to contact us if she creates any problems."
Neighbor #5 - "Now let me tell you my story. For work I go to bed at 9:00pm because I have to get up at 4:15am. I really don't want anything to interfere with my sleep. Also, I hope you are aware of the predators around here. Thank you for letting me know. Good luck with your project."
Neighbor #6- "I would love to get chickens, too! I would love it if they flew over the fence and came in my yard!"
4 out of 6 enthusiastic neighbors. Not bad! I really wanted to skip this step of the process entirely. However, I am glad we did not because three good things actually came of it:
- One, all of our neighbors approved of our plan.
- Two, they were all very appreciative of us informing them ahead of time.
- Three, telling our nearby residents made us feel like we were being good, considerate neighbors.
So the moral of my story is trust what the chicken experts say and TELL THY NEIGHBOR.
Phew! I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Now my family and I can focus on preparing for the chicks to arrive. We can't wait!
Do any of you have a good story to share about telling your neighbors about your plans to raise chickens?