Backyard Chickens 101: How to Sneak Chickens Onto Your Property

Once Upon a Tiny Farm
by Once Upon a Tiny Farm

If you’re thinking about getting chickens on your property, you need a lesson in backyard chickens 101. I believe everyone has the right to have backyard chickens. But the reality is that it may be illegal in your town for you to have chickens.

However, there are ways you can sneak chickens onto your property. Here are tips on creating a stealthy chicken flock in your backyard.

Could I sneak chickens into my backyard?

1. Don’t get a rooster

Chickens are loud, especially roosters. But even if you just have laying hens, they are loud when they lay eggs, they fight for space in the coop, and for time in the nesting boxes. If you do get roosters, they start to crow around 5 in the morning and that will be annoying to you and it will upset your neighbors.

How to keep a rooster quiet

2. How to keep a rooster quiet

I ended up getting a rooster. But I use a “no-crow collar.” The collar is not a shock collar but it fits in a way that softens the crow to almost a whisper. That’s how I keep it quiet. I hear my hens way more than I hear the rooster. 

How to hide chickens

3. What to do when they’re noisy

When my chickens are loud and they won’t be quiet, I turn on my lawnmower and let it run to drown out the sound. No one complains when the neighbor’s dog barks non-stop and no one complains about running a lawn mower, but they will complain about chicken sounds.

4. Check with your neighbors first

Maybe this should be your first step. Ask your neighbors how they feel about chickens and if they’d have an issue if you had some in your yard. If you are ever reported for having chickens, you’ll know your neighbors did that. If they aren’t cool with chickens, you may want to move!

Can I have chickens on my property?

5. Know your local laws

It almost seems like the more remote you are, the more relaxed the laws around backyard chickens. An area with more people usually means there are more regulations you’ll need to deal with. I actually assumed it was illegal to have chickens in my area. After about a year, I looked into it and we are allowed to have four hens in our backyard!

Backyard chickens 101

6. Create a privacy fence

If you’re trying to sneak in chickens, you don’t want them visible to passers-by. I put up a fence to hide my chicken run. They are not free-range birds. They are in an enclosed area. Being fenced in also helps them stay safe from predators. The birds are also given a bit of shade with fencing, especially the part of the fence where I trellis tomatoes. 

7. Beg for forgiveness, don’t ask for permission

If someone comes up to you and tells you that you are breaking the law by having chickens, simply beg for forgiveness instead of asking for permission. When you first ask for permission, you may run into roadblocks.

It is odd to me to have to say you’re sorry for having chickens. Everyone is allowed to have dogs, and dogs actually can harm people but all chickens do is lay eggs and make compost for gardens. 

Backyard chickens 101

It doesn’t make sense to me that local governments look down on people who want to be self-sufficient and that you have to learn how to hide chickens in those areas. These are a few ways I conceal my chickens, even though it isn’t illegal for me to have them.

Do you have backyard chickens? What do you do to hide them or keep them quiet? Let us know in the comments. 

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