Chicken coops, once uncouth, are springing up in Santa Cruz backyards

Four babies arrived at the Branciforte Avenue home of Holly and Jeff Akiyoshi early last summer. Full Story
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MrSniT

San Francisco, CA

#1 Jun 12, 2010
Pray that you never live next door to somebody with chickens. Your story also neglects to mention existing county laws for keeping chickens in a residential neighborhood, such as the need to keep them cooped at all times, and that the coops must be at least 30 feet away from the closest neighbor. Or that you can expect your neighbor's chickens to draw lots of flies and mice and rats. Thanks Sentinel for telling half the story.
Jane Doe

Moraga, CA

#2 Jun 12, 2010
Remember, in "Assault on Reason," Al Gore tells us how to hypnotize a chicken. Might be useful if your neighbor's coop gets rowdy.

Since: May 08

Santa Cruz, CA

#3 Jun 12, 2010
Mice, rats and flies due to a small urban chicken flock? Flies maybe, if your neighbors are complete slobs but what draws the mice and rats? Uneaten scraps left in the yard?

Properly cared for chickens, 3 or 4 of them, should not be noticeable at all (except when one announces an egg). Methinks the chickens weren't the only problems your neighbor had.
Susan Karimchise

United States

#4 Jun 12, 2010
My daughter has 3 chickens.
They eat all the bugs in the yard.
I havent noticed any flies.
The birds are quite tame and will come into the house looking for a handout, if you let them.
Not Again

Capitola, CA

#5 Jun 12, 2010
I loved the piece on chicken coops becoming popular. Especially the pic of the chicken getting a hug from the little girl. Life is sweet!
Kevin

Santa Cruz, CA

#6 Jun 12, 2010
MrSniT wrote:
Pray that you never live next door to somebody with chickens. Your story also neglects to mention existing county laws for keeping chickens in a residential neighborhood, such as the need to keep them cooped at all times, and that the coops must be at least 30 feet away from the closest neighbor. Or that you can expect your neighbor's chickens to draw lots of flies and mice and rats. Thanks Sentinel for telling half the story.
My back-door neighbor has a chicken coop. We've noticed no increase in flies, mice, or rats. A poorly maintained compost heap (the most common type) is more likely to attract rodents than a chicken coop is. We have noticed some noise from the chickens, but it isn't a major problem (unlike, say, a party house).

Keeping chickens in Santa Cruz is not a new phenomenon—my house had a chicken coop that the previous owners used when I bought it 20 years ago, though we took it down as we did not intend to keep chickens.
Not Again

Capitola, CA

#7 Jun 12, 2010
I loved the piece on how keeping a few chickens is becoming popular, especially the pic of the chicken getting a hug from the little girl. Life is sweet!
June

Santa Barbara, CA

#9 Jun 12, 2010
yes - chickens really do eat up all the bugs. I think the clucking sound would be most conspicuous. Your other option is to get ducks, which will not peck your toddler's toes and are much sweeter.
ICE

Nashville, TN

#10 Jun 12, 2010
It is common for people who live in rural southeast Asia to keep chicken in close proximity to humans. Some even let them live under the house, or run around inside the house.
Southeast Asia is also where avian born illnesses mutate into human born ones, like the avian flu. It is thought that the proximity to humans is one of the primary reasons why the mutations take hold and spread.
Keeping chickens in Santa Cruz could bring about a large increase in employment as it becomes ground zero for vaccine research.
Me and my Shadow

Windsor, CA

#11 Jun 12, 2010
Oh boy the folks that were protesting / exposing cruelty to the chicks in the live oak distributor a week or so ago are gonna have a field day with this one.

I can see it now:

PETA REP: Vee MUST Inspect your CHICKENS. If you don't hug your chickens every half hour you will be vaterboarded!! ZEIG HEIL!!!

CHICKEN OWNER: I cannot hug my chickens you have broken my arms!!!
What

Santa Cruz, CA

#12 Jun 12, 2010
My neighbor has chickens and they stink like hell. They attract rats which our neighborhood never had. It's not a good idea to have them in a city setting.
cluck

San Francisco, CA

#13 Jun 12, 2010
MrSniT wrote:
Pray that you never live next door to somebody with chickens. Your story also neglects to mention existing county laws for keeping chickens in a residential neighborhood, such as the need to keep them cooped at all times, and that the coops must be at least 30 feet away from the closest neighbor. Or that you can expect your neighbor's chickens to draw lots of flies and mice and rats. Thanks Sentinel for telling half the story.
I had chickens as pets growing up in the Live Oak area,never ever had rats or mice come around and keeping the pen clean isn't so hard. Don't remember flies either. I love the comforting sound of the hens low clucking. Our neighbor had chickens, geese and ducks and never had a rodent problem either. How much experience do you have with farm birds?
Tortoise

Santa Cruz, CA

#14 Jun 12, 2010
I love living next door to chickens. I love the clucking they make in the morning and I always smile when the noise increases because I know that an egg is being laid. I get fresh eggs too and they are delicious! My other neighbor hates the chickens. But he's a grumpy guy who is sleep deprived because he stays up into the wee hours of the morning and then blames everyone for waking him up before noon. Yeah for chickens. No flies by the way, they are responsible, considerate chicken farmers.
Sam Spade _ Aptos 1944

Covington, GA

#15 Jun 12, 2010
I've had chickens off and on, all my life. If you provide an endless supply of chicken feed and water, you will have rats and mice. I've never had a fly problem, though.
bikerscum

San Jose, CA

#16 Jun 12, 2010
June wrote:
yes - chickens really do eat up all the bugs. I think the clucking sound would be most conspicuous. Your other option is to get ducks, which will not peck your toddler's toes and are much sweeter.
Although chickens CAN be peckish, so can ducks. We had ducks as a kid and they would chase us and bite our legs. Everytime our poor dog tried to do her business, the ducks would peck her on her butt. They finally got so mean we gave them to the zoo.

Since: May 09

Santa Cruz

#17 Jun 12, 2010
Jane Doe wrote:
Remember, in "Assault on Reason," Al Gore tells us how to hypnotize a chicken. Might be useful if your neighbor's coop gets rowdy.
Somehow I doubt there are few people who post on these forums that have read that particular book.
CoolIce

San Francisco, CA

#18 Jun 12, 2010
What wrote:
My neighbor has chickens and they stink like hell. They attract rats which our neighborhood never had. It's not a good idea to have them in a city setting.
My neighbor has chickens, and I have never seen any rats around. But he keeps it all very clean and orderly
Geof

Alameda, CA

#19 Jun 12, 2010
We recently played tourist and went for a drive from Santa Cruz and ended up in San Juan Bautista,
south of Gilroy - the mission was o.k., but it seemed
that 50% of the town had chickens, in middle of street ( good speed control) or roosters were crowing
to each other. Enjoyed that more than the town.
Another time, off Abba Road above Ben Lomond, had to stop for a rooster that was crossing the road - middle of no where.
Not sure about daily life there, but I plan on having
chickens next year.
Sam Spade _ Aptos 1944

Covington, GA

#20 Jun 12, 2010
CoolIce wrote:
<quoted text>
My neighbor has chickens, and I have never seen any rats around. But he keeps it all very clean and orderly
Well, the rats come out at night. If there is no left over feed and no water left out, you have a chance at limiting the rats. Mice are inevitable but less of a problem. The chicken keepers really need to secure the feed. It cannot be left about in a bag.

Since: May 08

Santa Cruz, CA

#21 Jun 12, 2010
ICE wrote:
It is common for people who live in rural southeast Asia to keep chicken in close proximity to humans. Some even let them live under the house, or run around inside the house.
Southeast Asia is also where avian born illnesses mutate into human born ones, like the avian flu. It is thought that the proximity to humans is one of the primary reasons why the mutations take hold and spread.
Keeping chickens in Santa Cruz could bring about a large increase in employment as it becomes ground zero for vaccine research.
Pigs and chickens kept together in close proximity to people.
http://human-infections.suite101.com/article....

Pigs smell worse than anything else in barnyards, in my opinion. I would not want a next door neighbor who is keeping a backyard pig.

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