We said goodbye to our chicken's yesterday. It is sad, but they will have a good home with friends of ours. We have been having a small drama with our neighbor to the south of us. He is fairly polite, but it seems that our chicken coop, which was previously a shed, sits just over our property line, meaning it is completely on his! Rehoming them seemed to be the best and most affordable solution.
He did have his property surveyed and if the marks are correct, the entire building is over the line and the shipping container that sits in our back yard is partially over as well. I don't understand how that is possible, considering our house is the oldest house on the street (and was owned by the family the street was named after, we suspect) so we are very sure that the shed and container have been there nearly as long as the house! I think he was bothered by the rooster's crowing and rather than say as much, decided to tackle the problem from another angle.
He was also bothered by the junk in our yard. I know I am, so I can understand his frustration. If he is going to sell his house, you do have to drive by our house first and the impression you get of the neighborhood isn't the best. From the street, you can clearly see that it looks like half a dozen children live here and their parent's don't care much about the property! We don't mean for it to look that way, but put an old furnace in the side yard and tuck a couple of vehicles back into the woods and it begins to look like a run down homestead. We bought our house as a very neglected repo, apparently repossessed more than once, and I am sure all the neighbors had high hopes that the new owners would fix the place up. Maybe we are slacking a bit.
Saturday, Mr. Ireland and his father spent the morning hauling several engine blocks, car doors, half a motorcycle and numerous odds and ends from behind the shed to the dump. They had been stored in the shed before we decided to use it as storage. That afternoon, he and my brother Owen hauled even more to the dump. It will take another work day, but it will get done before the snow is here. The boys and I sorted the yard toys and tucked them under the front porch, put away bikes, and Mr. Ireland moved my bags of compost and bark chips. We will put up new lattice and you won't even know the stuff is there. I did have to give up my boxes of newspapers that I had been saving for lasagna gardening. I am sure that gave our place the air of hoarders living here! Just don't go in the basement....
I have to admit that I was very irritated with our neighbor at first. Admittedly, Mr. Ireland hates yard work. Any of it. I rather enjoy it, though, and felt that it was unfair for him to be so bothered. Couldn't he see that I had just had a baby? Well, no, he couldn't, so how is he to know that we had any intention of dealing with the outside of our home? I do have to thank him for stopping by with his list of chores outlined in the city's ordinances. If I had not gone online to look up our property values, I would have forgotten to pay our taxes! Did you know you can pay borough property taxes online? I was very excited to see that.
I will also forgive him for forcing our chickens to a new home. Another family will benefit from their eggs and they have children that will love caring for them. I think that it is not the fact that the chickens had to go but more the fact that someone is telling me what to do on my own property that irritates me. I have had this dream of having a homestead or farm since I was very young. My plan after high school included a desire to work as a ranch hand! So having farm animals is fairly high on my list of wants. It is okay though. We will start again next year and double our flock size. :D
Whether or not this is our permanent home, we will finish this property and it will not be a smudge on our neighborhood. We have no intention of being "that house" any longer. I hope to invite our neighbors over someday and proudly show them around our little homestead.