The girls (and Whitey) are free range Wyandottes (silver and golden laced). Unfortunately they do not understand property lines and I do have neighbors. Thankfully as many of you know, my neighbors love the chickens (and free eggs – also referred to as grazing rent).
A concern for the chickens was that the gang happily cross the street throughout the day and traffic speeds down our road. There was a discussion about installing invisible fencing and putting collars on the chickens. We could never stop laughing long enough to figure out how we would keep collars on the chickens. For some reason the thought of a chicken reacting to an unknown electrical shock was hysterical. We are not horrible, animal-abusing people, but the visual of that always started us giggling.
We have had many discussions about the reduction in grubs, bugs, and ticks throughout our yards with many thanks to the chickens for their constant efforts. Continuous scratching and wandering has meant that since they started ranging my yard – I have not had a single tick on anyone or animal. YEAH CHICKENS!
Everyone on our road has become VERY aware of the food we are able to recycle through those little girls. The reduction in each home of kitchen waste being thrown into landfills is amazing because we throw them outside to the chickens. There is no concern of attracting unwanted pests and wildlife – those 7 chickens can rip through a large bucket of kitchen scraps in less than an hour. They are hesitant to share with each other and they CERTAINLY are not going to leave any for later. They will pick at a watermelon rind until the only thing left is a thin green outside layer that you could read through.
Oh and I am sure there are plenty out there thinking about all the manure that must be all over everyone’s yards. With chickens doing that much meandering (113 acres that we know they prefer), there is no concentration of poo. What we do have is chickens that love to scratch around in our flower beds (you will have to read Chicken-Free Flowers) and deposit as they work which according to Cornell University’s Department of Horticulture– means we are getting some fantastic free organic material. This stuff is beneficial and NOT cheap
So while the chickens technically belong to me the neighbors are thoroughly enjoying all the benefits of backyard chickens. Neighbors have found out that they thoroughly enjoy watching the chickens and the eggs are so significantly better than anything that can be bought in a store.