Chickens On My Backyard Fence

I was showing my parents from out of town my lovely garden, and backyard yesterday. We looked up to see three hens perched on the back fence. I’d been hearing chicken noises the past couple of weeks, but was surprised to actually see them perched up on the fence.

It’s my understanding that you can have up to three chickens at your home within Multnomah county. My friend G. is planning on getting some for both the eggs and the manure. My only concern is other animals getting to them. We have a juvenal raccoon who likes to hang out at night in the back and eat the catfood if it’s laying around. I’m curious if any of you have chickens and run into problems. I guess you can’t have roosters due to the noise. I think it’s kind of cool having barnyard animals in an urban setting.

10 Comments so far

  1. Rusty (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

    Have friends that just got (3) chickens a couple of weeks ago, in SE Portland. Wonder if your yard is anywhere near theirs.

    They love the chickens so far, which is a surprise to them. Of course, why get chickens if you wonder if you’ll like them? I don’t always get my friends, but whatever. Sounds like they can actually be good pets…

  2. Kai (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

    I’m in SE Portland, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it is your friends. I think they have a hot tub too. I don’t peek over the fence, but I can hear the pump running at night sometimes, and splashing in their general direction. The chickens seem nice.

  3. Lynn S. (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

    We have chickens in SE too, but we keep ours in a “tractor,” a portable pen. We move them around so they can have fresh pasture every couple of days. We’re just worried that the raccoons will get them. They’ve tried; more than once I’ve found little muddy hand-prints where the coons have tried to figure out how to get in.

    I LOVE my chickens and encourage everyone to get some. They’re very sweet pets, plus also? Best eggs ever.

  4. Kirsten (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 2:43 pm

    My friend Ali’s dog ate their neighbors 2 chickens, feathers and all. Her 4 y.o. daughter said, “It is really sad when your dog eats your friends. Those chickens were my friends.”

  5. Kirsten (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

    My friend Ali’s dog ate their neighbors 2 chickens, feathers and all. Her 4 y.o. daughter said, “It is really sad when your dog eats your friends. Those chickens were my friends.”

  6. Himself (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 2:53 pm

    Our neighbors had three chickens that they let roam the neighborhood. Kind of cool, but two of the three met with a predictable end. (Death by dog.)

  7. Miz J (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 4:32 pm

    As long as you don’t have roosters…our neighbors (asshats) had a couple of roosters (former Easter toys for their demonspawn) that used to drive us nuts with all the crowing at 4:00am and the fighting. Sometimes they came over the fence into our yard. Lucky for them, our golden retriever wasn’t much of a hunter.

  8. divebarwife (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

    Once when I was a kid I had hundred of turkey’s roaming my neighborhood…’course that was after a tornado picked them up from a nearby turkey farm and dropped them off on our block – I guess that’s not the same huh?

  9. Lady (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 7:28 pm

    Chickens? Why not. Amazingly, many animals learn to live together. A couple of days after 9/11 I glanced out my window to find a neighbor’s Burmese cat, my cat and a raccoon all sitting on the backyard fence, side by side, staring at me in my bathrobe while I was staring at them. Apparently they got it before I did.

  10. Joe Garagiola (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 8:39 pm

    Chickens ain’t pets.

    I’ve had chickens in town for most of my life. Their beauty lies in their simplicity. When I went “chook chook chook”, my hens came a runnin’, they knew Big Daddy had treats. My chooks were awesome.

    One time, I came home from work, one or two in the morning (I’ve worked the graveyard shift forever). One of my chooks had her head outside the coop. I saw that she was in distress. Upon closer examination, I saw that she had no skin from her head down to her saddle.

    The poor girl’s head was raw, her muscles and bones were exposed. I hadn’t the heart to kill her (you know, the put it out of its misery thing).

    So, what I did was remove her from the coop. I let her go. I let nature take it’s course.

    I didn’t see her for, I think it was about two weeks. I thought she was dead. I worried about her. She was not to be seen.

    This chicken never had a name. Nevertheless, she was my favorite. She was strong.

    Eventually, she reappeared. The skin on her neck was that of her comb. It was red and had that same texture. It had completely regrown. She was my favorite.

    I never put her in the coop again. She was my favorite. She was strong.

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