We had Chickens when we first moved in our house two years ago.
The City posted a note on the door telling us to get rid of them. :(
That same week the neighbors in the back of us, went out of town for two weeks, and left a yapping dog in their back yard, that barked non stop 24 hours a day.
My Chickens never made a noise until feeding time, then they would cackle for a few minutes as they would establish pecking order. The rest of the time they were quiet and never made a peep.
I think its hilarious that it seems to half bother some people, that others are into a reversion towards being minimalist, rather than participating with the rest of the consumerists in the rat race.
I would do chickens for eggs out back, but I'm pretty sure neighbors would bitch and I wouldn't want to have to beat the snot out of some loser that works for local govt that thinks they can waltz on my property and tell me what I can or cannot do.
Everything is an energy economics decision for me, and I can get free range, non grain fed, brown chicken eggs from my amish neighbors for 1.75 a dozen, so its not worth the time/energy/labor to do it myself
The rest of the time they were quiet and never made a peep.
I have two friends with chickens one has 8 the other 4. I get my eggs from the who has 8. The eggs are great. They make very little noise (no rosters) and the neighbors have no problem, in fact bring there children over to see "the birds". Back yard chickens are becoming very popular in the North Bay and many cities are making it legal.
I had chickens, - they crowed in the morning just like roosters. Not as long, but certainly as loudly. I also was known in my neighborhood as the person who broke into neighbor's houses to deliver fresh eggs (I knew where the spare keys were).