For Joshua Mouzakis, the 25 to 30 chickens and five roosters he's raising in the backyard of his Spring home are more than just a food source for his family; he calls them pets.
"They've all been raised by my daughter over here, at the other coop over there. Since they've been chicks, they've been running around with her, they all run to here and flock to her," said Mouzakis.
He says he's had poultry at his home for years with no problems until just recently when he was contacted by the Harris County Attorney's office after a neighbor complained about the noise and the smell.
"The neighbors behind me here don't like the roosters crowing, and I understand that and I offered to put up a privacy wall in the back here at my expense, at no expense to them at all, and that was unacceptable for them," Mouzakis said.
The County Attorney's office says Mouzakis is violating his neighborhood deed restriction.
"It says no obnoxious or offensive activities shall be carried on or upon any part of this track," said Randy Smidt with the Harris Co. Attorney's office. "We're really talking about the smells and the noises and those become a nuisance to those who complain about them."
In addition, the county says the deed restriction prohibits breeding.
"There was hens, there was babies, there was four roosters and they were all together, and so from our perspective, it's hard to believe they are not being bred," said Smidt.
Mouzakis insists he is trying to be a good neighbor and believes he's not in violation by having what he calls his family pets around. But he is willing to comply with the county's demands.
The county is asking Mouzakis to get rid of all the roosters to avoid the noise and he must also get rid of most of the chickens. They say, however, that he can still have some chickens as pets for the family.