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chicken laws  RSS feed

 
mick mclaughlin
Posts: 200
Location: Augusta,Ks
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For those urban folks, what are your city chicken laws?

Number? Housing ? Etc..

Our city has a no chicken rule right now, and I am considered a dangerous criminal for only keeping my chicks in town, before moving them to my rental land. I have been approached to write up some proposed guidlines and present these to the board.

Thanks!
 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 778
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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My city allows six adult chickens and up to 15 chicks under a certain amount of weeks old. Roosters are allowed and subject to noise ordinances. The hen house rhetoric in the law is not commendable as it is very flexible in interpretation, which means if they really want to come in and force themselves on you they legally could make you put the house on a concrete slab and covered completely in window screen. Luckily that is not where this particular city is at, the animal control people are just not really interested in doing so.


On the plus side this regulation does allow for breeding on a micro scale. It makes sense that roosters are allowed if hens are allowed. Some places have allowed hens but not roosters, I guess when laws are about animals it's ok to be sexist.
Overall, given the state of my state, the current chicken laws here are actually pretty liberal. (I know it's sad)

I don't really know what a city that just legalized chickens in general would look like(pretty neat and relaxed I would think) but these chicken laws do make the non chicken owners more comfortable.
 
Penny Dumelie
garden master
Posts: 287
Location: AB, Canada (Zone 4a - Canadian Badlands)
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The closest city to me is Medicine Hat, AB. It is in the process of setting up a one year pilot project to test backyard chickens. The city is looking to a local CLUCK organization and the pilot project from Red Deer, AB to outline their own project.
This pdf talks about Red Deer's project on page 4.

http://docs.medicinehat.ca/cache/2/5irxxtlgw1c51tuyglm3ixs4/12166402172015020356111.PDF

This page is all about Chicken bylaws in Vancouver.

http://vancouver.ca/people-programs/backyard-chickens.aspx

Hopefully those two links give you some ideas.
 
mick mclaughlin
Posts: 200
Location: Augusta,Ks
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Thanks folks!

Commonly around here, roosters are a no no. I csn not imagine that this uptight town will allow them.

Thanks again! !!
 
Emily Cressey
Posts: 45
Location: Lynnwood, WA. USA
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We are in Lake Forest Park, WA - a suburb of Seattle, WA USA.

We are allowed

8 chickens/fowl
No Roosters
Housing must be a certain distance away from building structures on neighbors land (I think 15-25').
Runs can be along fence lines...

Housing must not be a nuisance and attract flies or rats or smell bad.


I love seeing chicken laws change. Good luck!

Emily
 
E Skov
Posts: 23
Location: Central KS, Zone 6a. Summer High 91.5F (avg), Winter Low 17.5F (avg). 35.7" Annual Rain
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In Manhattan, KS there is a requirement to keep livestock housing a certain distance from neighbor property lines, I think it is 25'. This does limit my coop location options quite a bit, as my lot is only about 60' wide, but generally isn't too obtrusive. A law that established a shorter distance to a neighbor's property and then a longer distance to their actual dwelling might be a better way to formulate the law. There is another law specifically stating that domestic fowl are not permitted to "run at large" within the city limits, which I guess this means you could walk them around on tiny leashes if you wanted to. Otherwise, that's it. Other potential problems are just governed under the laws for public nuisance... so noise or odor problems are still taken care of, but without arbitrary legistation. I was actually really (pleasantly) surprised to find how little regulation they have here.
 
Jessica Padgham
Posts: 95
Location: Denver, Co 6000ft bentonite clay soil
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Lakewood, Colorado changed the laws to allow chickens on small lots a few years ago.
You have to get a permit.
Max 4 hens, no roosters
minimum 6 sq ft living space per bird (I think that is coop + run)
5ft setback for coop
birds must be kept fenced in with minimum 4 ft fence
 
Eric Thomas
Posts: 99
Location: Northeast Oklahoma, Formerly Zone 6b, Now Officially Zone 7
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Tulsa OK:

Poultry kept in areas not zoned for agriculture shall not exceed six (6) adults and fourteen (14) chicks under the age of eight ( 8 ) weeks, and must be kept under the following conditions:
1. The fowl must be kept in a building which at its nearest point is no closer than fifty (50) feet to any adjoining residence;
2. The floors of such building shall be of easily-cleanable construction, and shall be maintained in a sanitary condition not offensive or dangerous to the public health by routinely cleaning and properly disposing of the droppings; and
3. The outside openings of the building shall be screened to prevent the spread of disease by flies and vermin.

Funny thing is that there was and probably still is a vibrant feral chicken community around the river. I don't think they care much for the law...
 
Erik Pehoviack
Posts: 14
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Our forward thinking city leaders here in Ord Nebraska outlawed fowl in city limits seven years ago. Evidently an elderly lady was having issues with the neighboring hens keeping her from her afternoon nap. Be appreciative for the fowl you can keep because some of us are having our rights stripped on a regular basis.
 
Jay Kepple
Posts: 33
Location: Dubuque, ia
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Our rules are no roosters
 
Bradley Springer
Posts: 9
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Not allowed. Currently rallying troops from gardening FB groups to make a go at it.

Chicago, LA, and NY all allow chickens to some degree. That's usually enough to convince the average person. City bureaucrats are a tough nut to crack around here. HOA mentality at all levels of government.
 
Jeremy Devers
Posts: 4
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Fayetteville Arkansas. Until last year it was pretty restrictive but allowed, last year though an urban agriculture ordinance passed which opens it up a lot. It allows single-family homes to have up to 20 chickens or ducks on any property. Three goats and four beehives are also allowed, depending on the property size. Urban farmers can also sell home-produced agricultural products from their home.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6144
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Around here, the sound of chickens means you're in the city. They are on every block in some neighborhoods. Outside of the city, they fall prey to eagles, hawks, raccoons, ravens, mink, cougars, dogs ... and they are generally confined more than those in town.
 
chad Christopher
Posts: 296
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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3 chix per 5000 Sq ft. Hens only in city. One more hen per 1000 Sq ft. 1 goat per 5000, one more per 1500. If over 2 acres, you can sell from your property, given you do not disrupt car or foot traffic. Bees need a 6 ft fence, on grade, or 10 ft or higher, 20 lineal ft from any home entry. Thats here in pgh. We are SUPPOSED to get a permit, but the local organizations that made these rules and restrictions standard, advise not to apply. For right to farm and garden reasons. I guess we kinda have it easy, the local zoo controls most of these things. And they like animals.
 
Kyle Jaster
Posts: 4
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It took me forever to figure out the regulations in NYC (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island), but they are actually quite simple:

1) NO Roosters (seems justified given the noise complaints)

2) Keep it clean

Basically in NYC the issue is that the health department has to be able to come over and make sure that you aren't creating a health hazard for neighbors. There are no numeric limits (that I'm aware) in terms of number of birds, but there are definitely practical limits if you have a small urban lot. I would not recommend doing chickens on a roof because there will be a surprising amount of manure, and unless your roof is really setup as a green roof that can support an extra cubic yard or more of chicken compost (manure + hay/wood shavings) every 6 months then you will end up having to cart things down, which I think would be a major logistical hurdle.

If you have a small flock (you need at least 3 chickens for them to be happy, but I would recommend less than 8 - we've kept between 3-6 on our 1/10th acre lot), then the main concern is keeping the smell down. It also helps if your coop and the surrounding area always look very clean/tidy - we've had at least 6 visits from the health department over the last 4 years (one of our neighbors apparently doesn't like chickens), but every time they have arrived they've looked out over a very clean coop, happy chickens and a neat backyard and said "this is not even close to a problem" and walked right back out. As usual when interacting with the department of making you sad, it's best to be polite and helpful. The health department in NYC sees so much crazy stuff that if you are even making a halfway effort you fall under their radar.

I've found two very effective ways of reducing the smell from chickens:

The first is Big Ole Bird Biology optimized for birds - which is actually derived from the Aloe plant. It completely neutralizes the ammonia in the manure, in addition to helping with egg production and some diseases (or so it claims, we've had no problems so it can't be hurting). You put a capful in their water every few weeks and it starts working within a few days.

The other is to do deep bedding. This means you want to avoid putting your coop on top of concrete if you can avoid it. It will probably work if you have to put the coop on concrete, but you will want 12+ inches of woodchips (I've seen no adverse effects from either cedar or pine chips despite claims on the internet) to start the cedar chips are a bit cheaper online, so I'd probably default to those. What you will do is take a pitchfork or a shovel and turn the chips every week (you can go longer in winter). Every 4-6 weeks you will wnat to add another bag of woodchips. This has two awesome impacts: smell goes away, AND you get lots and lots of incredibly nutrient rich compost. I can grow corn in my backyard now in a foot of chicken manure compost (this was impossible when I was using soil I purchased).

Hope this helps!
 
Kris Mendoza
Posts: 79
Location: New England USA, Zone 7a
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6 chickens, no roosters, and some regulations about size and placement of coops here in New Haven, CT. The ordinance is relatively new. Here is how it went down in our local government:

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/hens_are_legal/
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5721
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Our little town has no regulations for poultry or livestock ....we have two sheep and eight chickens out back. We never even thought about asking before building fence and moving them in because our neighbors have chickens, goats and a few turkeys and the other neighbor has goats and down the street are a couple young heifers.
 
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