Thank you so much DReyRose! That was very generous of you to share that with us.
Good luck with your chickens!! Sending you some "chicken prayers" from macomb michigan! :)
Thank you so much to everyone that has contributed to this thread - lots of great information! I have read each and every page (whew...it was only 53 at the time ;) ) and am working up to a challenge with the city.
This past fall, a committee made a recommendation to the city to approve an ordinance allowing chickens in the city limits...had the guidelines all set up, etc, etc. However, the City Council voted it down - which, quite frankly, I didn't think they would do, or I would have worked harder to try to help it pass before they voted!
Anyway - after reading all of this - I'm hoping to still move forward with getting some backyard chickens...primarily for eggs for my family (and well, since I need to be a commercial enterprise, for a few friends that have agreed to be my customers in order to keep me 'legal').
I have neighbors on either side of me...both of which I'm certain will call the city to report my chickening...SO, I'm thinking I want to be proactive and address the city BEFORE I set up a coop, etc and BEFORE I get a citation...
Has anyone tried this!? Or have most of you been on the defensive in order to keep chickens you already had!?
CaraBear, everything I posted has to do with being proactive. However, since I now see how to go about this, I'm taking the steps I suggested in the previous thread. I'm setting up for business, Rosales Organic Eggs, will be my business. Building the coop Saturday, adding birds Sunday and hoping to harvest eggs Monday :)> If they come-a-knockin' I'll have my binders with all things listed as they are here. Compost bin with lid, Plan for manure & receipt book for my sales. I'll then share with them the paperwork with the rulings. If I have time, before they eventually show up, I plan to go to the Mayor for a quick sit-down. If not, I feel I'm protected and am not overly worried. Based again, on what I've learned and the precedence set forth in the court rulings over the years.
Out of curiosity, what city are you in?
I received my notice of violation from the City of Sterling Heights today. I have 5 birds that live in a palace my loving husband constructed. I have spent hours pouring over this thread and I have spoken to Mike from Destiny Farms. I feel as if I know how to proceed but I am terrified of loosing my birds. Has anyone here dealt with Sterling Heights?
Hey everybody -
Just followed up on another MRTFA thread, and found another relevant document, this one written by Tim Fischer, Deputy Policy Director for the Michigan Environmental Council, in 2009:
The specific topic here is beekeeping, but the arguments about the kind of protection afforded by MRTFA are the same for chickens. This is another really easy explanation of MRTFA, prepared by a respected organization, that might help skeptical officials understand that MRTFA really does protect the rights of people to have chickens (or bees) so long as they meet three requirements:
1. Are a farm operation (have chickens, for example, or bees)
2. Are commercial (sell eggs, for example, or birds, feathers, or compost)
3. Comply with GAMMPS (are clean and responsible)
There are more details, of course, but none that are not easily met. I would hand a copy of that document and the one posted earlier from MSU to city officials, and ask them to explain what part of the law permits them to enforce local ordinances on you if you meet those state requirements.
Best of luck to both of you, CaraBear and jphillips.
OK, just for grins, here is that other MSU document one more time: http://www.animalagteam.msu.edu/uploads/files/20/Tech%20Bullitin%20Land%20Use.pdf
Links to MIchigan Right to Farm documents:
Links to MIchigan Right to Farm documents:
Yesterday I delivered a package to our zoning guy and our city manager. The package was of course our letter of intent, MRTFA, GAAMPs, and our tax ID number. The zoning guy called back and said we weren't covered because we are zoned residential and that he gave it to the city attorney. I didn't bother to tell him to read it again. Its past him now. But today the creepiest thing happened. I happen to look outside and there is a man in a suit, slowly walking the length of my privacy fence, peering in the knot holes in the wood. I watched him walk the entire length. That way down my street is a dead end, so I waited for him to walk back so i could confront him. He never did and a shiny black car drove away. I wonder if it was the city attorney spending the tax payers money on a Saturday afternoon. So...I called the police to report suspicious activity. My girls are in their coop so really nothing to see. What have I gotten myself into?
Alright, we have registered our business name and making it an LLC will come very soon. I am curious what kind of 'stuff' I need to register for now - tax id number? I can stop paying taxes on farm related expenses like chicken feed now right? If so, is there anything I need to register for that aspect wtih the IRS? Do you have to pay any sort of taxes and how often do you report taxes? I am just curious about the whole business aspect of running a 'farm' here in MI. I am also selling live rabbits - I know this is off topic but does anyone know if I have to charge sales tax for them, or seedlings?
I have learned so much from this thread. Thank you for all of you who have contributed - I have sent many people here to read the thread since learning about the RFTA myself.
I do have one question concerning the GAAMPS and hens - it seems they only require 1 sq. foot of space per chicken? Is this true? My hens will be in a coop with full access to an enclosed run. I want to be sure I didn't miss anything in there about space requirements.