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No roosters allowed in San Jose CA - HELP!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

We adopted 3 baby chicks that my son hatched in his kindergarten class. Wouldn't you know it - the one he has bonded to turns out to be a rooster(they are 10 weeks now!!!! I just can't stand the thought of separating these two friends. All 3 birds are super docile and will jump up when you are sitting down outside to sit with you (a stranger thing I have never seen - but I did not know much about chickens until this last month and a half since they have come into our lives). I use to have a rule, no chickens in the house, not wanting to have to clean up the poop, but I will be darn if my son can get his chicken (the now known rooster) to sit in his room for an hour or so at a time just watching him play legos. He has a blanket that KC puts him on and he just sits there, and sits there, and waits for KC to pick him up and take him back outside. It is the craziest thing you have ever seen!!!! Since Blacky has yet to make a mess, he still has indoor privileges. He is just starting to cock-a-doddle-do, it is so cute, it happens between 9am and 10am  and it really sounds more like a cough or something. Apparently we are allowed up to 6 backyard hens but no roosters in our area. What to do, what to do?!?! My son thinks we can just build a sound proof box to put him in. Any suggestions? I've always thought people that snip there barking dogs vocal cords are FREAKS but honestly, I am starting to understand! Everyone in the neighborhood knows we have chickens. We let them out in the front yard everyday for hours at a time. My dog patrols the yard for them and they just roam around eating insects from the garden and nibbling on the peaches that have fallen from the peach tree. Oh there are 3 boys next door that are constantly fighting to hold them, along with my 2 kids and the 4 other next door. Thus the reason they are so darn tame!

Danae in San Jose
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Danae in San Jose
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post #2 of 14

Oh no sad I just went through the rooster thing with our Buff Orpington After some research we found out that we were tech. out of city limits by 1/4 of a mile and it was zoned for roosters! big_smile

Call your zoning office maybe they have some wonky law like if your neighbors sign off that they don't mind it will be okay.

Or just ask your neighbors if they mind in general....

I would hate for you to try and keep him and then have him taken away and you get a fine. I think that would be alot harder on your family.

See what you can do legally first. Worse case scenario you have to get rid of him at least then your son could be part of finding him a good home and maybe the people would keep in contact with you from time to time hu

post #3 of 14

I agree with Nikki. If your rooster is quiet and your neighbors don't mind, keep him. I doubt the police would really be able to prove he's a rooster, unless he crows in front of them. Just tell him it's a rare Plumed Masculine Hen from Indonesia big_smile .

Just a warning, though: The most friendly of roosters can turn mean once they reach maturity, and your eggs will be fertilized. On the plus side, though, your rooster will protect the hens from predators.

"Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo.
    So little time so much to know!"
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"Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo.
    So little time so much to know!"
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply's. I am so broken up about this! How loud do roosters get? I doubt my neighbors will say anything to us but would hate for them to be cursing us behind closed doors.The only husband I think MAY be a stinker about it just told his kids they could get some chickens next year so I think we may have him, too: ). I have heard Roos can get mean, in which case I would have no problem finding him a new home. The darn rooster went to Toys R us with us today! I just had to return something and KC wanted to bring him. They sat in the car but that darn bird just hung out with my son and fell asleep in the car!

Danae in San Jose
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Danae in San Jose
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post #5 of 14

Aloha from Hawaii!

I grew up in San Jose - we had rabbits and other birds and beasties, but never chickens while I lived there. What part of SJ do you live in?

I read your story with interest. I really feel for your family and this decision you must make... Here's my story on this topic:

When my husband rescued a little peepster from the parking lot at a local market, we assumed the teeny-tiny baby was female. The baby chick cuddled inside my shirt (in a cloth), then I fed and nurtured it and the baby lived and grew! Our cat & Rottweiler were fine w/ little Chicken Laulau, since we'd raised adorable fancy Bantams before... Then he grew to be a handsome young rooster.

But my beloved "baby" is a Jungle Fowl (Google that), likely of local fighting chicken stock - our neighborhood was notoriusly bad for that, even though it's illegal, of course.

His crowing was adorable, at first, too. Even *more* adorable, Chicken Laulau would fly across our yard to land on my outstretched arm. I really loved that part. I'd just put my arm out and he'd zoom across the yard and fly up to it. Our neighbors (the ones that *fight* chickens) thought I was a crazy person! They offered to cut of his comb, called him ugly, but I defended him. Especially cute is the way he attacks any rubber slipper (or sandal) that he sees.  Or so I thought...

I hate to say this, but my beloved boy did become very mean to me. Not to my husband, but to me, an easy target. He would chase me across the yard whenever we let him out, then he would mercilessly attack me. I literally have a nasty finger-length scar on my face from him getting me from below my eyelid to my chin during an attack. I am so lucky my husband didn't kill him on pure reflex that day! I pleaded for his life as the blood gushed down my face. <Sigh.> I have *many scars* and have lost a lot of blood, thanks to Chicken Laulau.

He also attacks our Rottweiler, given the chance. Just think about that! Luckily, the rooster hasn't cornered the dog too often, because she could kill him with one bite. What kind of crazy chicken attacks a Rottweiler? Chicken Laulau was raised with that dog, and the dog was raised with dozens of (friendly) little Bantams before him.

Still, I love him too much to get rid of him - and besides, what would I do with a hand-raised "pet" fighting chicken? I couldn't just dump him at a park or at a trash transfer station like other people do. He'd attack the next unsuspecting person and they'd kill him on the spot. Sure my neighbors would take him, but they fight chickens, plus they eat their backyard stock. Not an option.

However, I work from home and am in telemarketing sales. It was a tough question to dance around from potential customers, "Is that a ROOSTER I hear?"

We've come to to a temporary solution. We moved and had to find a temporary home for Chicken Laulau until we can create a safe environment at our new home. Luckily, our very nice neighbor (who raises laying hens and, yes, fighting chickens(!) is keeping him until then.

Poor Chicken Laulau is on a very different diet now, and he sure misses the cherries and grapes and rice and and pasta "worm" treats that I fed him. I know he feels like he's in jail, since his living quarters are quite different than what he's used to...

However, I love him and am committed to him. He's 3 years old now. As soon as we can make something safe for a habitat, we'll be flying him over to the island we live on now. YES, that is how much my husband loves me, to let me fly my crazy killer chicken here to our new home. THAT means my husband has to fly to go get him. Nuts, huh? I can hear my clients already, "Is that a ROOSTER?"

By the way, Chicken Laulau is excellent for security. He makes noise when car doors open and close, when he hears noises. We like that part. But the crowing! He crows all hours! However, given our old neighborhood, there were chickens all over that neighborhood.  When one would crow, they'd *all* crow. How about this: We'd wake up in the middle of the night and turn on say a bathroom light or even open the fridge - he'd crow. You get the idea.

Why couldn't we have found a little *female* chick???

I should've gotten fancy pigeons.

My husband says this: "It's all fun and games until someone gets their eye pecked out."

I don't envy your position at all. All the best of luck to you!

(Edited for spelling.-KC)


Edited by CyprianoHawaii - 8/17/09 at 9:39pm
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

CyprianoHawaii, your husband is a better man than mine. And you, a better woman! I am hoping and praying that blacky is able to cont to be a part of our family. I even just ordered him some diapers so that the poor thing is not stuck just sitting on a towel in the house when my son brings him in to watch him build legos for hours at a time. He is only 3 mo but the crowing is minimal, and acceptable for now. He has pecked at my dog (a dachshund who now stays clear of him) but if he does turn aggressive, well I just have too many kids here to keep an aggressive animal. I am praying that never happens. Thanks for sharing your story, we are in So San Jose, Cambrian Area if you know where that is. I do so love these chickens, never knew what personality they had and the hens will some day lay eggs! A great pet, who knew!

Danae in San Jose
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Danae in San Jose
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post #7 of 14

Have you checked to see that you are in actual city limits?  A lot of the Cambrian area is actually un-incorporated SJ and thus governed by the county.

I dont have any chickens yet but hopefully will in a few days so I am also concerned about having a rooster--it seems like an impossible task to try to find a home (that wont eat them). 

Right now I am praying for a safe hatch and crossing my fingers the fledglings will all be hens big_smile

Best of luck!!


Edited by Bravo - 12/27/09 at 3:16pm
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Bravo, thanks for the tip, I never thought of that! Do you happen to know what the county rules are? Where are you in san jose? Where are you getting your chicks from? I am so excited for you. They are so much fun!!!!

Danae in San Jose
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Danae in San Jose
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post #9 of 14

kc&jsmom :

Bravo, thanks for the tip, I never thought of that! Do you happen to know what the county rules are? Where are you in san jose? Where are you getting your chicks from? I am so excited for you. They are so much fun!!!!


I've been told (but never verified) that a good way to tell if you were city or county is whether or not you have sidewalks; city has them, county does not. I am not sure what the county regulations are but I am sure an internet search will do it. smile

Best of luck with your baby roo!!


Edited by Bravo - 12/27/09 at 3:15pm
post #10 of 14

I think if they decide to enforce this law they will have to serve a notice you have to get rid of the roo. Maybe they will never serve you a notice.

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