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Sacramento County Chicken Owners - Page 2

post #11 of 20



The meeting to vote on the zoning amendment (unless postponed) is July 22, 2015 at 2:00 PM at the County Administration Center, 700 H Street Rm. 1450 in Downtown Sacramento. You have to call 72 hours in advance to be sure there has not been a time/date change. I am updating as more info comes in.


The Proposal to Ban Crowing Fowl on Urban Residential Properties in Sacramento County encompasses more than just a restriction to 10,000 square feet of property. Depending on your zone: Those living on lots greater than 10,000 sqft, REGARDLESS OF LOT SIZE, must get rid of all crowing fowl within one year of the vote's passage.  The FAQs state that Old Town Fair Oaks, due to its collection of "feral" roosters, will be exempt but not its residents. Yet, when you finally read through all the pages of this proposed legislation, this exemption is not specified.


The Supervisor who initiated this fiasco is Susan Peters, who claims to have been awakened at 3 AM by a peacock and declared subsequent war on all crowing fowl. Why didn't she just ask her neighbors to keep their bird in the garage at night? Maybe it was "feral".


This legislation will cause an unprecedented chicken dumping event of mass proportion. Fair Oaks Village already has experienced a doubling of its "feral" chicken population due to the rooster restrictions enacted by neighboring communities. The fact is there are already chickens being dumped throughout the county. This is NOT a humane act!!!  Chickens who were former beloved pets that presumably had a source of good food, water and shelter are suddenly thrown into chaos in an unfamiliar territory.  Existing roosters will launch bloody attacks on the new bird for hours on end. The unfortunate hen is de-feathered and raped repeatedly all day long. There is a scarcity of food and clean water (especially with the drought) and little or no shelter that is safe from the elements or predators. Many roosters do not survive the attacks and if they do they are often maimed or blinded and ultimately killed by cars or predators.


By making this revision to the old chicken zoning law, the County is forcing people to choose paying $50 at the animal shelter to relinquish their fowl, finding a sanctuary or other party willing to accept roosters, participating in illegal animal dumping (if you are caught you can be cited a $1000 fine) or euthanizing the bird(s). There has been no ecological study by the County on the impact all these dumped chickens will have on sensitive green belts or any cost estimates as to the damage they will cause residential, public or commercial properties. And what will this amendment ultimately cost tax payers?


The County claims that there have been many complaints over the years. Yet, 311 says that Animal Control does not accept crowing complaints, only dog barking. Before Animal Control the Sheriff's Dept. handled the calls in their copious free time while responding to real crime events. And the calls they received were not necessarily categorized as to type of noise nuisance. So, where do they get their data? I have always asked my neighbors if my rooster bothers them. They always say no...but other neighbors' barking dogs really do. Barky dogs aren't surrendered, why roosters- especially ones who aren't bothersome? Why not continue to deal with crowing as a Noise Nuisance issue rather than changing the zoning ordinance? Why punish good hard working folks that can't afford paying store prices by taking away their sources of good food and garden fertilizer?


P.S. None of us property owners with 10,000 + square feet were notified by mail of these proposed zoning changes and there are more animal keeping changes then just the crowing fowl ban. We only just found out within the past couple of months by word of mouth from friends. Don't you think we all should have been notified sooner? Were they planning to tell us after the vote? It makes us wonder if there is a hidden agenda.

Edited by Hoody's Human - 7/22/15 at 11:05am
post #12 of 20
That's upsetting. hmm.png. I sent in a question regarding the chickens in my area (district 2 - Patrick Kennedy) and received no reply. Does anyone know Patrick Kennedy's stance on chickens? I wonder if Susan peters is the reason why the chicken permit fee is $8,500. Who determined these fees ?
post #13 of 20

My recommendation is to call, email or Facebook all 5 of the Supervisors and attend whatever remaining Supervisors Board Meetings you can because their office minion told me that this legislation is still provisional (not set in stone yet). Serna is the head of the board and might be more receptive.  Also please keep informing everyone you know about this issue as most folks are unaware of these possible zoning changes.


I went to Susan Peters Coffee Meeting in Fair Oaks on May 30th. I found her to be condescending and dismissive. She only let one chicken question be asked by an audience member during the entire meeting and avoided answering questions afterward. Her staff, however, were much more receptive. It feels like she has made up her mind and doesn't care how many of her countywide constituents deeply oppose her proposed amendment.


I have tried to look up the permit fee thing and have found conflicting information.  If the County would just enforce its existing noise nuisance ordinance and fine violators instead of placing the burden on the victims who have to sue owners to make the noise stop it would bring in lots of money for them.  This $8,500 fee and ban of crowing fowl in zones RD-1, RD-2, RD-5, RD-7 or RD-10 no matter how many acres you have is a huge overreach if you ask me. Basically, it all comes down to this, the County doesn't have adequate enforcement personnel and wants the public to self-police to get rid of this fowl problem for them. 

Edited by Hoody's Human - 7/16/15 at 7:31pm
post #14 of 20

County of Sacramento

Frequently Asked Questions

Proposal to Ban Crowing Fowl on Urban Residential Properties

May, 2015

This FAQ provides information about a pending amendment to the County’s zoning requirements that would prohibit Crowing Fowl on residentially zoned properties in the urban portion of the County.

What is the definition of crowing fowl and what kind of fowl may be prohibited?

The proposal calls to prohibit "any rooster, peacock, goose, quacking duck, guinea fowl". Hen chickens are not banned by this code amendment.

Where does this apply?

The proposed ban would apply to properties in unincorporated County that are in an urban residential zoning category. This includes any residential properties zoned RD-1, RD-2, RD-5, RD-7 or RD-10. Apartment zoning already prohibits such animals.

This proposal does not apply to any of the Cities within the County as they have their own zoning regulations. This proposal does not apply to agricultural-residential or agricultural zoned properties (AR-1 through AR-10 and AG-20 through AG-160).

Why is this proposal being considered?

The County has received complaints over many years about crowing fowl, typically roosters, throughout the urban portion of the County.

When is the proposal up for a vote?

The Board of Supervisors will consider the updated Sacramento County Development Code, including this new provision, at their hearing of July 22, 2015.

If adopted, how and when would the ban become effective?

If the updated Development Code is approved at the Board hearing of July 22, 2015, the provisions become effective 30 days after the hearing, on or about August 22, 2015. If your property is currently used to keep or raise crowing fowl, you will have one year to become compliant and remove the animals (late August of 2016). The regulations apply to the use of land for crowing fowl, not individual fowl. If you currently raise or keep crowing fowl and a fowl dies, it may be replaced within 90 days, as long as the use of land for crowing fowl ceases by the one year expiration.

If you do not currently use your property to keep or raise crowing fowl, the prohibition would become effective as of August 22, 2015. 2

Will the County consider additional provisions related to this topic including the keeping of chickens?

The County has been approached by interest groups to address the topic of Urban Agriculture. It is possible that additional research, outreach to the public, and Board discussions could result in revisiting the topic of the keeping of crowing fowl. In fact, the Board specifically indicated that this is an interim measure pending more focus on the topic of Urban Agriculture.

What will happen to feral roosters, particularly in the Old Fair Oaks Community?

The proposed Ordinance only addresses the keeping of crowing fowl including roosters on privately owned residential properties. In addition, Old Town Fair Oaks is known for its collection of wild or feral roosters. Therefore, the County will not seek to remove these roosters (or hen chickens) as a result of this ordinance change.

For more information, please contact Tricia Stevens, Principal Planner, at

Edited by Hoody's Human - 7/16/15 at 7:23pm
post #15 of 20



Hi all: Sorry that I haven't posted sooner. We still have a chance to stop the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors from passing an amendment to the zoning code that will place a ban on all crowing fowl on all residentially zoned properties in unincorporated areas of the county. The Board of Supervisors met to vote on this issue on July 22, 2015.  Thanks to Don Nottoli, we were granted more time to organize and be heard. They will bring this to vote again on or before October 30, 2015.


I urge you and any other crowing fowl owners to please contact all five supervisors individually and request a "no" vote. They may ask you why you are calling outside of your own district. The answer is simple, each of their votes carries weight for decisions made for the entire county, not just within your district. If at all possible, please attend any meeting with any reference to "crowing fowl" on the agenda and fill out a speaker form. They are supposed to post the agenda and when/if a meeting is to be held 72 hours in advance. Find out what will be on the agenda for both Tuesday and Wednesday meetings in Sept and Oct. This month's 2:00 PM Wed meeting was canceled, but it was not posted on the Sac County site. You may have to call. Please, we need your all of your voices to ring out loud and proud. We really want to keep our male fowl and prevent a mass dumping of roosters. Few shelters accept roosters as most are already full. The County Animal Shelter will only take "stray" chickens. I know this because I called every shelter and sanctuary in our area this morning. The supervisors did not factor into their planning as to where folks might be able to relinquish their roosters. Chairman Serna said is that they could possibly waive the $50 turn-in fee at the County Animal Shelter on Bradshaw- whose staff told me they currently do not accept "owned roosters". If the County prohibits folks with large properties from keeping roosters, then who will be able to adopt them from shelters or take in found strays?  You can look up this meeting on their website at

Here is a snapshot of the outcome of the July 22, 2015 meeting:


5:10 PM  Board Action: Phil Serna/ Susan Peters - Approved recommendations by staff, as amended and directed staff return to the Board prior to October 30, 2015 to address the Crowing Fowl.

AYES: Patrick Kennedy, Roberta MacGlashan, Susan Peters, Phil Serna

NOES: Don Nottoli


ABSENT: (None)




Edited by Hoody's Human - 8/21/15 at 9:59am
post #16 of 20

Thank you for this information!  I will spread the word and contact all supervisors.  Hopefully we will not simply be ignored.

post #17 of 20



Once this zoning change becomes finalized, it isn't going to be easy to get our property rights returned. If you zoned (AR), Ag Residential, you may not be as safe from this ban as you think. Roberta MacGlashan the District 4 Supervisor, (see map: was talking about applying the ban to your residential zoning category as well. And what other animals or livestock are they going to ban next? Also, please note that other zoning changes were voted on regarding pens, coops, fences, walls, etc.


The Sacto County Supervisors want to see an angry hoard (so to speak) as Serna hinted at during the July 22nd meeting. Don't give up your male fowl or your property rights! We are asking anyone interested in attending a planning meeting to send me a private message. Please include your zip code and dates/times you are available and we'll figure out a location/date/time that fits everyone's needs as best we can.


The Supervisors will revisit the crowing fowl section of their zoning amendments “tentatively” on:

Wednesday October 28, 2015, 2:30 PM to 6:00 PM, Board Chambers, 700 H Street, 1st floor, in Suite 1450, Sacramento, CA 95814.


Contact: Kevin Romo, 916-874-8178 to confirm meeting agenda, date/time.


Call, write, email, tweet or Facebook all five Supervisors and tell them

what you think.

post #18 of 20
UPDATED INFORMATION OCTOBER 27,2015 @2:30 is the time for the vote to ban our boys. If anyone can research and apply property laws in our favor please help search. I don't mind compromising but I will not give them up. They are my pets
I had to assist this chick with hatching on father's day 2015

This is what that chick looks like today. How are they going to tell me to get rid of him and where would he go? Someone's dinner table?
post #19 of 20
How can we change the ordinance so that people living on smaller lots than 10,000 sq feet can keep chickens.
post #20 of 20

Hi there - new to the forum, but I would also like to know how we can change the ordinance for those of us with less than 10,000 sq feet.  I have 9,147 sq feet in Sacramento County and I think this law is ridiculous! Sacramento City has made the change.  It's time for Sacramento County to follow suit.

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