5 acres, can you believe?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by playmeasong, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. playmeasong

    playmeasong Chirping

    Apr 9, 2008
    South Jersey
    Hello all, I'm new to the lists and want to say hi, and thanks to everyone who shares their knowledge on a daily basis!
    We've ordered some chicks and will start the process of raising up to 3 hens for eggs and the thrill. Problem is, our township's muni code states that you need to have 5 acres to keep livestock (chickens are in this catagory for some reason). The head of enforcing codes gave me an "if your neighbors don't file a complaint, we'll leave you alone" and he's a trusted friend from our church. But, it has me wondering, are we like the most backward town for their insisting we have a farm to do this??? We have about a third of an acre, a lovely back yard in a suburban development bordering 4 other backyards, completely fenced in. I get to look at their dogs pooping in their yards all day long, and their cats creeping over our fence to stalk the birds at my feeders.
    I'm reading the Keep Chickens book and enjoying it very much. She is so positive and casual and I think backyard chickening should come back like she says.

    Thanks for listening!
  2. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    If you get hens and a mobile chicken tractor, no one will ever know you have them -- except when you invite them over for an omellette breakfast.
  3. playmeasong

    playmeasong Chirping

    Apr 9, 2008
    South Jersey
    From your lips...
    WOW, you're from SE PA! I'm from south Jersey only about 20 minutes from Phila. [​IMG] I hope you're right! I only have one neighbor that's a curmudgeon, so i need to select my words carefully when I approach him.
  4. Ruby Lou

    Ruby Lou Hatching

    Mar 9, 2008
    I was told something similar by the Township. I have 3 acres and need 5 acres to keep chickens. But I can have 3 horses. When we were looking to buy this home I called the township and asked about alpacas. The fella I talked with didn't know what an alpaca was. I explained, he said he would get back to me. He called the next day and said they would treat them like horses and we could have 3, one per acre. I explained that alpacas could be kept well on 5 per acre and he wouldn't change (we never bought any alpacas.)
    When I questioned why I could have 3 horses but no chickens I was told that chickens are farm animals. I asked the person if she thought horses were farm animals and she claimed they were not. I thanked her and hung up. The chicken coop will be filled with birds within a month and I will deal with the township if and when they come around. Freekin' idiots.
  5. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    First I want to welcome you.

    Second, just do it. I live in the burbs, and we have the same town code. Must have 5 acre plot. We have just under 1/2 an acre here and we built a small coop and have 5 hens ( the plan was order 4, expect to lose one, but 5 came and all survived ) So here we are a year later, and the 5 are giving me plenty of eggs that folks are now asking for them ( and now I'm asking for another hen or two to supply the demand [​IMG] ) the neigbhors don't complain 'cause my dogs are a bigger issue. Just give them an egg or two every once in a while, and just smile alot. You'll be fine. Many folks here do the same thing.
    We'll just want to see photos with the coop, chick, and growing process.
  6. conny63malies

    conny63malies Crowing

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    Get yourself some fancy looking chicken, like polish, d' uccle, frizzles and call them ornamental . egg laying fowl. If you can have a parrot you should be able to have ornamental fowl
  7. 2dream

    2dream Songster

    Jan 7, 2008
    Jackson MS
    Playmeasong - Welcome and good luck. Town ordinances DO NOT alsways make sense as we can see from the Alpaca and Horses nonsense.
    Ruby Lou that was the funniest thing I think I have ever heard.
  8. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    You should be fine as long as you do not have a roo crowing at 5 am *smirk*

    Makes no sense to me how you have to have 5 acres for chickens but on 3 acres you can horses....foolish people writing ordinances.
  9. Gindee77

    Gindee77 Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    QCA, Illinois
    Playmeasong, your situation is very much like ours. I live in a subdivision on about 1/4 acre...have snooty and very nosy neighbors and I just got chicks and we built a coop!

    First, I called our village clerk and he said he saw no problem unless the neighbors complained...he said he even raised chicks in his basement for his daughter's science project a couple years ago, and he knows of one family that has a pair of geese and one with a potbelly pig in our neighborhood! My neighbors are not the type we can approach BEFORE we did this and as they say "Sometimes, it's easier to ask forgiveness than to ask for permission"! LOL

    Here's what we did and our "plan". We built a little 4'X8' coop inside our garden shed. We also plan to build a chicken tractor so the hens can get outdoors everyday. We will have NO roosters and we got quiet, gentle breeds of chickens. Altho I have 16 chicks right now, I plan to end up with about 8 hens eventually ...once I can figure out which are the girls and which are the boys! Luckily I have a very nice vegetarian lady who wants all my "leftover" chicks for her yard...she lives in the country and doesn't care if they are hens or roosters...she just loves to watch them! We already had a 6' privacy fence all around the area the chickens will be in. We will keep the coop very clean, put the used litter and manure in a tight-lidded garbage can until just after we mow our yard. Then we'll put the chicken poop in a layer in the compost pile and cover it with grass clippings so there should be minimal smell. If they say anything to us, we will tell them we have permission from the village clerk and that we have the chickens because we're "going green" and how the heck can they argue with that?? [​IMG] I'm doing everything I can to make my little chicken operation as neighbor-friendly as possible!!! I'm only going to put 4 chickens out in the tractor at once so that's all they'll think I have. [​IMG]

    These people feed the squirrels and chipmunks and the @#&*[email protected]# little chipmunks have overrun our garden, killed some of my roses, tunneled under our patio until the bricks are all uneven and messed up... they also feed the wild birds and I'll point that out to them if they say a word about my chickens!! We "relocated" 23 chipmunks in as many days!! It didn't do any good...they are EVERYWHERE!! Oh and the snooty neighbors also used to have a cat that ran loose (totally AGAINST village ordinance to let cats run loose!!!) and it used to pee on our front step all the time. I NEVER complained or turned them in and I'll bring that up if I have to!!! I almost wish he was still around to catch chipmunks! [​IMG]

    The clerk never bothered to look up the ordinance about whether or not you can have chickens, but I used to be the reporter that covered this town's news for one of the big local newspapers and I'm pretty sure there is an ordinance against having "hooved" animals, but not about chickens!

    I'll be very sad and very angry if we have spent all this money on a coop, chicken tractor, and chicks only to have to get rid of them. I'll fight it to the end!! :mad:

    Good luck on having your little chicken operation. I hope you can do it without any repercussions!!! I'll bet there are lots of us all over the country who are living with chickens in town and dealing with no-so-kind neighbors!! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2008
  10. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    We live on a wooded, secluded 5-acre lot. I mean we are totally surrounded by trees. And we're out in the country. But, we have stupid deed restrictions saying no livestock, including fowl and rabbits, of all things. How would a rabbit bother anybody? Well, I talked to my nearest neighbor who is a friend and she told me she didn't mind at all if we have chickens. They never go outside their house anyway. The other neighbors won't even know unless we have a rooster, which I'm not planning to have. We're building the coop inside our 20X30 ft., 2-story barn with an attached run, so there won't be an added building. Also, our entire backyard is fenced. Most of the acreage consists of woods behind the barn. I'm going ahead with it and not asking. According to our deed, in 2009 we can petition all of the homeowners in our "subdivision" (loosely defined) to change the restrictions. I'm not sure I should even do this, because if even one of them refuses to sign the changes won't go through. I can't believe we are even classified as a subdivision. We live on a county road. It's just an old farm that was subdivded back in the late '80s. I figure "Don't ask, don't tell" is a good policy in this case.

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