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Advice Please! Might be moving into CITY LIMITS!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TomOBedlam, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. TomOBedlam

    TomOBedlam Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 29, 2007
    Colbert, GA
    Heeeeeeeeeelp!!!

    I started my very first flock this year: 7EE pullets, 7 Buff Orp pullets, 4 Packing Peanuts, and 6 assorted silkies. They should finally be laying age right around the beginning of May, BUT...

    I may have to move to a new house that is within the city limits of a small town about four hours away from where I am living now, and I don't know if they are zoned for poultry! I can't seem to find out from the city website, and haven't been able to find out from anyone in the local area who I should even ask.

    The house I am moving into has a nice area for a potential small coop, but the neighbors are rather close and I am worried about the noise.

    So please, if any of you can help:

    How might I find out local ordinances concerning poultry in the backyard (keeping in mind that I am about four hours away from the town at present)?

    If they're technically NOT allowed, what would you do?
    Is there any sense in trying to keep a few hens "in secret"?
    There's a huge privacy fence, but as I mentioned the neighbors are pretty close...would just a few, refugee hens make enough noise that anyone would even notice???

    Thanks so much in advance for your support...I'm pretty upset at the thought of having to get rid of my entire, carefully raised flock...BEFORE EVEN GETTING A SINGLE EGG!!! [​IMG]
     
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Douglasville GA
    If you don't mind me asking, what town is it?
     
  3. TomOBedlam

    TomOBedlam Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 29, 2007
    Colbert, GA
    Chickamauga...juuuuust barely under the TN border.
     
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    7,008
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    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
  5. fallenweeble

    fallenweeble Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you might also call whomever is in charge of animal control or animal services in your area. that's how i found out what the ordinances in my neighborhood are.
    good luck! i hope you get to keep your chickens.
     
  6. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Wow, I sure hope you can keep your flock. Im not any help here, but, with a name like Chickamauga one can hope! [​IMG]
    Good luck on your search....I hope you can keep them.
     
  7. Jaimi

    Jaimi Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2008
    North Central Alabama
    I used to live in Tennessee (but now live in Al) and I still know lots of people in TN that have chicks inside the city limits. Actually, I've never heared of a town that doesnt allow them. Some have restriction on roosters or large numbers, but, as far as I know, not on a few hens.
    ...but dont quote me on it...LOL
    Good Luck! [​IMG]
     
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Tom, I visited a city guy with lots of pigeons once. We had fun watching them fly around the neighborhood and come back to his coop.

    I asked him if he had any problem with city ordinances because he had so many birds. He said no that you are allowed 3 so he figured it was 3 white ones, 3 black ones, 3 red ones . . .

    After thinking about this I got curious and checked on pet limits and in that city, it was three. But, there was no identification of species just number and whether they could be considered wild or dangerous. Apparently, this was so the city government wouldn't be trying to decide if someone's iguana or ferret or whatever was of concern. I think mostly they just don't want to bother - there can't be a rule for everything.

    Since visiting the city pigeon guy, I've learned of others of his neighbors who have chickens. Two families have 3 hens each but another family has a hen and a rooster. Owning a rooster is probably a bit risky but if the neighbors are okay with it . . .

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  9. tarazod

    tarazod Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2007
    Madison, WI
    Over the last 2 1/2 years, we shot a feature-length documentary on just this subject matter, keeping chickens in the city. Every municipality is different when it come to chickens. Many have definite laws, usually zoning laws, against the keeping of livestock (and chickens almost always fall under this heading, but not always).

    Other cities have created laws, often as a results of a poultry grassroots movement, that specifically allow for city chickens (ususally just hens, no roosters).

    But most municipalities (especially smaller ones), don't have any laws one way or another. And when you make an inquiry, at first they don't have an answer for you, but once the idea sinks in, they tend to come back in the negative.

    We suggest trying to find other chicken supporters in your area and if possible a chicken-friendly (or at least chicken-neutral) person in your local government. Let them know that there are a multitude of municipalities across the country including Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Denver, Austin, Madison...that allow chickens within city limits. Urban chickens are a growing movement and as long as the flocks are small and the conditions are kept up and clean, then there is no reason why a few birds shouldn’t be allowed in one’s backyard. Dogs are altogether louder and produce more toxic waste than chickens, but we don't consider banning them. A few chickens make for great pets, and that's how the zoning laws should treat them.

    If they try to toss the "bird flu" argument in your face, we interviewed, Dr. Michael Greger, one of the world's leading bird flu experts, and he says that small backyard flocks are not a threat, rather it is the overcrowded, unkempt conditions found in some factory farms that we should be watching.

    Good Luck
     
  10. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Wow, there should be a lot of people pleased to know that you are working on a "chickens in the city" documentary, tarazod!!

    This list doesn't include your Georgia city. I do notice that Nashville Tennessee essentially allows any number of chickens as long as they aren't a nuisance or wander "at large." That nuisance rule is what - - regulation thru litigation, right? Conscientious people (& their chickens) should be able to live with that.

    And, folks who know their "chicken laws" should get Katy at CityChicken your info - I'm sure it will be of help [​IMG].

    Steve
     

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