Backyard quail legality in hagerstown MD

Thefancyrat

Hatching
Dec 7, 2020
3
0
3
Hello! Long time lurker here, but first time poster.

It looks like we're finally buying a house, and I'd like to get some quail for eggs and meat.

I'm having an awfully hard time trying to find any info about the legality of quail or other non chicken birds within the city limits of Hagerstown.

I can't imagine anyone would take issue with us having maybe 10 or so quail kept in a large rabbit hutch, but any birds can be noisy. I'd hate to keep our neighbour's up.

Does anyone have any insight or advice for us? Thanks!
 

JacinLarkwell

Crossing the Road
Mar 19, 2020
16,057
32,788
861
South-Eastern Montana
Hello! Long time lurker here, but first time poster.

It looks like we're finally buying a house, and I'd like to get some quail for eggs and meat.

I'm having an awfully hard time trying to find any info about the legality of quail or other non chicken birds within the city limits of Hagerstown.

I can't imagine anyone would take issue with us having maybe 10 or so quail kept in a large rabbit hutch, but any birds can be noisy. I'd hate to keep our neighbour's up.

Does anyone have any insight or advice for us? Thanks!
First of all, define "large rabbit hutch". 10 quail would need at least 10 sq feet if you don't want constant problems with pecking and scalping
 

Nabiki

Quail Geek
Premium Feather Member
May 15, 2019
9,241
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Sonoma County, CA
Check with your state's agriculture department. Most states don't require permits for coturnix quail. Also check with your city, (possibly with animal control) to see if there are any city ordinances or limits.
 

Hei 20

Free Ranging
Oct 8, 2020
1,926
10,853
501
Hello! Long time lurker here, but first time poster.

It looks like we're finally buying a house, and I'd like to get some quail for eggs and meat.

I'm having an awfully hard time trying to find any info about the legality of quail or other non chicken birds within the city limits of Hagerstown.

I can't imagine anyone would take issue with us having maybe 10 or so quail kept in a large rabbit hutch, but any birds can be noisy. I'd hate to keep our neighbour's up.

Does anyone have any insight or advice for us? Thanks!
1606528697615.jpg
 

muddy75

Win a BYC calendar in the mini contests!!!!
Premium Feather Member
Aug 17, 2018
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southern indiana
My Coop
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Check with your state's agriculture department. Most states don't require permits for coturnix quail. Also check with your city, (possibly with animal control) to see if there are any city ordinances or limits.
x2 yes city ordinances and HOA tend to be the issue with quail ownership. and many times these ordinances can be “hidden” and/or poorly written and enforced by complaint only. most of the time they do not apply to coturnix quail especially if they are kept inside a shed or garage.
 

Thefancyrat

Hatching
Dec 7, 2020
3
0
3
First of all, define "large rabbit hutch". 10 quail would need at least 10 sq feet if you don't want constant problems with pecking and scalping

Well I haven't gone too crazy looking for a hutch/building plans because I don't want to get my hopes up too much. However, I was planning on a fence being sunken into the ground about a foot, and then having a fenced in area at least 8ft by 8ft with the biggest hutch I could afford as a run in shelter.

If that won't do, I also have a lovely enclosure once meant for a monitor lizard (2ft tall, 6ft long and 4ft deep) that I could use if need be. It's pretty sweet, and not being used for anything else at the moment.
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
2,604
5,878
471
David, Chiriquí, Panama
Website with anything you'd want to know about Hagerstown, Maryland code:

https://ecode360.com/9906357#9906357
And specifically:
§ 87-2 Keeping of farm animals.

It shall be unlawful to keep and maintain within the corporate limits of the City any animals generally considered to be farm animals, except in areas now zoned agricultural and in established stockyards and livestock auctions where such animals are kept for a brief period of time.
 

Thefancyrat

Hatching
Dec 7, 2020
3
0
3
Website with anything you'd want to know about Hagerstown, Maryland code:

https://ecode360.com/9906357#9906357
And specifically:
§ 87-2 Keeping of farm animals.

It shall be unlawful to keep and maintain within the corporate limits of the City any animals generally considered to be farm animals, except in areas now zoned agricultural and in established stockyards and livestock auctions where such animals are kept for a brief period of time.

I found that passage too, but aren't quail generally considered game birds? I wish they just had a big list of animals considered livestock!

Looks like I'll be making a call to the Township.
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
2,604
5,878
471
David, Chiriquí, Panama
Calling them gamebirds ~might~ get them onto your property, but I'm not sure you'd like the licensing fees (usually per bird) plus their governmental right to inspect your property without prior notice, 24 hours daily, 7 days a week; like they do (or at least did) in Florida (when I was there), and the boatload of other restrictions that are imposed.
You might get away with quail as pets if you keep it to say, three hens and one cock, and they lived indoors in an aviary/cage. This is easily done if you have a spare bathroom in the house and placed their cage in the shower area, as cleanup would be a breeze. The bathroom would afford enough privacy to keep your timid birds comfortable.
 

MDBird

Songster
Jul 19, 2020
167
221
103
In my opinion your best bet is to become friendly with your neighbors first and get an idea of what they will tolerate. Then find out what the rules are if you want. Either way it is really going to depend on your neighbors. I'm pretty sure even if you are allowed by code, complaints can get you shutdown. I've not had any first hand experience and live in a different county then Washington. Either way good luck from a fell MD'er
 

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