Can I get a couple hens???

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by AntBee, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. AntBee

    AntBee Just Hatched

    Nov 2, 2010
    >How do I get the REAL info on local laws?
    We just purchased a 1/2 acre property in the back corner of an established community (our back yard is facing a narrow woods). In my back yard I have a porch & an elevated playhouse - either of which would be fine for a coop if enclosed. I do not have a HOA to deal with but I really do not want to cause trouble with my new neighbors as I plan to live here a LONG time.
    I have talked to some of my new neighbors & they say they are OK with my getting a couple hens... but other people tell me chickens are farm animals and not allowed in city limits. The Walmart a few blocks over sells laying mesh so that would indicate I'm in a rural enough area - right?

    >Where does one find only a couple fancy hens?
    I am only interested in getting no more than 6 (and more likely only 3) hens. I'd like to get fancy bantams; silky, araucana (green egg layer), cochin, etc. I've only seen catalogs listing lots of 25+ as a minimum purchase. These birds are not intended as food... I had some as a child & just want to get a couple for my daughter as pets.

    Thanks so much for any advice. I'm hoping to get on with this idea by spring. [​IMG]
  2. silkie_sue

    silkie_sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2010
    Keokuk, Iowa
    Hi [​IMG]

    My Pet chicken deals in small orders.
  3. forstadt

    forstadt Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 17, 2010
    Providence, Rhode Island
    McMurray Hatchery has a large variety of breeds available, starting from day old chicks, and a more limited variety of started pullets just about ready to lay. Their quality is outstanding, and they do small orders. . Craigslist is another probability, and another fantastic option is to connect with some people in your area from this forum, many of whom have chickens to sell.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Don't get them until you have read your county/city ordinances regarding poultry. You may be surprised. In some big cities, chickens are allowed and in some rural areas, you have to have at least a certain acreage to have chickens, sometimes as much as 5-10 acres. What Walmart sells isn't a good indication of the legalities of your having chickens.
  5. Wendy'sChicksRock

    Wendy'sChicksRock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2010
    Oakland county ,MI
    I found mine by going to the township web site and searching for poultry.they were not black and white but after some "reading between the lines" we went ahead and got them.we are not in the village limits,no association rule or anything like that BUT it did say we needed 3 acres to have a chicken.we have 1 acre and 12 chickens.1 acre per chicken are you kidding me.
  6. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    or call your local animal shelter. Thats how I started. I called the animal shelter and asked them what were the laws regarding raising chickens in the city limits they told me so long as my coop is 75 ft from my nearest neighbors house it is allowed. then I checked the laws online it started the same thing. no required acreage. We can have roosters too so long as neighbors dont complain then it falls into nuisance law same as barking dogs. The law also states that the coop must be well maintained no smell. The strange part of the law is I can not sell chicks unless I sell them in quantites of 8 or more at a time.
  7. AntBee

    AntBee Just Hatched

    Nov 2, 2010
    Thanks for all the swift replies! Awesome forum boards here. [​IMG]

    Took forever but I just got ahold of the planning & zoning commission. They gave me a final verdict on the potential of owning pet hens... [​IMG]
    We are in a 'R2' zone; no farm animals. If I am willing to pay $130 (a fee to process a petition + a fee for each adjoining property) I may petition for a 'variance' and present my case of 'hardship' to the zoning board next month. At the meeting I can present my case for why I should be permitted to have the birds, have my neighbors state their approval for them to be near their properties, and try to justify the benefits of having hens in this community. THEN they will tell me if I can or not.

    The lady said she can't imagine it being a 'hardship' unless I already had the hens though. {shrug} At least they are willing to hear my request. Doesn't sound good for the near future... but maybe in a yr or 2? [​IMG]

    So... if someone got a variance; would that change the laws enough for someone else to have hens???
  8. Mortos

    Mortos Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 23, 2010
    The variance would be specific to you. Anyone else who wanted to have chickens would have to apply for the same variance and go through the same process, even if they lived right next door to you.
  9. AntBee

    AntBee Just Hatched

    Nov 2, 2010
    I'm unable to get them onboard. I've just ordered 3 chicks anyway; frizzle Cochin bantam, blue silkie bantam, and easter egg bantam.
    Any idea what will happen when I get caught?
  10. KS23

    KS23 New Egg

    Apr 12, 2014
    You will probably have to pay a fine and get rid of the chickens. :( Just take care of them and because your neighbors do not care if you own them I do not see a reason why anyone would come out. I believe you are good unless someone calls animal control to complain.

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