Chicken laws


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 12, 2014
So I looked through our zoning, it states a right to farm in my zone, no limited acreage. When I went to the town hall (prior to looking it up) the guy told me you have to have a farm. I said, what constitutes a farm? He said, well, it's a farm. I asked then I could have a poultry farm? And he told me no it has to be a farm.

Where do I go from here? Lol can anyone translate? Anything that's code should be in the book right?

Btw the towns def of farm:
Well, since I've dealt with zoning and building departments on a regular basis over the years, the hang up is going to be the part of the code which states "Any parcel of land which is used primarily for. . ."

They're going to argue, that since you live there and you're not making your primary source of income from the chickens, that the use is primarily residential.

One of the areas I used to live in actually put a dollar amount on the income they expected you to derive from your farm - $80,000 per year, net income. If, you bought a "farm"' that was in existence, before the new zoning ordnance was written, you were exempt. The law was later argued in court and repealed, as causing financial loss to those that owned "farm" appropriate properties, before the code was written. As no development was allowed after the zone change, since unless you were dealing with a very large amount of acreage, small parcels of land had become almost impossible to build and live on, had very little value, or chance of becoming a real farm.
Once the courts decided that the governing body should reimburse landowners for the loss of value, the law was repealed.

Some of you members out there will know where I'm talking about.
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Parcel is just another term for lot, acreage, the land you own. The county usually refers to your property by a parcel number, for tax purposes.
I think whether or not you can have chickens, will depend on who is working at the desk, when you go to the town hall. Just because the person you talked to the first time said no, doesn't mean they know what they're talking about. Try again, when someone else is on duty. If, they say ok, try to pin it down in writing. In my experience, one official will not step on the toes of a colleague that has made a ruling and reverse a decision.
Good luck and keep trying.
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We already have someone who told us yes when we bought. I was just trying to find out if roosters were allowed! At that question, the desk boy said, well, it's a farm animal right? So if you have a farm....
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Then he went on to explain that "chickens aren't pets, like dogs or cats or fish" and said I needed a farm. Ok... Does the town require a permit to have a farm? He said no.... So then wouldn't chickens be considered a poultry farm? And my dad said there's hobby farms too(but their definition says it's got to be a business)
I might be over thinking it but this guy made me leave feeling verrrrry confused!
but this guy made me leave feeling verrrrry confused!

Welcome to my world. That's one of the reasons I don't work in that field (construction/development) anymore. Thirty years was long enough.
At times, I've felt it better to ask forgiveness, than seek permission, when dealing with county officials.
I think he might have been confused, maybe he didn't see me as a farm girl and figured I was trying to register chicks as pets and get dog tags or something.., I should have showed him my dogs rabies tag and acted like Bella was my chicken and not my pooch lol
Easter time probably isn't the best time to ask about this

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