How to deal with contradictory ordinances? The wife and I are interested in keeping 3-4 hens on our property, in town. We live in a small town, population of only 2000-3000 residents. This is a topic that comes up quite often with us, as my wife has a co-worker that is constantly offering us baby chicks. We haven't made the plunge yet... mainly because I want to do this the "legal" way. Yesterday I went to the Town Hall. The Recorder was more then happy to provide me with a copy of the city ordinances that pertain to animals in the city. I would like to add that I searched the database (on this site) and our town is not listed. Maybe I should submit ours. At any rate here is what it says: 505.03 NUISANCE CONDITIONS PROHIBITED No person shall keep or harbor any animal or fowl in the Municipality so as to create noxious, or offensive odors or unsanitary conditions which are a menace to the health, comfort or safety of the public. 505.07 ANIMALS AND BIRDS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY (a)(2) "Birds" includes chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, and pigeons and other birds, wild or domestic, whether commonly kept in cages or not; male and female shall be included of each kind. (b) All animals and birds shall be kept on the premise of the owners of such animals or birds, except when they may be lawfully be upon the public streets of the municipality or elsewhere upon public property under proper supervision of a keeper or attendant, or upon the property of another person with the express consent of such other person. 505.08 KEEPING FARM ANIMALS; BREEDING; KENNELS. No person shall keep, house, or breed or pen any chickens, cattle, or swine within the corporate limits of the municipality. No person shall breed animals or provide or operate a kennel for animals, as animals are defined in section 505.07(a)(1), within 300 feet from any public alley, street or dwelling house. Do you spot the contradiction? 505.03 to me says, keep things neat and tidy. 505.07 to me says, keep your animals on your property. 505.08 to me says, ignore the previous and forget the idea all away around! Now, I know that the city recorder has no legal bearing on any of the following conversation, but it was the only person I could talk to at the moment. I just wanted to see what she was going to say. I explained that I simply wanted to keep a few hens for eggs, no roosters. She asked me If they would we "penned" in any way. I told her that a chicken coop would be there home. She stated that most likely, if I kept everything neat and clean, no odors, then most likely no one would complain. In a nutshell, only after a complaint would the city investigate. Her words verbatim "the city has better things to do then to hunt down someone with a couple of chickens". It seems to me that the city decided to add an ordinance to prevent any large quantities of livestock in the city. That essentially, don't go making a show about it, keep things clean, and you will be ok. Im not too concerned about 2 of my 3 neighbors. Mainly because the neighbors on either side don't seem to give 2 squats about anything going on, let alone whats going on in my yard. The 3rd neighbor, an elderly neighbor might be an issue. She seems to be the "busy body" type. Or she was in the past, her health isnt too well now. My personal thoughts are that, everything will go smoothly. But on the other side.. its frowned upon. What to do?