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Doesn't say anything about chickens in my town Ordinance. Legal?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by Alman12, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Alman12

    Alman12 Hatching

    Jan 12, 2012
    Hey guys, i'm a brand new member, i want to build a small coop in my backyard for 5 or so chickens because my backyard isn't being used for anything and I love eggs and animals. So expect alot of questions from me in all sections of the thread for a while because i have no life ;)

    So here is my situation. In my town (port washington) i looked at the ordinances, and nothing is in there about chickens. If there is anyting CRIMINALLY wrong please tell me. I am already breaking my town ordinance because it says that you can only have 3 pets and i have 4 cats. As far as I am concerned no one will complain about my chickens so i'm not too worried.

    also, I want to start building my coop next week/weekend. It's winter right now and snowy and cold, but i'm thinking that if i build my coop quickly i can get some eggs by next week, hatch them, and have them laying by June/July. This might be better because the chickens will be used to me and my house from hatching, plus chicks are adorable. Or i could buy in april a chicken that is already laying eggs. Which is a better option?

    I will have plenty of questions to come, but these two are obviously the most urgent.

    Thanks so much :)

  2. DaughterOfEve

    DaughterOfEve Songster

    Sep 3, 2009
    Montague, MI
    First the legality. Chickens are generally not classified as pets, but farm animals. If your town does not have any stipulations regarding farm animals you will also need to check ordinances in your Township and county.

    Second, I believe any animals coming into your care requires planning. I would not recommend throwing together a coop and getting eggs. You have an incubator for eggs? Have you researched incubation? If you are in a wintery region you will need to provide a heated environment for the chicks either in your house or run electric to the coop for a heat lamp.

    Good luck with your planning phase of chicken ranching.
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Just call your town clerk for a quick answer. We couldn't find anything on farm animals where I live either. Called the clerk and had our answer in a minute.

    Buying point of lay birds is usually the easiest and cheapest option. But their is much to be said about raising weeks old chicks or even hatching your own. The bonding and cuteness of chicks is addicting. Also with hatching you'll end up with roosters so will have to re-home or eat those. Depending on the breed of chicken and your egg consumption you may find yourself overrun with eggs keeping five pullets. For example; our family of six had far more eggs than we consumed, 3.5 doz/week, with seven hatchery type heavy layers (RIR, Barred Rock, Sex Links and Leghorn). This year we have fancier breeds like blue Orpington which didn't start laying for over nine months and we are still buying eggs...sigh. I believe when they all finally lay and steady out, these five hens will supply us nearly two dozen per week.
  4. bluestar.ranch

    bluestar.ranch In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2011
    Belville Tx
    make sure you are good with your neighbors... a pesky neighbor acn make trouble... good luck!
  5. Chemguy

    Chemguy Songster

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    Yes, call your town clerk or zoning officer. If your town doesn't have any stipulations or prohibitions, they will be able to tell you how the county or state codes are enforced in your area.
  6. Alman12

    Alman12 Hatching

    Jan 12, 2012

    1. Chickens are actually considered pets in NYC. weird but true.

    2. I have done hours of research on this :).
    3. I'm not throwing together a coop. I"m following directions. i'm using "the garden coop" for instructions because i really cant build. well.
    4. In terms of incubation if you can show me a nice one for $50 or under that would be great :) otherwise i'll build one or mabye i'll borrow one from my old elementry school. The chicks will be nice and warm in the guest bedroom at least until i get guests ;)

    Okay, thanks so much for the info! If i get a rooster i'll cross that bridge when it comes. (assuming i raise from eggs)

    What do you mean by hatchery type heavy layers? Are they different then regular pullets? I did alot of research but not on breeds. Because i need egg layers :). Also, how quickly do you think if i bought pullet eggs would it take before they start laying? 6 months?

    @EVERYONE: thanks so much for the advice. I think i'm just going to get chickens, because all my neighbors are ok with it assuming i provide them with eggs :). I'm not going to call my town clerk as it might arouse suspicion, and i'm already breaking town ordinince because i have 4 cats and you're only allowed 3. It doesn't say it's illegal though so i'm going to take the ignorance plea on this part. Thanks for the advice though :)

    Another dumb question. When i ate farm fresh eggs for the most part, the yolks were a sunny orange, not yellow. That is what i'm looking for. Will all chickens lay eggs that look like that or only certian breeds? Or is it their diet? Feed is a question for another thread and a later time.
  7. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Songster

    Jun 23, 2011
    What are hatchery type heavy layers: Heavy chickens are just chickens that tend to be bigger, and more heavy than most breeds. Or by a heavy layer, it could mean a chicken that lays a lot.

    If you bought pullet eggs how long would it be 'til they started laying: Well first, there actually isn't a way to tell if the chick is a male or female while it is still in the egg, so you have to take a risk of getting males. It tends to be 55-60% males from what I have heard. Depending on the breed it will take 5-6 months for them to lay. Hens that lay steady and good tend to start at 5 months, while not as good egg layers start at 6 months. But that isn't always the case.

    What causes the yolks to be orange: What a chicken eats is what causes the yolks color, not the breed. When a chicken eats healthly things, such as bugs, grass, corn, etc it normally causes the yolks to be orange. I don't know too much on this topic, this is just what I have heard. My yolks are still yellow, but when spring comes I hope that to change.

  8. Alman12

    Alman12 Hatching

    Jan 12, 2012
    oh yeah and i live in a temprate climate so are pullets fine for that?
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Let me chime in here with some comments.

    I bought my house last year in a rural, agricultural county and the property was in a district zoned for residential/agricultural uses. NOTHING anywhere said I couldn't keep chickens on less than an acre. (My property is .62 acre.) Next door neighbors had 8 chickens and a duck.

    My flock is 50+ chickens, 9 ducks and 2 geese. A different neighbor complained and I was cited for having chickens on less than an acre. I appealed the citation and won, because the ordinances were NOT clear, although the Code Enforcement section had reams of internal memos "interpreting" chickens couldn't be kept on less than an acre. This took MONTHS to solve. It was not a good experience, either.

    So don't try "under the radar" chicken keeping unless you are willing to prove you're allowed to keep them OR are willing to get rid of them if you lose.

    As for chicken breeds, I depend upon this information:
  10. Alman12

    Alman12 Hatching

    Jan 12, 2012
    Thank you so much :). yeah i live in an area that has only one zone....residential. and it doesn't say anything anywhere about chickens. And i plan on keeping 6 in a coop that houses 8+.

    If anyone was wondering i have decided to mail order some chicks for 3 reasons
    1. i don't have to spend $80 on an incubator.
    2. i don't have to worry about potential roosters.
    3. i still get adorable chicks and i don't mind brooding.

    I will begin preperations for next weekend. hopefully they will be laying eggs by july :)

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