I know (of) other people who keep chickens in Cambridge. I have two chickens and three ducks. They are quiet and I keep them clean. Their coop/run is totally vermin proof and I take their food in at night. Today, the second day they have lived in their coop, a neighbor must have complained because a health/building inspector came over and told me that though he didn't know of anything in black and white, he thought we could not keep our birds. These birds are pets to me and I love them. Frances the chicken likes to sit on my shoulder. Potassium the duck likes to sit on my lap and be stroked. They love each other. When one duck is being held, the others complain until they get her back. When one chicken is being held, the other hops on the person holding her. I really don't want them taken away. I know that having them is not illegal (yet) but I'm worried that it will be! I don't know where to start. I'm just a big ball of panic! The inspector cited reasons I thought I'd addressed i.e. attracting vermin, the structure they're in (which is not set in the ground and was built by a carpenter friend who is at least mostly familiar with the laws about permits/structures), simply that keeping livestock isn't permitted in cambridge... He told me he'd "look into it" and get back to me (aka, find all possible reasons it wouldn't be ok and make a case against it). What it comes down to: I live in a 9 year old co-op with six other people amongst neighbors who've lived here forever (at least 25 years). I am part of the "other" that is gossiped about and resented. We try to be polite. We tell our neighbors when we are going to have parties and give them our numbers (we don't have that many parties - a hand full a year), we respond to their complaints (i.e. not having a bird feeder, removing our wood pile). We lend their children our basketball. We share gardening advice. I guess I should have anticipated this. I thought that if I chose quiet varieties and took good care of them and gave our neighbors eggs when they began to lay, the neighbors wouldn't mind. Our neighbor's tenants think it's cool that we have chickens. *sigh* How do I begin to do what I have to to keep my girls?