help needed with Michigan Right to Farm Act

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by freedomchicks, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. freedomchicks

    freedomchicks Hatching

    Sep 20, 2011
    Can anyone out there help clarify Michigan's Right to Farm Act and how it applies to local zoning ordinances. I have a copy of the animal code dated 2007 though I believe I picked it up from city hall in 2009 or 2010. The code states in reference to poultry "No person shall raise or keep game cocks within the City." also "Commercial chicken raising by batteries, etc., shall not be permitted."

    So we went ahead and got 12 hens and converted our shed to a coop. The chickens have a large fenced in run but we also let them out to roam our fenced in backyard. Today we received a letter of violation from the city. They state the exact same code but they have it reading, "Live poultry and game birds shall not be owned within the City limits." They are giving us one week to remove them. Technically, 6 days since we got the letter the day after it is dated. Their stated code is not dated. I don't know when it was changed.

    Here is my problem. If I say I am selling some eggs and put a sign out, am I protected from the zoning law by MRFA? Since I don't know when our local zoning law was changed. Or do I argue that I am not selling eggs and get the city to rescind the violation some how?

    To tell the truth I wanted to sell eggs until we saw there was to be no commercial farming, so we figured we would give away what we didn't need to friends and neighbors. Now that I am aware of MRFA I am willing to sell eggs to my friends who have tried to offer me money for the eggs. Also, my hens are just now starting to lay. A few still aren't even producing regularly. What do I do?

  2. freedomchicks

    freedomchicks Hatching

    Sep 20, 2011
    I have skimmed through the threads. It seems that if I had my chickens and was selling eggs before the local zoning ordinance changed to no poultry I am protected by MRFA. But then I would be admitting to commercial farming which was against the local code. I am wondering what if I had my chickens when the zoning said no commercial farming and I wasn't selling eggs to comply. Now that the ordinance has changed can I start selling eggs in order to be protected? I truly thought I was in the clear when we got the chickens. "No commercial farming" was the code. Since I don't know when the code was changed I want to be clear on my approach on the matter when I talk to the inspector. Any advice on this matter?
  3. ChickenScratchin

    ChickenScratchin Chirping

    Aug 26, 2011
    Should be able to look up current codes and when they were written/enacted on your county and/or state gov website. Then you'd know when it was changed. Usually county site contains all the local ordinances.

  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Right to Farm laws were originally put in place to protect established farming operations (like mine) from nuisance lawsuits by city people who moved to the country but then decided that they didn't like the sights, smells and sounds that came along with living next door or across the road from a farm. Some states RTF laws seem to have now been so twisted and added onto that I'm not sure anyone knows what they protect or allow anymore.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  5. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Songster

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
  6. Skitz

    Skitz Skitz15k

    Nov 11, 2008
    Welcome to BYC!

  7. greymane

    greymane Songster

    Jun 2, 2011
    Snyder County, PA
    Quote:True, Katy. Sadly, these laws tend to get twisted to meet the (political) needs of those in office. The taxpayer be darned.
  8. Amigo

    Amigo Songster

    Jul 13, 2011
    Your house!
    [​IMG] The others seem to have answered for you. [​IMG] [​IMG]

  9. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us. Lots of good luck [​IMG]

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