Help! Surprise chick delivery!


11 Years
Feb 25, 2008
Hi! This is my first post, but I've been lurking for awhile as we have been contemplating adding a few chickens to the household...

Surprise! This afternoon, we received a small box with six chicks (2 Americuanas, 2 Wyandottes, 2 Chantecklers). We ordered them with high hopes before getting confirmation from the city zoning office that urban chickens here are no-nos (Syracuse, NY), so we canceled the order. Signals were crossed with the hatchery, and despite refunding our payment, they sent the chicks!

The chicks are adorable, of course, and the hatchery that sent them has been nothing but awesome to work with. I called, and they were very apologetic, and they are sending 2 bags of chick started overnight. In the meantime, I have the babies in a makeshift brooder (cardboard box with shredded blank newsprint, hanging light, nylon baby gate stretched over top for dog/cat/toddler proofness) with some hardboiled egg yolk and water in mason jar lids...

As much as I would love to keep these chicks, I think we need to rehome at least a few, if not all, of them because I'm sure that we're on the radar with the zoning board (they sent a strongly worded negative letter in response to my inquiry about the possibility of keeping a few pet chickens), and we have very nosy neighbors. We also have a 4 1/2 year old and a 3 year old, plus a 7 month old, a young lab-mix dog, and two cats. We have friends nearby with a lovely organic farm who have kept chickens in the past, whom we might ask to take some/all of them if we can't keep them, so we know they'll have a good home if it comes down to that...

Any help/advice/encouragement you wise chicken-folks could provide would be more than welcome! We are glad to have these little birdies, but we weren't at all expecting them this year, and though we've done quite a bit of reading/research, we have a lot to learn!

Many thanks for reading my rambling! I've learned so much from these forums.

Katie and the family
Well, if you really fall in love with them, you can fight to try to kep them.... we changed our town's mind last year (and had also received an emphatic NO) but it was a real battle, took all summer and had to run a campaign, really! But it's possible.

Otherwise, i am sure you'll find good homes for them! Good luck!

Sea Chick-- I might have to pick your brain a bit about how to change muni code... but until then, we're planning to keep at least a few "outlaw" birds. I doubt we can keep all 6, but I'll be happy if we can keep 3-4 of them.

We have good homes lined up for those we can't keep, if it comes down to rehoming, though. Friends with an organic farm and a small flock of mixed poultry (chickens, ducks, geese) at the top pick, then another friend with a house in the far outer suburbs and rural zoning, and if need be, my hobby-farmer uncle who has a growing flock of chickens but lives across the state...

Thanks again,
Hi Katie-
Feel free to email me anytime about the code change. I kept all the materials we used during the "campaign" to help out folks in future battles.
Good luck!
Hi Katie, welcome to BYC. Dont worry too much........unless you have a rooster, they are not a very big deal. They are a well behaved pet and the town does not even have to know you have them. If you really want to get rid of them, there are alot of people on this board in the area. But try to enjoy them.......the chick police wont even know you have them.
I would ask your immediate neighbors if they are okay with the idea, explaiing to them you aren't getting any noisy roosters and you will keep things cleaned up so there shouldn't be any bad odors. Also, promise an occasional egg delivery. Also, I tried to place my coop where it can't be seen and hopefully not heard easily as well.

I have to keep my chickens on the sly as well, but I checked with my neighbors first to see if they had any objections. I only wouldn't do this if you know you already have a PITA neighbor who will complain about anything just to make other people as miserable as they are.


Can I get your info on how you got the code changed where you live? I live in a county that won't allow livestock if you have a lot of less than 2 acres, and I'd like to be able to keep my chickens with out fear that I'm going to be found out someday and have to get rid of my chickens. All the cities in my county allow chickens, but the unincorporated part of the county where I live doesn't.


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