HOA covenant that allows "caged birds"


May 4, 2020
Hello! Wondering if anyone has ever dealt with an HOA that has a rule that states the following:

No animals shall be kept, maintained or quartered on any lot except that cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters or caged birds may be kept in reasonable numbers as pets for the pleasure of lot owners so long as said animals do not constitute a nuisance or menace to the neighborhood.

To me, chickens are birds and I keep my 3 hens for pleasure. Would that hold up in court? The county ordinance allows up to 8 hens (no roosters). Also, there is someone else in the neighborhood that has chickens (but I don't know if that has been officially approved). Has anyone else dealt with something similar?
I recall that very occasionally, some few HOAs will have an exception clause for keeping chickens for education purposes (like 4-H or a school project). Ive seen it mentions on BYC before, but it is an uncommon clause. You would still likely have to present your case though, if there were such a clause.
Not to provide legal advice, the Bar aggressively protects its own, but I'd measure your chances of success (as someone who has spent a lot of time reading statutues, court cases, helped draft legislation, and was employed in the industry for decades) at slightly greater than a snowball's chance in Phlegethon. Less than that, if their Definitions section defines the term "caged birds" or if some other use of the term (or a poultry-related term, such as a definition of livestock which includes mention of poultry) either directly, or by enumeration of examples, further forecloses that avenue.

Your chances of winning a seat on the HOA Board and amending the bylaws to permit chickens is much greater.

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