Home Owners Assoc Takign Away My Chickens


In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 21, 2010
Washington Twp, Mi

I just received a letter from my home owner sassiocation and they told me that I have to remove my chickens and coop with 15 days or Ill be getting a fine. When I statred this 4h project for my kids I called the city of Washington Twp and they stated that we are a-1 argriculture and that I could have want I want. Since I got the letter I researched the assocation and it does state no farm animals.

I have a small 4 x 4 x 9 coop with a kennel run attached. Very clean and holds 8 silkies and 3 leg horns. The leg horns for my husband and I for eggs and the silkies for the 4 h project.

What am I going to do. How can I tell my kids that the chickens might have to go????

I wrote the assoc. tonight and informed them about the 4 h project and the eggs from our consumtion due to the salminella outbrake. I sope to both side of my neighbors and they stated that they would sign a petition. What Else Can I Do????

I love them

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I hate HOAs for this very reason!

Ask to bring it up to the next board meeting and get it on the agenda to change the rule to make an exception for chickens. The rules weren't handed down from on high - they were written by the HOA and are changeable by the HOA - i.e., *you* and the other homeowners. Offer a "reasonable" set of guidelines, like only a certain number, no roosters, etc..

Good luck with it.
You may be able to get them to re-classify yours as pets and not farm animals. You might get by that way with the silkies. I don't know about the leghorns.

If you get a hearing, take a silkie in so that they can see that it is not a farm animal.

you have to check legally, what ordinances trump what, if your city says ok but the local association says no, you have to see which one out rules the other.

Secondly, ask them to define farm animals. I dont know of a farm that doesnt have a cat, ask if they are planning on outlawing cats, i dont know of a sheep farm that doesnt have a dog (any farm for that matter) are they going to outlaw dogs? I am sat with my living room windows open, typing this, all i can hear is the scrub jays squaking and morning doves making the noise they make and the hummingbirds sqeeking, are the association going to take measures to ensure that no birds make noise in your neighborhood? (I say that assuming that someone heard your chickens) I live in urban Sacramento, so its not as if i am in a rural area.

i find that neighborhoods with an association very quickly shut up when you bombard them with the violations of all the people in the neighborhood, trash taken in late, complaints about holiday decorations and the light they give off, lawn violations, parking violations etc.

I am not overly encouraging obnoxiousness, but i cannot for the life of me understand how a few hens cause anyone any real annoyance. The only people that complain are those who have too much time on their hands.

Lastly, you could flat out refuse to pay the fine, they will threaten a "collection" account, but for that they must have your social, date of birth, full name etc, do they actually have that info? In the worst case they could threaten to evict you, but that costs thousands and in this economy, there isnt an association anywhere in this nation that has 30-40k to waste on a chicken violation!
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If none of that works...take the children with you. Ask if they are going to deny your children the learning experience of 4-H. Maybe they will let you keep them for the time of the 4-H project if you state not to have them again until the rule changed. Maybe the joy of having them is worth paying the fine until the rule is changed. I would also send them a letter of complaint anytime someone on the board violate and rule. Ask to seee the records of everyone fined and for what. Did they pay? Where they fined in a timely matter? Were special treatment given? They have to fine you for a rule in the same matter they fine everyone else. Try not to make enemies. As hard as thet can be. Good luck.
I'm no expert, but have followed some of the threads here about the MRTFA and it's written to protect commercial operations. As a hobbyist you'd be hard pressed to convince your HOA that you fall under the protection of the MRTFA, although there are some that have argued the point, and won in favor of "backyard" production.

From the statute:

“Farm” means the land, plants, animals, buildings, structures, including ponds used for agricultural or aquacultural activities, machinery, equipment, and other appurtenances used in the commercial production of farm products.

“Farm operation” means the operation and management of a farm or a condition or activity that occurs at any time as necessary on a farm in connection with the commercial production, harvesting, and storage of farm products...

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