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How do I check if chickens are allowed?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by tjmings, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. tjmings

    tjmings Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 3, 2015
    Last year I moved out into the county and was so excited to finally have chickens! Many of my neighbors have chickens but I was recently told that we are not supposed to. How do I check the ordinance for my city? I looked on the post which lists a bunch of cities but mine was not listed. Also when I do a search for "Geneva, FL zoning or ordinance" I'm not getting anything. Any ideas on where to look without raising a red flag that I might be an illegal chicken keeper ;)
  2. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

  3. tjmings

    tjmings Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 3, 2015
    I saw that article too but it is Geneva, AL not FL. Apparently there are a lot of Geneva's out there :). Tried searching by my county and I am finding a ton of ordinances but nothing specific to chickens....harumph......I'll keep looking.
  4. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    oops! LOL [​IMG]
  5. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could call the county office too. It is the county though...so be prepared to be transferred a few times! [​IMG] Make sure when you get your answer that you get the article number to back you up if there is ever a problem with your neighbors. In writing is best.

    Hope it's good news for you? [​IMG]
  6. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    From what I gather Geneva, FL is an unincorporated census-designated place thus lacking any local government powers, thus your county and state laws/codes should be all that apply...


    Do some searches for 'poultry' 'chickens' 'livestock' 'farm animals' and the sorts and see what if any rules there are...
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  7. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 3, 2013
    Try calling your local co-op or asking at your local tractor supply. If it's unincorporated, you could call your county commissioner (or whatever it's called there). If you're in a subdivision you need to check the restrictions, usually wherever deeds are recorded is where they are recorded.
  8. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    I'm no legal expert by a long shot, but I know in AZ if you're in the county in an unincorporated town, like in my case Maricopa County, the county doesn't have ordinances that I know of but relies on zoning. My address is listed as Phoenix (city) and for a while I thought we were in Phoenix but that's just for the PO mail delivery when in fact we're officially in Maricopa County. When I decided I wanted chickens I initially looked to the Phoenix City ordinance that said we could keep 5 hens I believe on the first 1/2 acre, etc., but then I found out that didn't apply and we could basically keep as many as we wanted per our county zoning. So the reason I mention this is it might be the same way where you're at and perhaps there aren't any ordinances from the county in which case you're good to go as long as your zoning permits chickens (or doesn't say they're not permitted). Of course if you're in a subdivision w/HOA and/or CC&R's that specifically say you can't keep poultry then you'd run "a-fowl" of either the HOA and/or CC&R's. If it's only in the CC&R's and you don't have an HOA then it'll only be a problem if one of your neighbors under the same CC&R's decided to enforce the CC&R's.

    I have other interests that don't go well with HOA's and strict CC&R's such as amateur radio (antenna's) and I learned a long time ago that just because a particular property is out in the country doesn't mean it doesn't have a HOA or strict CC&R's, so you have to do your homework before considering a place to meet your needs. Of course if we followed the letter of every ordinance, zoning allowable activities, HOA, and CC&R we'd all probably end up not doing anything but sitting in our homes and watching TV all day for fear of breaking the rules. Most properties I've looked at had CC&R's at a minimum, and almost always had at least one restriction that you couldn't do anything that would be considered a nuisance. I can't think of a rule that's more open ended than that. In your case if several neighbors nearby have chickens I wouldn't worry too much about it as long as you keep things well maintained. I would take a good look at your zoning and anything else that applied so you know what's expressly not permitted, but I'm thinking since you haven't found anything stating poultry isn't permitted that it's allowed.
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    It all depends on location, I'm unincorporated and zoned 'rural estate' essentially agricultural with a few limits like no airport or runway on my property and I can only have something like 999 cows, not 1000 ;) There there plenty of ordinances but most don't apply to my zoning...

    With that said and in regards to nuisances, there is actually clauses in the county codes that exempts my zoning from many common nuisances that apply in most other areas... For example I'm exempt from noise violations 24/7 if it relates to agriculture reasons, meaning my roosters can crow 24/7 legally... I can also shoot guns legally on my property, zoom around on ATVs, have huge bonfires, and I don't have to actually maintain and cut my lawn and what not if I choose to, all things that apparently really irk the people across the street that are not only incorporated but have HOA regulations that have called the police on me a few times with the police just showing up and saying "Yep, no law broken have a nice day..."
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  10. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Back to the OP, I did a quick glance over your county codes (don't take that as thorough review) and the only thing that popped out was this that applies to residential zoning...

    So basically if you are in a residential area you will need a fairly large yard to legally keep chickens as their coop and technically even their run or ranging space has to be 150 feet away from your neighbors properly line in all directions...

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