How to find out if your town allows chickens?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by kmj3112, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. kmj3112

    kmj3112 New Egg

    Feb 10, 2009
    Hello, my name is Kim and I am brand new to my town AND to owning backyard chickens.

    Can you tell me where I start to inquire about the legality of owning chickens in my town? Which department in the town hall?

    Them most basic question, I know...but I am at the most basic step still....can I do this?

  2. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi Kim,
    I found my city's by-laws online, under exotic animals and responsible pet ownership.
    Then because it wasn't that clear, I anonymously emailed the animal control to ask about chickens.
    Hope this helps!
  3. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    go to the towns website and look up zonning laws that should tell you.
  4. chicchick

    chicchick Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 6, 2009
    Eastern Massachusetts
    HI, I'm new too. I went to the town hall and they had me go to the Board of Health office. Those are the folks who will collect my plot plan (showing where the houses are and where the coop will be), my fees and certified letters from all my neighbors saying they know of my palns... and then hold a hearing before giving me a permit. whew! Yup, Board of Health. Good luck!!!!
  5. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    If you build it...then you will know! It is easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission...just do it! To heck with ordinances and such! [​IMG] But I didn't tell you it would be okay
  6. Momma_Cluck

    Momma_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2008
    N. West Michigan
    1st, call your TOWNSHIP supervisor...

    then Your COUNTY zoning board...

    Then CITY Zoning...

    if all 3 Concur-- you are good to go!

    Some places make you by a licence and restrict the # of hens you can have, some allow hens, but no Roo's...

    Good Luck!
  7. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    We called the town.
  8. kmj3112

    kmj3112 New Egg

    Feb 10, 2009
    Thanks everyone for all your help! Unfortunately, after going to my town hall then to the Building Department, they said I needed at least 5 acres of land in order to have 1 chicken. So....that being said...we are going to see if my sister-in-law can do it instead at her home ...... different town!

    Thanks so much to everyone again!!
  9. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Kim - 5 acres of land is more like the amount of land to have a HORSE than a chicken.
    I wonder if your town has a livestock ordinance, and that is what your town officials looked at?

    I have looked at other towns ordinances, and it seems that poultry or chickens are often mixed in with livestock in the ordinance -- but when you look at the "definitions" section, they are not livestock.

    One ordinance I looked at recently, chickens fit the definition of "household pet" and were not included in the definition of "livestock" -- leading to a legitimate argument that a chicken should be considered a household pet, like a rabbit.

    See if you can get a copy of your town's ordinances and read them yourself to see where chickens fit in. Of course, moving your chicken keeping to another town might help, too.

    and [​IMG]
  10. tcbfan5

    tcbfan5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2008

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