How to own more than 7 chickens?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by applelover, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. applelover

    applelover Hatching

    Nov 1, 2018
    I'm new to chicken stuff. It seems like most towns have a regulation that you can own upto 7 hens. But I'm wondering, what if I like chickens, have enough space at my house, and want more, how can I own more than 7 chickens?
    BlueBaby and penny1960 like this.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Waiting on a Fresh Garden Salad

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Unfortunately if there are rules on how many chickens you can have I would follow them. Otherwise you could get your chickens removed. If you want to keep more than move somewhere it isn't an issue and you can keep all you want.
  3. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

    Dec 29, 2015
    Mossyrock, WA
    Have to agree with old hen here, You do not say where you live or how land you have ?
    have you read the ordinances for where you live?
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.
  4. OldEnglishGameBantam33

    OldEnglishGameBantam33 Free Ranging

    Oct 15, 2018
    My Coop
    Bantams count as half a chicken! (lol, just kidding)
  5. moniquem

    moniquem Crowing

    Feb 3, 2013
    You should start with about 4, see how it goes. Hot summers, cold winters, predator proofing and finances can be challenging when keeping chickens. I got my first little flock of 4 this spring. We have survived the hot summer, no ones been picked off by a predator and now we are coming into winter so I'm gonna see how it all goes for a year. If after a whole year I still love it and all is well then I will add a few more chickens.
  6. Chick-N-Daddy

    Chick-N-Daddy Songster

    Well, I'm probably wrong but a female chick isn't technically a hen until point of lay - it is a pullet, same way that a male chick isn't a rooster but a cockerel. So, 7 hens (i.e. @ point of lay) and as many chicks as you want. If you kept hatching and culling / consuming you could keep quite a few chickens, but only 7 hens.

    Good luck with that, BTW!

    Alternately, how about keeping a bunch of quail in the garage / basement / bathroom / closet / shed?
    Egg - Static likes this.
  7. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    In many towns/cities, 3 is the max, so 7 isn't a bad number to be allowed to have. I happened to start with 3 and have 7 right now.

    Generally restrictions loosen in unincoporated areas and with larger lot sizes, so if you're serious about having a big flock and would consider moving in the future, looking for areas with favorable zoning is the way to go. I only have county ordinances, and sit on acreage, so I have very little restriction when it comes to poultry/fowl.
  8. applelover

    applelover Hatching

    Nov 1, 2018
    I'm in massachusetts now, actually going to move soon, and was trying to see where was chicken-friendly. I was also considering moving out of state too. Any feedback on that would be appreciated.

    Is there some way to just call myself a farm, but just an extremely small farm, so I could have more hens
    JimnRuth likes this.
  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    It doesn't matter if you call it a farm if you live in an area that's zoned residential only, it's residential. It does not change your zoning and you'd run into more problems trying to register as a business if that use is not allowed by zoning.

    If animals (and lots of them) are a high priority for you, aim for a lot that's zoned agricultural, or rural, residential-agricultural, something like that. That should give you more freedom. If working with a realtor, do not take their word for it, check with the city/county to make absolutely sure that the lot you want is zoned for your needs AND that the zoning includes clear allowance for animals.
    BlueBaby and KDOGG331 like this.
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Enabler

    Jan 18, 2008
    Where in Massachusetts are you? I am in Massachusetts too on the South Shore and a lot of towns here are right to farm towns with little or minimal restrictions as far as I know. You could always move here. :) that said, I haven't really looked into the rules in other towns besides my own so I'm not 100% sure there's no limit, I would look into it yourself, but I'm pretty sure. Although I've also heard some say that right to farm only applies to people with at least 5 acres and that make a certain amount of money each year from the farm but I am not sure if that is true or not. I don't think so but idk. It might be statewide. Some towns are using that to impose more restrictions I think. But anyway, the South Shore is a great place to live :) you could also move to New Hampshire. I think they are a little more relaxed there and no income tax or sales tax or really any tax except I think property but even that's cheap

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