1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

how would you interpret this?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by heather5458, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. heather5458

    heather5458 Hatching

    Aug 3, 2011
    The municipal code for where I live (University Place, WA.) states "small animals shall be permitted...provided all animals kept outside shall be cooped or kept in hutches or pens or similar enclosures" Does this mean I can not let my chickens out of thier little coop to free range in my fully fenced over 1/3 of an acre back yard? It wouldn't really be an issue if I did not just get a visit from a complaining neighbor who thinks my 3 chickens are causing a fly issue in his backyard. I don't want to have issues with my neighbor (my other neighbor has chickens so no issue there) so I am going to do everything I can to make him happy but I don't feel good about keeping chickens locked up all the time in a coop. And there is not much I can do about flies in his backyard if I have none in mine.

  2. KDailey

    KDailey Crazy Cochin Lady

    Jun 27, 2011
    Bronson, Tx
    It sounds like they do have to be kept enclosed. Since chickens can fly to some extent, if I were you I would just make a run that I could move around the yard for them to get their daily exercise. Cover it with wire so they can't fly out though. Technically they are contained, but can still get some time outside the actual coop.
  3. MammaBear

    MammaBear Chirping

    Jun 25, 2011
    SW PA
    Tell him he needs to get some chickens or guineas to take care of those flies!!
  4. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Songster

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Call your officials and ask. Get it in writing. To me, a fully fenced yard containing animals would qualify as a pen. If not, they should specify the allowed maximum size of said pen.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  5. Chickens eat flies!!! If you keep your yard clean (I'm sure you do ) the fly population will go down. [​IMG]
  6. phasian

    phasian Songster

    Aug 27, 2009
    Quote:I would agree with this. You may want to pass on some fresh eggs to your neighbour too.

    Also, I find using aromatic herbs with my coop bedding (as well as my runs- though my birds do range on acres of pasture as well) helps keeps flies down. For flies chamomile or fennel I find works best but anything with strong odours like lavender, rosemary, oregano, thyme, lemon balm, mint, etc. is helpful. It also keeps the poultry area and the ladies smelling nice. It has the added benefit of deterring external parasites as well.
  7. Kaelinstorm

    Kaelinstorm Chirping

    May 17, 2011
    Bummer... My neighbors enjoy my chickens because they free range and keep not only mine but THEIR bug populations down. You could always get that bird netting stuff and section off a large part of your property for them to roam, making a really large run. Plus it will keep flying predators from snatching them up. Just an idea.

  8. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    See, the problem here is that it IS open to interpretation.

    The ordinance says "shall be kept" -- kept can have multiple meanings. One meaning of "kept' in the context of animals means "housed" - so, perhaps the intent of the ordinance is to mean that you need to provide adequate housing, something weatherproof. Maybe its not meant in the sense of "contained".

    Two ways to find this out -- one is to see if there are any court cases involving the ordinance, and see how they were resolved. But, with "small" issues of law, its hard to do, opinions aren't published and generally aren't easily searched for in court records, and you would have to probably go there. You might try a law library and see if you can find similar cases in your or other jurisdictions.

    I don't think your neighbor would have flies due to your having chickens, but just as an insurance policy of sorts, you might consider buying several disposable fly traps at the home improvement store and see if that reduces the local population.
  9. heather5458

    heather5458 Hatching

    Aug 3, 2011
    I knew this was the place to go for ideas. I have already installed the fly traps (still empty) but will plant some herbs and see if that helps. I am planning a trip to his house repentant with eggs in hand (with the name and breed of chickens included- an idea from another post here)and will call and see how this might be interpreted by those at city hall...did I mention he is a sheriff? Hopefully he will see I am trying to be reasonable and we will be able to work something out. I may even invite him over to see the coop. Maybe when he sees I am fly less he will ask to borrow my chickens. [​IMG] Thanks for your help!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by