im confused and frustrated!!


8 Years
Apr 29, 2011
Yesterday I get a knock on the door from the city code enforcement- someone had complained about "chickens or a rooster at this residence". Yes I have a loud rooster and coincidentally I had found him a new home a few hours prior (he goes there today at 3)- which I told the city guy. He said since I admit it and am solving the problem he doesn't need to come in my backyard and look- but hell come back in a week to double check. Then handed me a print out saying all poultry and rabbits cannot live within 50 feet of any dwelling. Here's my confusion: the code I read said for the zoning of my house I'm allowed upto 20 chickens and no rooster(hence the new home). I told him what I read and he said yeah- wuthout a permit you don't need a permit.
Ok so my frustration comes in because I have 2 other chickens 2 ducks and 2 rabbits (the rabbits I'm not worried about -they live in the house and I can easily lock them in a bedroom). But what about everyone else? I'm guessing the complaint was just for a rooster-since he didn't mention the ducks that live with the rooster. And I didn't tell him about the chickens. I love my "poultry" and have hand raised/cuddled them since they were a few days old -they all come to me for scratches and even sit in my lap - I admit the rooster was loud and needed to go but everyone else is fairly quiet -no louder than the neighbors yappy dog and they comply to noise ordinances which the dog doesn't SOOOO???

and then after he left and I could brew over the situation I felt like a gross animal horder or something- I'm totally offended by this whole thing!!

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?? Do you know if code enforcement is allowed to enter the property without permission?? He didn't give a day he would be back so do I hide all my animals for 2 weeks and hope I see him visit?
I might be wrong but I don't think they have the authority to come onto your property without permission. I would put a lock on your gate, if I were you. I'd also call your township office and ask for clarification on the ordinances for poultry (anonymously of course).
That's funny- because I also follow the house rabbit society and probably saw that story from their point of view. I think animal control can enter if they feel the animal is in immediate danger - I sure as -BLANK- hope no one is accusing that!! Because that is an entirely diffrent can of worms. I worked for veterinarians for many years and am fairly familiar with animal control - and you don't want them breathing down your back (at least in my area).

Side story: one of the vets I worked with made quick enemies out of an AC officer and pretty quickly the officer was showing up at every opportunity handing out tickets for the vets dog -usually leash law things. Even more unfortunate is that vet owns the ONLY emergency clinic in the county so quite often the officer would show up with animals for the vet to look after. Interesting situation.
Mickeymousears, please post your zoning code or a link to it. It will state if a permit is required or not. In some places some zones require a permit, while other zones do not.

Keep your gates, coops, etc. locked. Different jurisdictions have had different rulings on whether a yard is covered under the search and seizure amendment. If there is no fence, or unlocked or see-though fencing, there have been some rulings that it can be investigated. However, once there is a locked gate or door, the area is no longer considered open, and a warrant for seizure should always be necessary.

The Colorado situation is horrible! I sure hope the lady gets her rabbits back, and that those who invaded her property are levied some huge fines.
I think that's the problem- I searched for the code and all I found was the thing that said under 20 chickens was fine. I never saw this thing he brought me -Altho he left me the site where to find it. Which I believe is where I found the one I saw. Ill search again and see if I can't find it.

My yard is completely fenced with 5?foot wooden fencing -there are 2 gates on either side of the house- which we recently learned the electric company accesses to look at the neighbors meter since they don't have a gate (funny what you learn when you stay home for a day). So I assume the city could access the
neighbors yard to look into mine. We have a large coop- but let them roam the backyard all day. I'm guessing from my backdoor to the back fence is about 50 feet- I'm going to measure it to be sure (if its 60 feet then ill put them up against the fence and argue the structure immediately behind us is a garage). I don't want to start a war over this- so if he can schedule a time ill just hide everyone til he leaves and be done. I know many houses in this town have chickens- we recently had a black bear come out of the hills and was eating all the chickens and he had plenty to choose from AND the local farm supply (which is within city limits) sells chicks all spring- which is where I got my entire flock.

6.28.060 Keeping of animals—Limitations and regulations.
A. Poultry and Rabbits.

1. No person shall keep upon any premises in the city any poultry or rabbits:

a. Within fifty feet of any dwelling; or

b. If more than five in all of any such rabbits or poultry are kept, within seventy-five feet of any dwelling.

2. No person shall keep upon any premises in the city more than twenty-five such rabbits or poultry, except by special permit of the council first had and obtained, or keep any rooster of crowing age within one hundred feet of any dwelling. This provision limiting the maximum number of rabbits or poultry shall not be retroactive or effective as to rabbit or poultry ranches or processing plants actually in operation on the effective date of the ordinance codified herein.

3. The owners or persons in charge of such rabbits or poultry kept in the city shall provide suitable houses or cotes with board or cement floors in each and every house and cote, and the houses, cotes or pens shall at all times be kept clean.

So, 5 or less and it is 50 feet from any dwelling and no permit required. 6-25 must be at least 75 feet from any dwelling and requres a permit. I don't see anything that mentions 20. When I looked at zoning, I did not see anything covering poultry, nor did I find any zoning references in a search of the code. Which zone are you in, how much land do you have, and how long have you lived there (in case the code changed)?​
Thank you for looking that up!! That's exactly the print out that he gave me. Here's where I got my info:

now I see its a county rule rather than city rule (don't know if that matters)

I don't know how big the backyard is- ill measure when I get h
ome. We moved in a year ago.

When I found the site I pasted I looked up the zoning and the house next door is zoned residential small family - so ours must be the same.

I really appreciate all your help!! Thank you!
Both sets of code should have zoning maps, which will allow you to determine whether you are in city or county, and what your zoning is. THe county code does not allow up to 20 poultry; it allows up to 20 birds OTHER than poultry. The number of chickens/ducks, etc. allowed is based upon your property size. For the county no permit is needed.
So if my backyard is say 60 feet wide I'm within my legal right to have them? I'm thinking its going to be easier to just hide everyone when he comes. And just show an empty coop- where talking about 4 birds here its not like I have foster farms hatchery in my yard.

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