I'm legal!!!


In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 9, 2010
I've had chickens here in Stafford County, VA for the past several months. Since I could never find anything on line about them, I assumed that they were probably not legal (especially going by reactions of family and friends). I did it anyway, primarily because I have cancer that feeds on hormones, and I wanted hormone-free stuff. Reading/watching about what goes on in commercial operations, I was not even remotely convinced that the "free range" eggs advertized in our stores were, in fact, organic, free range, etc.

So my neighbor comes over and tries to convince me that he knows a farm where I could donate my girls, that I'm really illegal and should behave better, yada yada. Doesn't help that we go to the same church. I told him I am okay with God, thank you very much. He was shocked because God would never tell me to do anything illegal, that thinking I'm above the law is wrong, etc. So I decided to look once again at all the bylaws and rules and such. And I found that, sure enough, livestock is not at all allowed in residential areas (and I am very definitely residential). But then I looked at their definition of livestock and was surprised to see that every animal under the sun is mentioned (including ostriches, fish farms, goats, deer, etc.) EXCEPT chickens or poultry or fowl.

So yeah, livestock isn't allowed. But according to their own definition, livestock doesn't include poultry. AND, even though pigs aren't allowed, I can have a pig if I get my neighbors to agree...not that I want one, but it's good to know...So nyeahhh.....
Congrats! You are lucky. One of my neighbors called and complained about me having chickens (6). They couldn't smell them or really hear them. I'm thinking they could see them through the gaps of our privacy fence. The city has given me 7 days to get rid of them. So I'm looking for a home for them now. This is what happens when a country boy moves to the city.
Just an fyi, this is what the municiple code reads regarding swine. You have to be zoned agricultural.

Sec. 5-4. - Keeping of swine.

It shall be unlawful and a class 4 misdemeanor for any person to keep swine within the county except in agriculturally zoned areas in accordance with the following requirements:

Swine shall be kept in an enclosure that is at least two hundred (200) feet from any inhabited building or residence, or wells, springs, streams, creeks or brooks; or

Swine may be kept within a residential dwelling provided:

The adjoining neighbor(s) have given written consent for the animal; and

The consent shall be for the life of the animal.

(Ord. No. O05-31, 6-21-05)

Poultry is listed as an agricultural animal per the municiple code, livestock (which poultry isn't) is also considered an agricultural animal.
Hi Good for you for standing your ground and doing your research. I sincerely hope you feel better. If you are not hurting anyone else by having the chickens then your neighbor should really leave you alone. You are dealing with your condition in a healthy way. Your neighbor may think he/she lives by the law but I'm certain if they looked a little closer, there is probably a few they are breaking. I'm all about following the word of God but I think your neighbor is a bit legalistic and lacks compassion. God Bless You

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