Is a chicken considered a fowl or a bird? Can it be considered a pet?

Nov 20, 2020
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Hello,

I live in Southgate, MI and currently the ordinance states that fowl along with other “barnyard” animals are prohibited. I Have read that one option is to argue definitions and claim chickens are considered birds not fowl. Others believe that the city’s acceptance of your chickens would be permitted if you claimed them as a pet.

I simply want to have 4 chickens because they are beautiful to watch and to benefit from their egg laying capability. What, if anything, can I use to keep the city from fining me and/or ultimately forceI guess me to get rid of the chickens (once I get them or IF I get them).

Thank you and hopefully someone has some positive advice for me
 

Weeg

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They are considered "fowl" but your argument would be based on there set up partially I think. I mean, if you REALLY wanted one, you could probably have as many as you wanted, put diapers on them, and have house chickens. I bet if no one saw them, and long as they don't cause a disturbance, or you don't have a setup like a coop some might consider "ugly", you should be fine. You could even put them in a doggy run during the day!
Basically bottom line, you will mostly likely only have to get rid of them, if someone complains about them. Otherwise, the officials have no reason to know about, or take away the chickens. If you keep it low key, you may be able to renegade it. Hope this helps!
 

CluckerFamily

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I agree with @Weeg that you may find some ways around it. I personally consider them fowl and they are my pets because I will never cull them unless they were suffering and there was no way they would survive.
You will need to do your research. You obviously can't have a rooster but not all hens are quiet, they will tell the neighborhood that they have just done the impossible and laid an egg. Some chickens are quiet but it depends on their own personality.
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
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I agree with @Weeg that you may find some ways around it. I personally consider them fowl and they are my pets because I will never cull them unless they were suffering and there was no way they would survive.
You will need to do your research. You obviously can't have a rooster but not all hens are quiet, they will tell the neighborhood that they have just done the impossible and laid an egg. Some chickens are quiet but it depends on their own personality.
Agreed, as long as they aren't disturbing anyone, and they have no reason to complain, you have a neat, tidy coop, the city has no reason o be worried about your hens. Safest would eb to have house chickens, or to have them sleep in the house at night so you don't need a coop, but like my family, to most people, this is unacceptable, so a neat coop setup is your next best bet. Go for it! I wonder if there ar any breeds in particular that are quiet....
 

CluckerFamily

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An idea... because I know there are some people in our city that have chickens but no one can prove it... they transferred a kids playhouse into a chicken coop and insulated and used plywood to help muffle sounds. They have their yard fenced in and the playhouses in the farthest corner that is away from 2nd floor windows on neighbor's houses.
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
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I wasn't allowed to have "livestock" in my old neighborhood. I gave my neighbors free eggs now and then, and no one ever complained. I actually bought the eggs from the supermarket and repackaged them, because I only had 6 hens and they were not laying that many eggs.
That is awesome! We have a lot of complainers here about horses on the no horse trails. The horses don't do much, just a few droppings witch are mostly in the bushes, some people are just looking for things to complain about...
 

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