Local ordinance question

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by shellybean40, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a neighbor's dogs in my yard twice in 4 days. The little dog tore up my Mama hen who is raising 4 baby chicks (2 wks old). I live within the city limits, and have a converted playhouse hen house with an attached fenced and covered run. I let my girls out to free range when I am home, usually in the afternoons, close to bedtime. NOT ONCE have my chickens ever strayed onto a neighbor's property. We live on around an acre with our house set back on the lot.

    Anyway, I called animal control to report the darn dog, and she starts questioning me about my chickens. She asks if I have a fenced in yard. We have a fence on three sides, but none across the front. We would have to get a gate with an opener, and the cost is just too high for us. She told me I cannot let my chickens free range unless the property is fenced. I have studied the ordinance, and it states that no poultry can be allowed to "run at large" ( mine are not), and that they must live in a enclosed area. (they do) I have never let them wander around when I am not home. She really made me mad, because my neighbor's murdering dogs have attacked my girls TWICE!! One of those times, the dog ran into my house!!! [​IMG]

    I told her we were not talking about me, but my neighbor's. She wrote it up.

    I am concerned that now I have put a big target on my forehead, so to speak. This is no small price tag to install the fence. We just cannot do it. Should I continue to let them free range, or just keep the poor ones cooped up? What would you do??

    Thanks for your advice!!
     
  2. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone??????[​IMG]
     
  3. redriver

    redriver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hrm... I am inclined to think that the semantics of the code are leaning towards them needing to be fenced. Perhaps you could fence a smaller area that would be cheaper than putting a gate across your driveway.

    Sucks, though. Hope your chickies are okay. [​IMG]

    RedRiver
     
  4. Charming Chick

    Charming Chick New Egg

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    Sorry to hear you are having trouble with your neighbors dogs.... not good.... I would think there is some ordinance that dogs are not to run free or perhaps a 'leash law' which could be used as a warning to the neighbors?

    Our 2 acres is fenced only on three sides. We also have 18 chickens who like to 'free range' in a large grassy area that is adjacent to their enclosed run. Rather than install an expensive fence and driveway gate along the front of our property, we fenced an 50' by 100' "annex" to their enclosed run. Using a 6' wide galvanized chain-link gate that swings 180 degrees, the gate either closes them up in their protected run, or opened 180 degrees in the other direction, will allow them out a hole in the run fence to access the grassy area. The grassy area is fenced with 4 foot metal stakes and lightweight wire fencing. It's just enough to keep them safe in the large open grassy area. They love it when that gate is open for them to access this 'free range' yet fenced area. The gate and some of the fencing was purchased at yard sales. My husband 'cobbled' it together and it works just fine. Keeps the chickens safe from any neighborhood dogs in the area as well as keeping the chickens out of our summer vegetable garden. When we are home, we open the gate so they have access to the large grassy area... all fenced. When we are not home, the gate stays closed and they still have their coop and the enclosed run which is plenty of room. The large fenced grassy area is just a bonus for them when we are home, which is fairly often since we are retired. It works for us!
     
  5. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    It sounds to me like you are within the law regardless of how she interprets it. Did she issue you a citation with a fine? Do you have the right to refute the citation by taking your case to committee or court?
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    So long as your animals remain on your property, they are not at large. For all anyone knows, you have one of those invisible fences across the front. That said, since you know the dog is getting out and harassing your birds, it is your responsibility to protect them, and that means fencing in the front. You do not need tofence across your driveway and put in an automatic opener (which is going to be the bulk of the expense). Either use a manual gate, or alter the fenceline so that it does not cross the driveway.

    As for the dog, have you spoken to the neighbor?
     
  7. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It seems the neighbors dog is 'at large' not your birds. I would suggest taking a video of the dog and then shoot it with a paintball gun. The sting will make the dog think twice before entering your property.
     
  8. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    I too, am a fan of the paintball gun. Makes mommy wonder why fluffy got so dirty when he doesn't ever go out of their yard, NOT!
     
  9. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Boerne, TX
    Yes, we do have a leash law. Yes, I have spoken with the neighbor, who blames it on her children, who either leave the door ajar or the gate open. I realize it is my responsibility to protect my girls, but it really sucks that I cannot let them wander without fearing their demise.

    Our driveway is over 200 feet long. The front of our property is 150 feet. We have an old iron gate that hubby thinks would work across the driveway, so across the front of the property might be cheaper. It looks like we may be building a fence. Like I don't have anything ELSE to do. lol.

    I was wondering if electric poultry netting might be a good temporary solution in the meantime. This is a small dog that has been doing the damage. What do you all think?

    Thanks for the advice and thoughts.
     
  10. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    I broke down and spent $7000.00 to fence my birds in. Ouch. I just thought it was the best for everyone, and it has been working.
    Too bad the clown who was the problem got a new fence in his backyard on my side. All he does is blow leaves up against it.
    At least I don't have to look at him, or all the crap in his backyard now.
     

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