1. Me & My Peeps

    Me & My Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Western MA
    Does anyone here live in Ludlow Mass that raises chickens? I have a friend that just bought a house and was "Eggcited" about having some chickens. After looking at the town ordinances, it appears that one cannot have chickens unless on a farm of 5 or more acres.

    Anyone?
     
  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Western MA
    My foster sons therapist lives out there..
    Im pretty sure he said he had chickens at one time..
    I'll ask him this week and let you know what he says.
     
  3. 5j's

    5j's Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 23, 2010
    Wilbraham, Ma
    I live in the town next to Ludlow. I asked one of my town selectman about that same idea of having chickens. He did not have an answer of yes or no. he asked if i wanted him to look into it or just let it lie. he said as long as the neighbors don't have an issue it would be okay. Found out after we got 4 chickens that my neighbor 3 doors down from me (200 yards away) has chickens. we never knew it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  4. Me & My Peeps

    Me & My Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Western MA
    5j's :

    I live in the town next to Ludlow. I asked one of my town selectman about that same idea of having chickens. He did not have an answer of yes or no. he asked if i wanted him to look into it or just let it lie. he said as long as the neighbors don't have an issue it would be okay. Found out after we got 4 chickens that my neighbor 3 doors down from me (200 yards away) has chickens. we never knew it. I would suggest town website as a reference.

    Town website is part of the problem. It says that you cannot have any.......unless you have 5+ acres of farmland.

    Was hoping someone had already tested the waters...........​
     
  5. 5j's

    5j's Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 23, 2010
    Wilbraham, Ma
    Theres got to be a way around the ordinance. You can have other birds like parrots etc. If chickens are kept as a pet is there a difference ? would it make a difference if chickens were kept inside dwelling at night? He/she could attach coop direct to house. Might also talk to neighbors too. They may not have a problem if there is not the presence of a rooster.
     
  6. Me & My Peeps

    Me & My Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Western MA
    The ordinance reads:

    "Section 2 Definitions
    “Farm shall include any parcel or contiguous parcels of land, or water bodies used for the primary purpose of
    commercial agriculture, or accessory thereto. Commercial shall be defined by the minimum acreage
    requirement (1) or the gross sales and program payment requirement (2) specified in Massachusetts General
    Law Chapter 61A, Section 3, as amended. “Farm” shall include youth related agricultural activities, such as
    but not limited to 4-H, irrespective of minimum acreage or gross sales and program payment requirements.
    “Farming” or “agriculture” shall include, but not be limited to the following: *Farming in all its branches and the
    cultivation and tillage of the soil;
    *Dairying;
    *Orchards;
    *Production, cultivation, growing and harvesting of any agricultural, aquacultural, floricultural, viticultural or
    horticultural commodities;
    *Growing and harvesting of forest products upon forest land, and any other forestry or lumbering operation;
    *Raising livestock including horses;
    *keeping of horses as a commercial enterprise;
    *Keeping and raising poultry, sheep, goats, swine, catle, ratites (such as emus, ostrich and rheas), camelids
    (such as llamas and camels) and other domesticated animals for food and other agricultural purposes,
    including bees.
    1. In 2005 the minimum acreage requirement was not less than 5 acres.
    2. In 2005 the gross sales or program payment requirement was not less than $500 per year.
    Section 3 Right to Farm Declarations
    *All these guidelines are subject to applicable local, state and federal regulations.*
    “Farming” shall encompass activities including, but not limited to, the following:
    *Operation and transportation of slow moving farm equipment over roads within town;
    *Control of pests, including, but not limited to, insects, weeds, predators and disease organisms of plants and
    animals;
    *Application of manure, fertilizers and pesticides;
    *Conducting agriculture related educational and farm based recreational activities, including agri-tourism,
    provided that the activities are related to marketing the agricultural output or services of the farm;
    *Processing and packaging of the agricultural output of the farm and the operation of a farmer’s market or farm
    stand including signage thereto;
    *Maintenance, repair or storage of seasonal equipment or apparatus owned or leased by the farm owner or
    manager used expressly for the purpose of propagation, processing, management are sale of the agricultural
    products;
    2-16
    *On-farm relocation of earth and the clearing of ground for farming operations;
    *Revitalizing draining or irrigation ditches, picking stone, erecting, repairing or maintaining fences, and
    clearing, rejuvenating and maintaining pastures;
    *Herding of livestock from area to area, including along roads.
     
  7. BlacksheepCardigans

    BlacksheepCardigans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southeast NH
    The gross sales requirement is a very important line there. Typically a gross sales requirement is used to determine a hobby (no gross sales) as opposed to a farm (gross sales over a certain amount). The bylaws in Ludlow are worded not to forbid farming but to make it difficult to get yourself taxed as a farm. Because in MA working farms have a different property tax scale (ever wonder why there are so many little "tree farms" in the middle of subdivisions and developments? That's why), Ludlow is saying that you have to have five acres and make some money before it'll let you call yourself a farm. The way it's worded is actually not forbidding the raising of animals.

    It would very definitely be a question for the town secretary or, if possible, the zoning board, because I honestly don't see anything there that is designed to forbid backyard chickens.
     
  8. Me & My Peeps

    Me & My Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Western MA
    Quote:Wow, Thanks for the interpretation!! I didnt look at it like that. I guess maybe a quick trip to the town would clear it all up.........especially if it is - as you say...

    Thanks again!
     
  9. BlacksheepCardigans

    BlacksheepCardigans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southeast NH
    I hope you get a sympathetic ear. Unfortunately a lot of the ZBAs in Massachusetts have their priorities very wrong.

    Ludlow (and that area - Springfield, Chicopee, etc.) used to be the breadbasket of Massachusetts - that's why the Big E is there, because that was the site of the very best of the best agriculture of the region and it attracted show animals from all over. When I was a kid, it seemed like every other teenager west of Worcester had a horse or a pig or a couple of goats. Twenty-some years later, we're having a tough time giving our own kids even close to the same experience, even in the same towns. But, having had a lot of experience looking at bylaws, the fact that there's a gross sales requirement in there signals to me that the section is designed to define a farm for taxation, NOT define the legality of having a chicken. Pray for a ZBA that feels the same way [​IMG].
     
  10. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Ahh... Good ol' Ludlow Mass! When I lived out in MA for 2 years I loved driving through. I even pulled over to the side of the Mass Pike to take a picture with the Ludlow sign! [​IMG]
     

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