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MI Ordinanes....

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by stormysar, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. stormysar

    stormysar In the Brooder

    Apr 6, 2012
    I have had chickens in my backyard for about two years now. I have always been prepared to call upon our states Right To Farm Act if there were any issues. So far, there haven't been any. But the more I think about our city's ordinances I'm wondering if I could avoid potential court dates, etc. by calling them out on perhaps what might be their own mistake?

    On their ordinances, under "animals and fowl" they have two sections - one is "general" and the other is "dogs"

    Under general, it says no tieing of wings, overcrowding, keep chickens contained, no animals at large, etc. Nothing at all about distances between chickens and other dwellings. Common sense guidelines for livestock.

    However, if you click on the DOGS link, it then lists all the requirements for dogs - shelter, licensing, pit bull ban, etc, etc. Then (in that same list) it includes RESTRICTIONS ON ANIMALS NOT COMMONLY KEPT AS PETS and says
    "It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any animal or fowl within 500 feet of any dwelling, street, alley or public place, except such animals as are commonly kept or housed as household pets."

    My chickens are definitely within 500 feet of another home, sidewalk, etc. but this is all under the DOG section and had I not been investigating the pitbull ban I would have never found it. Can I claim this as their own fault for not listing that restriction in the 'general' category with all the other requirements for keeping livestock? Because seriously, I could keep goats and cows too, following their requirements under there.... Who would look in the dog section if you are looking to house chickens?

    Just curious for if I am ever ticketed - or if I would have better luck with RTFA. Or is there a way to claim chickens as pets? They go over specific guidelines for the care and maintenance of chickens, which would make one think chickens are legal in the city. I guess my question is - would I still be forced to get rid of them (unless I claim RTFA) even if they didn't have their ordinances in the right place or would I be allowed to continue, considering how long we've already had them, because they messed up? Did they mess up? Do most people read every single ordinance when you are looking for one specific set that has nothing to do with dogs? I do have a legal business, I do sell the eggs, I am set up as a farm and had intended on showing them our states RTFA paperwork if ever questioned about it.

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014

  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Check your allowed zoning uses. Pet and household use chickens are not covered by RTFA--that covers birds kept for COMMERCIAL use. I would be wary about trying to argue both.
  3. stormysar

    stormysar In the Brooder

    Apr 6, 2012
    Alright, I won't claim they are pets. That makes sense. I am still trying to wrap my mind around why they would have restrictions for this in the dog section though - do other cities do that too?

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