Need good examples of chicken friendly ordinances (residential not ag)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jjthink, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    If you know of any chicken friendly ordinances for residential properties (vs. agricultural) I would be grateful for any info. If you have link to the language, even better. Maybe this info will also help others who are trying to inspire their communities to be more chicken friendly.

    Looking for simple ordinances that welcome or recognize chickens as pets. It's okay if numbers are limited and commercial use is prohibited.

    People have all sorts of birds as pets - parrots, cockatoos, etc and more and more folks have chickens as pets (if one, why not the other?). I sit on an advisory board for 3 towns, one of which has been approached by residents asking them to consider allowing chickens as pets - currently the ordinances only recognize them as livestock and for livestock one needs a minimum of 5 acres. The people who would like a few chickens as pets are on much smaller lots. One such person is suggesting very prescribed rules - no roos, minimum setbacks etc. that just happen to meet his desires so he threw it out there and now it is in danger of sticking. My hope is to keep any new ordinance or ordinance amendment really simple as everyone's situation is different (I myself have a roo and a hen on a small residential lot and in all honesty, she and not he, is the one that likes to talk and yet combined, they don't make even the tiniest fraction of the noise many of the neighbor's dogs make).

    Simple language that interprets chickens as pets when they are in small numbers (I guess the number could depend on lot size) and when the chickens are not a business.....

    I can draft language but odds of success are better if I can point to other places that have done it.

    Thank you! [​IMG]

  2. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    Here is my town's ordinances. I think it is well drafted. It seperates livestock and fowl into seperate catagories, clearly defines both and sets up clear regulations on what is allowed.


    ps. I allow mine to free range in the yard, so I'm technically in violation.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
  3. Zylphrix

    Zylphrix In the Brooder

    Nov 24, 2007
    Hillsborough NC
  4. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    JJ - Where in NJ are you? According to the my town's regulations I can have 4 hens. No roo. (That's if I read it right) I will dig up the info and send it to you, the zoning part confuses me. Now I'm worried because our town has paid an assessment company to go to each house and yard and do their measuring etc. And I was worried about my hen house being too close to a neighbor's property, although they have no idea I have chickens. Anyway, I'll look it up for you.
  5. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Hi jjthink-

    My daughter and I convinced our city to rewrite the zoning ordinance to allow pet hens. Here is a link to the web site we used during the "campaign":

    and here is a link to the site we put up about the new law:

    and the full ordinance text:{3BF42F42-5556-44A7-B300-A55999FBD96F}.DOC

    I have a good word document that has language from several other cities ordinances as well. I worked with the city on the language so I did a substantial amount of research on the way other cities worded theirs. email me if you would like it, using the link on the sopochickens site.

    Good luck,
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
  6. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Songster

    It's a good idea for the towns to realize backyard hens are here to stay. It's a growing pastime and the towns would be better to recognize and contain this through some sort of restrictions, rather than attempting to squelch the movement.
    It would also be helpful to mention to the many larger cities, such as Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Los Angeles, etc. that allow chickens in residential areas.

    Another idea is for you to follow Stacey's great example, ie. take your sweet daughter to plead the case! Who could deny such an articulate, winsome and passionate child a few backyard pets ? [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
  7. jpc2

    jpc2 Hatching

    Mar 12, 2007
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Colorado Springs seems to have a fairly laid back approach.
    Takes some looking but boils down to up to 10 hens no roosters and keep it clean. Springs/index.htm

    Check Chapter 6, Article 7.
    There are a couple of other areas also.
    Search for fowl, chicken and rooster.
    There is a whole Article on Pigeons!

  8. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Thank you so very much for the info - I will be reading through all the links and will write again but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate each of you responding - thank you! [​IMG]
  9. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ

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