New ordinance says "NO" to free-ranging... now what?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jbher, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. jbher

    jbher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tonight was our first draft reading of the brand new ordinance for chicken keeping in our city. We have worked so hard to get this far and overall we are very happy with how it ended up. Minus the "no supervised free-ranging in fenced in backyards". They said after our 1 year trial that is something we can ask for then. So we will. But until then - what should we do? I plan to get spring chicks and start building my coop and the end of this winter. We will be allowed 5 hens, a coop size of 30sq ft plus a run size of 50sq ft - max height of 8'.

    I'm wondering if maybe my city will allow us (or not notice) if we build something kind of on wheels like a chicken tractor that we can put the chickens in to be in the yard when we are with them. Anyone else do this? I am just so depressed thinking my chickens will be stuck living in their coop and run day in, day out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: If they are in a "tractor" they aren't "free rangiing", and would be legal UNLESS they decided to add that area to your total ALLOWED coop/run space.

    I'd move out of town
     
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Mistakenly double posted
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  4. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perhaps the town feared the chickens "free ranging" would meander into other properties. As animal keeper of cats, dogs and chickens, I accept responsibility in keeping them on my property. I have fences and runs, I do let the chickens free range when I am home and herd them back into the run with treats. I live in the country so I am okay with the occasional visit from the geese next door. Sometimes my neighbors chicken range on the edge of my property and if I see them I gently herd them home.

    I have lived in urban settings with really awful people in regards to animals. There was this guy once who lured and trapped cats. My mother had an inside cat and the one time she got out, we could not find her anywhere. This guy saw us calling for her. I even spoke to him and he said he didn't see her....but his son told me he had already trapped her and killed her. There was nothing we could do or say because she went onto his property and it did not leave us with warm fuzzy feelings for him. He had repeated this with other neighbors cats who were not inside cats and while we did not share that had happened - it got around and the guy was shunned in the little cultisac. He really liked the wild birds and he felt the neighborhood cats were hunting them around his feeders and was compelled to stop them. He also ran out and snatched up balls that entered his yard when the kids played outside. If the kids got to the ball first then he would march over and yell at the parents to keep the kids off of his property. Which he was within his rights but really not a cozy neighbor.

    I would suggest you build good fences and let your chickens out to enjoy the back yard when you can and keep the stealth mode in mind.

    I grew up in San Jose and many of the neighbors had secret chickens. We had one lady who would call the county if you had one too many cats or dogs and she hated birds but she never even knew about the chickens. We had maybe 40 houses on the street and we had at least 20 neighbors with back yard flocks.

    Caroline
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I disagree with this. Why court problems? Chickens are perfectly happy in a run or a tractor (which sounds just fine in the OP's situation), it's the humans who feel they need to be out more. 5 hens, 50 feet for a run, it's perfect. Spend this next year enjoying your birds, getting to know how to manage your flock, things like that, not trying to circumvent the brand new rules that are allowing you to keep them. I don't see why a tractor would be an issue at all, if it makes you feel better by all means. Just be very vigilant the birds don't leave your property, that sounds like someone's biggest worry.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Unless you COMPLETELY enclose the yard, the birds can get out, and can be seen.
    Violaters would just make them enforce a total BAN
     
  7. jbher

    jbher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yea I'm way too nervous to try it. I live on a busy corner in town too. Plus my face and name are the head of this movement in our city. I'm in the paper and on TV at the council meetings. They are limiting this to a 1 year trial with only 15 permits. Can you imagine the backlash if I broke "the law" ugh :-( they said after the trial when they see how things have gone we can ask for changes to allow free range time. So I will have one year to figure out what I can do that won't get me in trouble :-/
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  8. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens will be happy in your run space per the number of chickens you will have. I would play by the rules and see about taking them up on liberation after a year.

    My chickens normally forage all day, but when I am out of town they stay in their run. Nine chickens in a run 16 x 20 and they seem to be fine.

    Chris
     
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    donrae's right, the chickens will be fine and perfectly happy in their coop and enclosed run. In many cases, a run is a better situation for birds than free-ranging, anyway, especially if there are predators around. It's hard not to anthropomorphize animals, but it is often better for them in the long run if we do not do so. As long as your birds have plenty of space, they will be just fine and will not pine for free-ranging. I'm sure a tractor would be fine per your ordinance, as birds in tractors are not free-ranging.

    I actually agree with your town's ban on free ranging. You can't keep chickens home, and they are extremely destructive to gardens and flower beds, besides leaving their droppings all over. I'd be extremely angry if my neighbor's hens free-ranged over onto my property, and go to great lengths to keep mine at home as well.

    As others have said, trying to circumvent the ban may mean that they'll decide chickens are too much trouble and they'll be banned entirely. Better to keep your birds in a run or a tractor than not be allowed to have them at all.
     

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