Newly Passed "No Rooster" and Related Ordinance

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by BackyardDove, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This month, the town I live in decided to pass some new livestock laws. 1. No roosters. 2. You can only have a maximum of 8 hens. 3. Hens that you do have should be kept at least 10 feet from your property line and out of sight of public areas. 4. You are allowed one head of livestock if you have one acre. If you have more than one acre, you are allowed one head of livestock per two acres after the first acre.

    And a few others that don't pertain to me. I've lived in this town for almost ten years now, moving here back when it was a small, rural town where people would literally ride their horses down the highway to Walmart. It was nice, small enough of a town to have whatever the hell kind of animal you want so long as it's your pet, but can still go down a couple blocks and go to the store. In the past couple years, we've experienced huge growth in the town. Now, I do live three blocks from downtown, but I live in a small, one-way alleyway street in a house that's tucked into a small wild-ish area with trees all around us. To top it off, we also have a 6 foot privacy fence. With these new ordinances, I am now breaking the four ordinances listed above. I currently have 6 roosters, 16 hens, all my coops are right up against the privacy fence/property line(though are out of sight due to the fence), and I have two goats living on our 1/3 of an acre of land.

    Assuming they would even be able to figure out I'm not in compliance with the ordinances, what can I do to fight back? All of these animals have been here far longer than these new rules, so is there a type of "grandfather" law, in which if the animals have been here before the laws were made, I can't be forced to get rid of them? All of my animals are my babies, all of them even have names, and I'm sure as hell not going to give up all of my roosters, my goats, and half of my hens just because this previously rural town decided it wants to be a city. I am going to be moving in the next few years into a more rural area, so chances are I won't have an issue with avoiding being fined for having goats/roosters/etc., but I just want to know what to do if I am faced with this issue.
     
  2. Silvia2234

    Silvia2234 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Boo who! Right now we actually want a rooster but the ordinances say no. Darn.
     
  3. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tough break but city ordinances are very unlikely to have any kind of grandfather clause. If you believe in democracy you probably should have made your voice heard at the city council meeting when they were trying to adopt these measures. While I have no idea what the wording of the ordinance is these kinds of things are really designed to drive people like you away so I doubt you are going to find many sympathetic ears at City Hall. You could petition/collect signatures to have the law overturned to hire a lawyer and try to fight it in court but these are long shots
     
  4. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Texas
    Had I of known, I would have. But I had no way of knowing when or where this meeting for these ordinances took place.

    Here is the exact wording of the ordinances, taken from an online book of Code of Ordinances for my town:
    "No person may keep more than eight hens, or two gander or two ducks on a lot in a residential district in the city. Such fowl must be kept in a secure pen or coop, which must be located at least 30 feet from any residence and at least ten feet from any property line. Such fowl must be contained within the owner's back yard, and the back yard must be fenced in compliance with the city's fence ordinance. Such fowl are subject to impoundment pursuant to section 10-5, adoption pursuant to section 10-6, animal care pursuant to section 10-8, nuisance prohibition pursuant to section 10-9, sanitary conditions pursuant to section 10-13, and reports of contagious disease, exposure to rabies and quarantine procedures pursuant to section 10-14 of this chapter. Roosters, ganders and drakes are prohibited."

    and

    "(b) The keeping of livestock other than those described in subsection (a) is permitted but cannot exceed one head of livestock for the first two acres, and one head of livestock for each additional acre over two acres, of a single tract of land. Any person who has livestock on a parcel of land on the date of the passage of the ordinance codified in this section may keep those same livestock on the parcel of land, but may not bring or keep any new livestock onto the parcel of land. This subsection does not apply to livestock kept on tracts of land zoned agricultural-open space (AO).

    (c) Keeping livestock in any lot, pasture, structure or enclosure within 200 feet of a private residence or dwelling place other than that of the owner or keeper of the livestock, or within 500 feet of any building or establishment open to the public, is prohibited."

    Subsection a just says no swine allowed. I realize now that this ordinance saying we're allowed to keep the livestock we had before the rule was put in place, but due to the small nature of our land, our neighbors are less than 200 feet away. So I'm not sure if that applies to me or not.

    The thing is, I'm not the only person in this town who's now not in compliance with the ordinances. This town has wild flocks of Gamebirds running around freely for God's sake! What're they gonna do, round up the wild roosters that run if they see a human within 200 feet of them? I'm not asking for them to overturn the ordinance, after all they are growing rapidly and those ordinances would have to be put in place eventually. I just want to live out my last 2-3 years here without having to give up my babies, since I can't afford to move away yet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  5. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Obviously that ordinance is worded poorly but that last article could be used to do anything the city wants to do with regards to your birds. It is as draconian a measure as any i have ever seen.
     
  6. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Exactly. I believe I may find out when the next city council meeting is and see what I can do to get some kind of amendment that allows people who've lived here for years to keep the roosters and hens they have, but not to add any more than what they already have. I researched further and stumbled upon an old council meeting minutes from six years ago, in which they discussed people from the street next to mine petitioning to remove the wild chickens that roam around here and requesting that there be some sort of ban on farm animals in residential areas. At the time, the council essentially said that is a ridiculous idea since the roaming chickens cannot be removed without identifying the owner(which, they don't seem to know that there is no owner) and that many of the residents here own chickens, thus a ban on them can't be placed. It was also mentioned that two people complained of roosters crowing and that there was discussion about it, but nothing was done about it. Since the people who complained about the chickens live in the next street over, I have reason to believe they pushed for these new ordinances, but that I was not the cause since my chickens are well penned and we are far enough away from that street that my rooster's crows cannot be heard(after all, I own Silkie roosters, and they have the quietest, most pathetic crowing I've ever heard!).

    My main fear about attending a meeting though and bringing up this issue is that, if my idea is rejected, that means the council/town members will know I have roosters and more than eight hens. Meaning, if they don't care that the animals have been here before the new rules, I'm gonna be first on their hit list for them to make sure I get rid of my chickens.
     
  7. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is no scenario here that is great for you. Just going to need to use your best judgement and see how it goes. Best wishes.
     
  8. Silvia2234

    Silvia2234 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Roosters rule ordinances drool![​IMG]
     
  9. solitaire91

    solitaire91 New Egg

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    Nov 19, 2016
    Maybe someone can help me. I have a week to prove my birds aren't roosters. We have 5, and three "look" like roosters, but I'm not sure if the other two are even the same breed. I've had birds that look just like these "roosters" until they started laying eggs! They're all about 8 months old. Any ideas?[​IMG][/IMG][​IMG]
    The top is one of three that's a suspected rooster. The bottom is a hen. But are they the same breed? We got them at an agricultural supply store, which advertised them as Rhode Island reds.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
  10. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    @solitaire91

    The first photo is a cockerel and the second a pullet. I can recommend chicken broth at this time of year....dumplings are optional. [​IMG]
     

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