Owning Chickens in Vienna Township, MI (Genesee County)

Ferrret

Songster
9 Years
Mar 11, 2010
582
8
149
Michigan
My boyfriend and I are looking at owning a half dozen chickens when I move in with him, and while we have much of the coop designs, breed choices and care laid out, we have hit one major snag.
We can't seem to find any info about owning chickens in Vienna Township. The Township website is less than functional and he doesn't live in the nearest city's limits. There are corn fields all around the subdivision and his yard is a pretty decent size. There's plenty of room for a coop and run to be fixed in one place, although we want one we can move around from time to time.

So I was wondering if there are folks here who would know what the rules for owning chickens in Vienna Township are. I don't want to get everything in place to have some hens only to find out they aren't allowed, or worse yet, to get hens and get told I have to get rid of them.
I also wonder if I could use the Michigan Right To Farm Act to keep chickens, even though I may only have 3-4 laying hens, the rest being Bantams.

Any help you can give me is much appreciated!
smile.png
 

michickenwrangler

To Finish Is To Win
11 Years
Jun 8, 2008
4,511
35
241
NE Michigan
If you're in a township, the laws may be a little more permissive than city. Some municipalities don't have things spelled out succinctly about chickens. My mother is friends with a woman in Saline who has chickens. The city doesn't have any zoning in regards to them, so she got chickens on the grounds that "they aren't NOT allowed."

Go to www.municode.com and you can look it up. You are allowed to have chickens and/or horses in Bay City. In the village of Sterling (which used to have a hatchery of all things--also the location of Iva's Chicken Shack) they do ban chickens, but the village constable won't enforce the ban because he believes that everyone has a right to raise their own food. I made a poor woman nervous when I took my daughter trick-or-treating there and found a chicken coop tucked behind her garage (I have a radar for livestock) and then began asking her questions about her--illegal--chickens.

Good luck, let us know what happens
 

Ferrret

Songster
9 Years
Mar 11, 2010
582
8
149
Michigan
I did browse through the municode site and they actually have Vienna Township, Genesee county listed.
I and my BF read through it but we didn't find much aside from max coop size being 100 sq feet and keeping proper care of your animals, i.e. not letting them run loose, keep them clean and fed, etc.

So for those that own chickens in the area:
Have you ever been hassled by city officials or other people about your feathered friends?
Would it be a good idea to print out copies of the Zoning Ordinance with the sections about domestic fowl highlighted?

So far things are looking up and we will have our chickens in May and not have to worry about people making us get rid of them!
This of course makes me quite happy.
big_smile.png
 

theFox

Songster
10 Years
Sep 21, 2009
1,279
12
145
Standish, Maine
Ferrret,

Be sure to pay attention to both the zone you are in and all setback requirements.

Lots of folks have run into many issues with setbacks because of lot shapes, etc....
 

Ferrret

Songster
9 Years
Mar 11, 2010
582
8
149
Michigan
Ok after reading through the ordinances for the township it looks like we are gonna have some chickens!

Domestic fowl are allowed to be owned and setbacks do not apply if the structure has no foundation and is under 100 sq ft. So a chicken tractor, as we intend on building, is allowed.

YAY!!!
celebrate.gif
wee.gif
bun.gif
I can have chickens!!! I can't wait until May!
 

mike67909

Chirping
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
161
0
99
Pinckney, Michigan
Michigan has a right to farm act so technically according to this law you can raise chickens any where in Michigan there are stipulations (like you have to sell the eggs or something, but limited proof is required). There is an interesting thread here on BYC were people in Michigan had problems but were protected by this State law. If anyone ever approached me complaining about my chickens i would just hand them a copy of the Michigan right to farm act and tell them to buzz off (nicely of course) no one should complain to me anyway since i am in a rural agriculture area.. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=182280
 
Last edited:

Sonoran Silkies

Flock Mistress
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
20,149
439
421
Tempe, Arizona
Quote:
That probablhy depends on your city/county ordinances, and also on the coop itself. For instance, I have several friends whose coops are very large, fully constructed buildings with foundations, full electricity & plumbing (both also have bathrooms built into them). No way those coops wouldn't need a building permit. On the other hand I have a couple of tractors built with pvc pipe, chicken wire and a thin sliding plywood roof. No way would they ever need a building permit.
 

mike67909

Chirping
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
161
0
99
Pinckney, Michigan
Each state is different, in Michigan under the RTFA I am pretty sure if the structure is to house livestock no permit is required. I know there are local ordinances and what not but the state law over rides that in court (usually).
 
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom