Please help with interpreting my restrictive covenant

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by GardenGnome, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. GardenGnome

    GardenGnome Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2010
    Oley, PA
    I REALLY want chickens, but my restrictive covenant says: "No animals, livestock, birds, or fowl shall be kept or maintained on any part of the subdivision, except dogs, cats, pet fish and birds, which may be kept thereon in reasonable numbers as pets for pleasure of the property owner, but not for any commercial use or purpose." My chickens will not be for commercial purposes, so they would be more like pets to me. Since a chicken is both fowl and pet bird in this case, I'm really not clear on whether I can have chickens or not. Any help with this is appreciated!
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  2. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Boy, did they TRY to make that as confusing as possible or was it pure dumb luck?

    Scientifically chickens are birds, but they are often called fowl. In our codes it specifies the species (by saying what ORDER and including any family, genus and species that fall under it) that are allowable/the rules apply to... so that makes it a little clearer... ANY in Galliformes you can have four... They do not just say fowl and leave it open to interpretation.

    I'd ask for clarification... maybe bring up parrots or something... Order Psittaciformes... or how about cute little quail... who just happen to be Order Galliformes (like chickens)... if you can get them to say that ORDER is okay, in writing, then you'd be okay... but without that clarification... I wouldn't risk it.

    But, if you flat out ask about chickens... prolly say NO just out of hand. I'd go the sneaky, and more specific, route. Not YOUR fault if they're not smart enough to google it. [​IMG]

    IF you can get the definition of birds vs fowl cleared up, should be okay for PERSONAL use... pets, YOUR eggs... so long as you aren't selling (or boarding for that matter) then you should be okay.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] For Galliformes!!
  3. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    I don't know if this will be at all helpful, but it's just one dumb thought that comes out of my mind, a cesspool of stupidity![​IMG]

    I personally despise HOA and the idiocy that stems from them. "Subdivision Nazi" is the term that comes to mind. I don't have one, my property has been in my family since they farmed it in the 1940's. Alas, I have been surrounded on all sides now by subdivisions. Several of the nazis at times have tried to impose their rules on me one way or another, I've told them to get lost and they went away, in light of the fact that I do NOT live in their subdivisions, the one behind me nor the one across the road from me.

    I am sure that, in any sub, there are all kinds of rules broken. IF I were in your situation, I would do the following, but VERY QUIETLY:

    Keep your chickens where no one will know about them. Make sure they can't be seen from the outside. Soundproof the coop as much as possible. Get a very quiet breed. NO ROOSTERS. And, try to get some breed that is very "exotic" looking == maybe some of the "show" type breeds with crests, fluffy feathers, that sort of thing, so they don't even look like what the average person would know to be a chicken. And, don't tell anyone they're chickens.

    IF someone ever does see them who might make it an issue, make sure they know that 1) they're your pets: 2) DON'T tell them you eat the eggs, they might put 2 and 2 together; 3) given them some nonsense name that won't yield anything on a google search, and tell this person they're really rare exotic pet birds, make something up if you have to, call them "Indonesian Crested Sunbirds" or some other nonsense name.

    Probably an UTTERLY stupid idea, but I thought I'd throw it out there.
  4. CT_Todd

    CT_Todd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2010
    Hebron, CT
    except dogs, cats, pet fish and birds, which may be kept thereon in reasonable numbers as pets for pleasure of the property owner, but not for any commercial use or purpose."

    LEGAL by this definition....
    If they tried to remove them by thier own definition you'd have an easy fight on your hands...A judge would laugh them out of court..

    If it were to go that far, they would try to change the wording but would probably have to grandfather you in...I'd say dont get a rooster and go for it...
  5. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Wow, that's vague. However, it does specifically say no fowl allowed, so that would be a "no" for chickens in my books even though your chicken will be a pet bird. If it were me, I wouldn't push it because I know I would be asking for a fight. But, that's just me. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  6. GardenGnome

    GardenGnome Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2010
    Oley, PA
    To follow up, I have 4 hens and no one has complained. I converted a playhouse into a chicken coop, and the run is behind the coop and is not visible. The neighbors know we have chickens, but so far, so good.
  7. greenegglover

    greenegglover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2009
    I just keep a few hens roos! There was a guy from a post a few months back that came up with a good solution and called his chickens mini velociraptors [​IMG]
    Just say they're an endangered!

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