Raising chickens against zoning laws!

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by DoubleBarrelChick, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. DoubleBarrelChick

    DoubleBarrelChick Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 19, 2011
    Buckeye, AZ
    So to start this off I'm brand new to chickens, we have always wanted them but it took my husband to start gardening to finally convince him we could do chickens.
    We only wanted about 4 hens no roosters. I live in a community in AZ and in the HOA manual it says livestock in backyard is permitted in more words or less.
    So my husband asked me to call the town chamber to make sure it was ok with them. We already started our coop (out of the bottom half of my kids swing set and back bench area its really cool [​IMG]). So after calling them I find out that because we are under and acre we can't do any poultry at all. I was heart broken. After a long talk with my husband and talking to the only two neighbors that have a view of my backyard (behind us is a huge crop) we decided to do it anyways! So after a couple of weeks we now have 8 chickens in hopes of getting 4 hens. 2 Delaware, 1 RIR, and 6 Silver Laced Wyandotte's. We already have someone to take our extra hens and or roos so we are all set. Both of my neighbors were thrilled with the idea one would love to have their kids come over and check it out. The other told me to get as many as I wanted roosters are fine too lol. They both loved the idea of fresh eggs every now and then too!
    So I would never tell anyone to do this but we decided it was worth the risk and so far we are having a lot of fun with our little chicks. We can't wait to see what the next few month will bring.

    Does anyone have any advice for us?

    This is our group of SLW and RIR hope our RIR is a pullet as well as at least one of our SLW!

    Our two Delaware girls!

    Does anyone have any advice for us?

    Thanks for reading this and I would love to hear anyone else story and outcome!
  2. McEgg

    McEgg Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 27, 2007
    Guthrie, Ok
    Our city doesn't allow chickens at all in the city limits(I live in Oklahoma). I got 6 chicks anyway. 2 ended up being roos which when they started crowing at all hours of the days and night, we gave them away. In the end we ended up with 26 hens and our 6 neighbors(we had 2 city lots on a cul-de-sac. The yard was huge) loved them. Mind you we did keep the neighbors in fresh eggs.
    We also had a 210lb mastiff. She was the sweetest dog in the WHOLE world, but the city didn't know that. What if she barked alot or we didn't pick up her poop and she was mean? I guess thats ok with the city, but a 4lb chicken- NO WAY!!
    Our coop was a shed from lowes, so it looked nice and I kept the coop super clean, just so nobody could possibly have anything to complain about.
    We had the hens for 2 yrs and we are now moving to the town north of us that DOES allow chickens.
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    So, knowing it's not allowed then if and when you get caught and told you must dispose of the birds you're not going to complain are you?
  4. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    My suggestion if you had asked before you got the chicks would've been to get sex-links. They are quiet and there is no risk of getting a rooster. That said, if I were you, I'd keep an eye on all the chicks and get rid of any that have larger/redder combs by 6 weeks. Once they start crowing, you won't be secret for long. Start making a plan now for what you'll do with any unwanted cockerels or noisy hens. Believe me, the egg song some hens sing is definitely loud enough to give you away. The only time I've ever heard one of my girls sing one (they didn't before that and haven't since) I could hear it from 100 ft away and inside the house. That's over the noise from the freeway that runs behind our house. Unless you're planning on moving if you get caught, it won't matter that poultry is okay with the city. You entered into a contract with your HOA and they have the authority to force you to get rid of your birds. So, just go into this endeavor knowing that you might get caught and having a plan for rehoming your birds.
  5. DoubleBarrelChick

    DoubleBarrelChick Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 19, 2011
    Buckeye, AZ
    SO to answer a couple of questions. Yes we are prepared to get rid of our chickens if it becomes an issue we know that we wont win any battles out here. Our plan is to someday (when the market goes up a little) sell and get land. I wrote in my original post that I already have someone to take extra hens or roos so no worries there. SO far everything is good. I live on the corner the entire back part of my property as well as 20 of my neighbors is a corn field so I only have my two next to me and they don't care at all. So with luck it goes well. We understand we are taking a risk and we are happy to take that risk for our girls!
    Thank you for all your replies I love the feedback and thank you for all your advice we hope all goes well. My best friend has a huge farm so anyone that is showing signs of a roo will be going there till they crow or lay an egg. lol
  6. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2010
    Greenacres, WA
    Good luck with your chicks. We're raising 3 backyard hens against county zoning laws too. The zoning regs are grossly outdated, as most of the surrounding incorporated cities allow for backyard chickens. Many people have tried to get the county to change the rules, but county commissioners aren't interested in wasting their time on such an issue. The good news, is that they aren't really interested in hunting down illegal chicken owners either. I have a 1/2 acre suburban lot--plenty of room in my opinion for 3 little birds--we have no other pets. One neighbor (now a former friend) complained loudly when she found out about my chickens. Fortunately, if she did turn me into the county, they have not acted on her complaints. Our HOA (of which I'm President) does not explicitly prohibit chickens, but only allows for "caged birds". I''ll consider my chicken run a cage, even though they often free-range.

    The rest of my neighbors have not voiced any complaints about the chickens, though I have to admit the egg song (and general chattiness of my EEs) can get surprisingly loud on occasion. I'd love to have more chickens....build them a nicer coop.....but always have to keep in mind that I may have to get rid of them at some point. I can't invest too much more money in them knowing that something like that could happen. For now, we're just happy with the 3 girls we have. We've had them for just over a year and it's been a wonderful experience for my 3 kids.
  7. GuthrieChick

    GuthrieChick New Egg

    May 18, 2013
    You can have chickens in Guthrie, OK. For about 4 years they had a law but it was repealed when they realized that a lot of farms and small acreages were in the city limits when the city limits expanded so it has changed. I have chickens and guineas. There are no clear ordinances on them.
  8. saellis

    saellis Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2012
    FEMA Region VIII
    My Coop
    This is the first time I've heard of an HOA being more lenient than a city or county government. The best advice I can give is to make the coop as inconspicuous as possible; try to noiseproof it if you can; clean things before they can be smelled; and never give a neighbour a reason to call code enforcement. Sometimes code enforcement will be called out for someone else and they just happen to see your chickens. A two-for-one for them.
  9. MiaHudy

    MiaHudy Out Of The Brooder

    Cheers to the rule breakers!

    We only have 2 hens and I keep everything super clean, the girls are really quiet so far. I do have one stinky neighbor but I plan on smuggling his wife some eggs. I have my fingers crossed. What really bugs me is that we can have up to 5 hens if the R1 lot is over 10,000 sq. feet. we are at about 7800.
    Back in Oct of 2012 a huge part of our community went to the city council with the proposition all planned out, they all seemed in favor then just shelved it..... we live very close to another town that allows up to 25 hens on any size lot.. I mean close, like 3 miles away, in fact every town that surrounds us allows a certain number of chicks. Our property butts up to an agricultural lemon orchard as well. It all feels very silly to not have any allowance. I can understand not allowing chickens and such on multi housing properties, but R1 without HoA's should allow a certain number.

    That being said if my stinky neighbor turns me in I just might complain about his workshop being over our property line, but I probably wouldn't do that either, seems petty. I wish you luck! I do know some cities and towns will allow it if you apply for a permit, or a 4H permit.
  10. deserthomestead

    deserthomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2013
    Sandy Valley, NV
    Mia, maybe you should just *mention* the workshop to the neighbor... no threats, no implications. Just let it hang there. Then maybe they'll feel more accommodating about your hens [​IMG]

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