Sacramento Bee Sunday 8-28-2011

silky ma

12 Years
Sep 14, 2007
New article City of Sacramento on the verge of allowing chickens...the catch
--will need a permit,
--birds must be kept in a pen at all times,
--you are allowed only 3 birds
--pens must include 3 nest boxes of 3-5 feet per hen and pen must be at least 15 square feet but not more than 42 square feet
--pen area must be at least 20 feet from neighbors in your back lot, roosters

I think this needs work. I feel chickens should be free range, the number allowed should be based on backyard size. Your thoughts?
Here is a link to the article for those who are interested.

What is up with the 3-5 square feet of nest box per hen? That does not make sense at all, especially if you have five square feet of nest boxes, and the minimum 15 sqft coop size. That is your entire coop if you have three hens! Even if you go with the smaller three square feet, you're still looking at over half your coop being taken up by nest boxes. Plus, three hens only need ONE nest box. There must be some story behind this, because having looked at literally hundreds of chicken codes, not one of them said anything about nest boxes. Moreover, unless part of the permitting process is a home visit, how are they planning on enforcing that? It is not like a neighbor cares about how many and how big the nest boxes are. "Yes, officer? I am calling because my neighbor only has two square feet of nest boxes, but they have THREE chickens!"

I would argue that if you have a fenced yard, that it could be considered a pen. Most larger runs don't have the top enclosed. Just be on good terms with the neighbors so they don't call you on the twenty feet. Also note that the twenty feet is from their dwelling, not the property line, so you could potentially have the "pen" right up next to the property line.

If anyone has a link to the actual proposed code, I'd be interested in reading it.

And technically, Sac already allows chickens, but in an extremely limited area. Here is the current code as it relates.

9.44.340 Keeping of livestock in the city.
A. Except as provided in subsection B of this section, and in Section 9.44.350 of this chapter, it is unlawful to keep, harbor, or maintain any bovine animal, horse, mule, burro, sheep, goat, chicken, duck, turkey, goose or other domestic livestock or poultry on any parcel of property located in the city.
B. Subsection A of this section shall not apply:
1. To any parcel of property zoned for agricultural uses by applicable provisions of the zoning ordinance of the city or to any property zoned rural estates and located within the area bounded by Sotnip Road on the south, Sorento Road on the west, and East Levee Road on the north and east (and generally known as Valley View Acres), or to any property zoned M-1(S)R-AOL and located with the area fronting on Ascot Avenue and bounded by Dry Creek Road on the west and Raley Boulevard on the east (and generally known as the Ascot Avenue overlay zone).
2. Where such keeping, harboring, or maintaining of such animals would constitute a valid nonconforming use under the applicable provisions of the zoning ordinance of the city.
3. To the keeping, harboring, or maintaining of no more than a total of ten (10) such animals, each weighing no more than two hundred fifty (250) pounds, if the parcel on which they are kept is owned by a charitable organization described in Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is ten (10) acres or larger in size, if the animals are confined to an enclosure which complies with Section 9.44.360 of this chapter except when adequately tethered elsewhere on the property, and if the animals are an integral part of a therapeutic program offered by the organization and supervised by a California licensed physician and surgeon, psychologist, clinical social worker, or marriage, family and child counselor.
C. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to authorize anyone to keep, harbor or maintain any such animal in violation of any other applicable law.
D. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to supersede Section 9.44.320 of this chapter. (Prior code § 6.05.052)
All animals should be prohibited from being at large (off owner's property without a leash or being directly controlled by a human); whether one keeps a chicken in a pen or allows it to run through your yard should not be part of code. Requiring that animals not be a nuisance per existing nuisanace codes is more effective than requiring that coops or pens be X feet from a neighbor's yard, house, sleeping area as many codes require. If the animal is creating noise or odor above a reasonable level (same as working with tools, a dog or playing music), then it should be considered an issue; a nuisance is a nuisance, regardless of its cause.

People use different types of nest boxes, and dictating the type is stupid. I am guessing that they want to prohibit battery style cages. Poorly worded for sure. I don't even have nest boxes. When I have, that was the one place that I was guaranteed I would never find eggs.
Crazy. I'm going to pick up a copy when I go out today.

I have ??????????? hens that use 2 of the 12 boxes I have. Only time they move to another is is like now. One broody using the favorite box and pullets checking out the accommodations for future use. I swear when I lived in the Bay Area there were more birds allowed. Move out to the Valley and limits on everything.

Wish these people were as smart as some of my chickens.
Todays paper Tuesday aug 30 2011
Opinion / editorials section...

"Bring on the BTC: backyard chickens, city is ready to cope with coops".
"If this ordinance is will take effect November 1st, giving officials time to prepare for its enforcement...
,"There will be a $15.00 annual permit fee per household, plus an annual license fee of $10.00 per hen.City officials are proposing
rules to make sure that coops are kept clean and chicken feed is properly stored, and ALL hens are TAGGED for identification".

Animal control enforcement has been thru large layoffs due to budget cuts! I don't see enforcement being done unless someone constantly grump! I dont see how they will be able to check up on all keepers due to the budget cuts and layoffs. Especially when they already are claiming work overload. The have been warning the public that any --"chicken problems ",will be considered nusince calls and take lowest priority!. and Oh I see a fight coming for alot of keepers use the deep litter method I can see this being a big problem!
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Can you say "revenue generation"? How many household permits and hen licenses do they anticipate? Compared with the likely amount of work, I'd say they are looking to save jobs with new income.
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