Tampa, Fl Peeps--Residential Rooster Help?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by Josefina, May 22, 2019.

  1. Josefina

    Josefina Songster

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for advice on how I might be able to keep my roosters after a move. We're moving from a farm in Kansas to a residential/suburban house in Tampa, Florida and there are so many rules! :he (I am SO not a city girl.) I've lived on this farm for nearly 20 years and I've been in love with chickens for all of that time (I once had over 100 birds). I started this year with about 80 chickens, and have already rehomed 70 of them. Most of them are my babies I raised from hatching eggs, and it rips my heart out every time I have to give some of them up. :hit:hit

    Tampa city seems to be one of the less-strict places in terms of rules about backyard fowl. For "domestic egg-laying chickens as accessory use" they allow "1 hen/1,000 SF land (rounded down)." For fowl "excluding domestic egg-laying chickens" they allow "Five thousand (5,000) square feet of land for each five (5) fowl or fraction thereof." So, now comes my problem. I have two incredibly sweet, friendly bantam Cochin cockerels who I am even more attached to than any of my other chickens. One of them will come up and ask for attention, and if I hold my arm out he'll fly up and roost on my arm while I pet him. But since they're roosters and we're moving to a residential area with neighbors and rules I'm not allowed to keep them. :hit:rant

    There is a nearby-ish dairy/meat/egg farmer who we're planning to buy milk from, and we asked her if she would be willing to take my Cochin boys, so I could at least visit them (and because we're running out of people who are willing to take chickens here in Kansas). She said that she already has too many rooster and even her neighbors complain! And she's a commercial farm!

    I turn into such an emotional mess after every time I rehome my babies, I've actually considered trying to get my Cochin boys in as Emotional Support Roosters, but I'm not sure if that would work. Being Cochins they don't really look like the "typical" rooster non-chicken people think of, so I also thought about trying to pass them off as "other fowl" but I seriously doubt that would work either.
    I've also considered smuggling them in :oops:, a plan which my mother actually supports. I'm pretty sure her support comes from the fact that one of my banty hens started crowing a couple days ago--most statistics say you are far more likely to get a crowing hen if you don't have roosters, and over the years I've had 4 or 5 crowing hens with roosters! I think at this point my mother has determined I will always have crowing chickens regardless of their sex, so rehoming the boys won't fix any noise issues. :gig

    If I do bring the boys with me (by whatever means), I am planning to set up a crate indoors--garage or my room--for them to sleep in so they won't be waking up the neighbors with a dawn serenade. I currently have 4 roosters, and I've been trying to pay attention to who is crowing so I know how likely they are to be a nuisance. So far the Sumatra and the Old English Game have been crowing their heads off, but the Cochin boys are surprisingly quiet, and I'm hoping that's a sign they'll still be quiet after the other boys leave. :fl I'm also still trying to find someone in the Tampa area who lives in rooster-friendly zoning who would be willing to take two pet roos in case my boys got reported and needed to be moved out quickly.

    Do any of you Florida chickeners have experience with owning residential roosters? Are any of you/do any of you know chicken fanciers who would adopt two pet roosters if they disturb my soon-to-be neighbors? Any other general advice on my rules vs roosters issue?
     
  2. getaclue

    getaclue Crossing the Road

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    Is there an HOA where you're moving to? If so, they too will have rules, so you might not be able to have the hens either. Are you renting? If so, it's doubtful a renter would allow you to have poultry of any kind. If you're buying a home with no HOA, or deed restrictions, you can have up to 5 hens. No roosters. Yes, you will have at least one neighbor complain if you break the rules, and Code Enforcement will make you get rid of them within a week, or they will take them. I live outside of Tampa, and my property is zoned Agriculture, so I can have my chickens, including roosters.
     
    Josefina likes this.
  3. askem

    askem Songster

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    I live about 30 minutes away from Tampa, we can only have 3 hens, and no roosters.

    I know someone up in Wesley Chapel (about an hour from Tampa) that runs a rescue, and has ducks, chickens, and the like. They're an educational facility, as far as I know. If you don't find anyone, let me know and I can PM you their website/details.
     
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  4. Josefina

    Josefina Songster

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    No HOA and no renting. There is a "neighborhood association" but it's optional and I don't think they have legal recourse the way an HOA does. In any case, we have contacted the neighborhood association and asked if they would allow us to have chickens, and they said that since the city allows it, so do they.

    I got my ordinance information from the Municode Library, which seems to be where all the government places link to when I look up rules about backyard chickens. I saw no static upper cap on the number of poultry allowed, but possibly those rules are old (or I misunderstood them)? Do you know if those rules are outdated? The house we are buying is on a 9,000+ sqft lot, so based on the rules I saw on Municode, I assumed I could have 9 birds.
     
  5. askem

    askem Songster

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    Josefina likes this.
  6. Josefina

    Josefina Songster

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    I would greatly appreciate having their website! Aside from the farmer I already contacted, and the Lowry Park Zoo, I don't know anyone in Florida who has chickens (roosters included). The more people and/or places I can find that might be able to adopt my boys, the better I'll feel. I may find someone here who will take them, but after rehoming 70 birds I seem to be exhausting the supply of Kansas chicken lovers.
     
  7. Josefina

    Josefina Songster

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    Ah, okay. I saw that section but assumed it was for some type of business, and unrelated to another section I saw that I thought was more applicable for just having a backyard flock.

    Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 12.48.10 PM.png
     
  8. askem

    askem Songster

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    Yeah I agree that that specific section does seem to apply to people running businesses (with licenses), but I'd be willing to bet that any code enforcement would reference that law for backyard chickens, too.
     
    Josefina likes this.
  9. Josefina

    Josefina Songster

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    Alas, that sounds exactly like something they would do. Considering our yard space is under 10,000 sqft, neither law would allow for me to have more than 10 birds so the cap ends up being the same for me. I definitely like a 10 bird cap better than a 5 or 3 bird cap though!

    (But mostly, I want to get the hell out of residential zoning as fast as I can. Where is my winning lottery ticket already?)
     
  10. getaclue

    getaclue Crossing the Road

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    Central Florida
    If you have under 10,000 sqft, they round down, so 9 would be your max. Personally, I would do my best to re-home the roosters, so you're not in an unfamiliar place, with 2 weeks to get them off the property, or else. All it takes is one complaint.

    You assume it's about the neighbors hearing the rooster crow, and it is, but here's something that threw me for a little loop, and it was with my current neighbor. He complained about my roosters. I'm zoned for them, so it doesn't matter whether he likes them, or not, and my coop is more than far enough away, so there is NOT a noise issue. He agreed, that he, and his wife didn't even notice them. Baffled, I asked what the problem was. His DOG could hear the roosters when they crow in the morning, and would bark. SERIOUSLY?! I informed him that his complaint was about his own dog making noise, and he needed to train his dog.
     
    Josefina likes this.

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