Urban poultry seminar near Boston, MA on Nov 8th

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Gypsylion, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Gypsylion

    Gypsylion Chillin' With My Peeps

    425
    9
    133
    Apr 30, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Hey BYCers!

    I wanted to let you know about a seminar I'm giving in a couple of weeks. It will be taught at an awesome artist workspace near Union Square (just north of the city off 93 in Somerville), and will cover all of the basics: housing, care, breeds, local laws, how to have happy neighbors, etc. I will have a few of my "chicken ambassadors" with me, so people can see and pet them and see how gorgeous they really are!

    If you're in the greater Boston area and know of anyone who wants info on keeping backyard poultry in the city, please spread the word about this event!

    Class details and registration: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/948313431
    Facebook
    event: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=33307121#!/event.php?eid=169072923109909

    Thanks!
    ~Khrysti
    Smyth~
     
  2. cass1776

    cass1776 Out Of The Brooder

    51
    0
    39
    Aug 28, 2010
    Mass
    Hey that sounds cool,I live in tewksbury.don't know if I could make it but good for you.are chickens legal in somerville because up here they want us to have an acre of land which is ridiculous.
     
  3. Gypsylion

    Gypsylion Chillin' With My Peeps

    425
    9
    133
    Apr 30, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Hey there!

    Somerville's zoning laws don't specifically address poultry at all, so we're in a bit of a no-man's-land, legally. But the city's official stance on chickens is that they are absolutely acceptable, as long as you're not a nuisance (and you're not commercial). To them, this basically means you can do what you want, so long as they don't have to hear about it from your neighbors.

    I don't know what the City of Tewksbury says about it...

    Thanks!
    ~Khrysti~
     
  4. Gypsylion

    Gypsylion Chillin' With My Peeps

    425
    9
    133
    Apr 30, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Side note: I expect that they want an acre to ensure that noise and smell stay on your own property, or something of the sort...

    But I've actually found that the noise/smell/whatever is less of an issue here in the city then I think it would be in the suburbs... For example, I have roosters, but we're also on a major road and have an elementary school playground right behind us with 100 kids screaming at 8am every day. Early in the morning the crowing has occasionally been an issue (when it was so hot that everyone's windows were open and I needed to leave the coop open at night for a few days, specifically), but once morning traffic starts going by you can't even hear them! And the school's dumpster definitely smells worse than my coop or compost ever have...
     
  5. forstadt

    forstadt Out Of The Brooder

    58
    0
    29
    Sep 17, 2010
    Providence, Rhode Island
    Quote:This is what most people seem to forget. If there is no law prohibiting them, then chickens are absolutely legal to keep anywhere. Ordinances are only needed in towns and cities which have already expressly prohibited them.
     
  6. Gypsylion

    Gypsylion Chillin' With My Peeps

    425
    9
    133
    Apr 30, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Quote:This is what most people seem to forget. If there is no law prohibiting them, then chickens are absolutely legal to keep anywhere. Ordinances are only needed in towns and cities which have already expressly prohibited them.

    True, though you could have a situation like was recently seen here in Cambridge, MA, where a co-op was cited for having poultry (as a result of a neighbor who repeatedly complained I believe). As I understand it (2nd or 3rd-hand), they appealed the ticket, using the rationale that poultry-keeping is allowed within the zoning laws in the same way that keeping any pets on the property is allowed. But the city upheld the citation, stating that poultry is NOT expressly allowed according to a list of acceptable practices. To put things in perspective, keeping dogs or a garden is also not expressly allowed according to that list...

    Here is their website.
     
  7. t&a

    t&a New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Jul 25, 2010
    Sorry I missed the talk. Keep me up to date on any future events. I"m on the northshore, def. more of a suburban thing here than an urban one, but Im still the only person I know in my area with a flock of girls. Out of curiosity, how many chickens do you have and how big is your lot. I always wonder about just how much space they need to be happy.
     
  8. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    8,534
    878
    361
    Jul 28, 2008
    MA
    Quote:Cambridge is an insane place. [​IMG] They don't want anyone to drive, they want everyone to eat organically from locally supplied foods yet they don't want any of said foods produced in the city.

    I remember seeing residents on NECN (I think?) complaining about the flies and rodents that poultry bring into the city. Hello??? And what about the T??? I've seen rats in those tunnels bigger than my dog.
     
  9. VernonFarm

    VernonFarm New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Apr 5, 2011
    Gypsylion,


    We're moving up to Boston from Providence (where we successfully legalized chickens last year) in May. We've been keeping backyard hens for 3 years now, and currently have 2 (an americauna and a cochin). We're having a really hard time finding a chicken-friendly landlord. Do you know of any leads? Suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Erika
     
  10. Gypsylion

    Gypsylion Chillin' With My Peeps

    425
    9
    133
    Apr 30, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Hey there!

    I saw your PM too, but figured I'd reply here for the benefit of others...

    Hmm... that's a tough one. In general, the city of Somerville is pro-chicken, but I suspect most landlords aren't familiar with the process of having chickens on your property and may therefore be a bit wary. If I were you, and maybe this is what you've been doing, I would look for places that allow dogs (with yards, obviously), even better if they also have a garden area and/or compost. Then I would broach the subject and be clear about the fact that you only have 2 chickens and maybe offer to obtain written acceptance from your potential housemates/neighbors first as a condition of signing a lease. I talked to all of my neighbors before getting chickens and they were very open to the idea, so it's likely that you would be successful.

    I can ask around and see if the people I know who keep chickens have any openings on their properties, or if they know if their landlords have other properties that might... at least one is a co-op, so may have rooms available, but aren't likely to have a separate apartment for rent. I think my landlord owns another property but I'm not sure. Our house is full and has been for many years...

    If it comes down to it I have room for a couple additional hens at my place, and you'd be more than welcome to come visit them at your leisure! And if you want to look for places nearby, I live on Cedar St. near Porter Square.

    Your other option, of course, is to find a place that's pet-friendly and just not mention your birds until you're there and have them settled in... it's a risk, but often the imagined situation is far worse than the actual situation, so your landlord might decide it's not a big deal when they actually see them in person. And you are very welcome to coordinate with me to have them come meet my birds, though I have a fairly large coop with 11 hens at the moment, so it might not achieve the desired effect!

    Let me know if there's anything else I can do to help... and certainly if you end up in the neighborhood you should definitely stop by sometime. [​IMG]
    Cheers!
    ~Khrysti~
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by