visit by police & told to get rid of chickens

The YardFarmers

In the Brooder
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
47
0
22
Ohio
Not a fun morning. Was visited by police and someone from the village. We had chickens several years ago and go t them again last year. We asked at village hall if we could/couldn't and the only paperwork they could give us about chickens was that they couldn't be dyed any colors. I followed up (on my own ) with this guy at the village and he told me I couldn't have any farm animals or bees, but he couldn't or wouldn't give me any paperwork. He said it had something to do with the state code and he would have to go looking to find it. I called our village council representative and he said it was Ok.

So now, more than a year later I am told to get rid of them in 10 days because they "aren't allowed". I asked if there had been a complaint and he said yes, but I doubt it is any of my neighbors because we give all of them eggs at least once a month and no one has ever had a problem. We did have to put a tarp over the chicks because we have had so much rain lately, but the appearance of something is not the same as not being allowed to have them.

Here is what is highlighted on the village ordinances (that the police gave me this morning):

(C)For purposes of this chapter, HARBORING OF AN ANIMAL means allowing any animal or fowl habitually to remain, be lodged or fed within any dwelling, yard or enclosure occupied or owned by the pwerson harboring such animal or fowl.

The rest if the section lists nuisance conditions- damaging or defecating on others properties, public property, abandoning, injuring, cruelty, etc.

Do you think that (C) says that ANY animal, including chickens are forbidden? To me, it is just giving clarification of to the term harboring an animal, which if that is the case, almost seems to say these nuisance ordinances are for ANY animal OR fowl???? What do you think? What should I do? I haven't been real well lately, don't know if I have it in me to petition etc.
 
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slackwater

Songster
9 Years
Feb 1, 2010
771
9
141
SoMD
Without reading more of the "law," I'm not quite sure I understand what is being said...but, to me, it reads as though you can't have ANY animal that lives within your home or yard - which, to me, would include dogs, cats, birds, fish, etc - standard pets. It does not state, specifically, "farm" animals, or separate them from "pets."
 

3goodeggs

pays attention sporadically
10 Years
May 22, 2009
12,249
2,022
408
North Central Florida
To me, 'Owning' and 'Harboring' are not the same thing. To me, the word 'Harboring' infers that you are feeding strays and allowing them-'the felon chickens' to populate in the wild. Like a feral cat. It sounds like someone dug around to find that, which means you may need a legal eagle to dig around and counter the point.
Bummer all of the way around.
 

Sonoran Silkies

Flock Mistress
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
20,149
439
421
Tempe, Arizona
That is merely a definition. Does it actually say that harboring animals is forbidden? If so, then all pet ownership is forbidden. Chances are that it is indeed referencing feral populations. You need to see all ordinances and zoning code that relate to animals, pets, livestock, fowl, poultry, birds, etc. (Using as many search terms as possible.)

You also need to ensure that you are not violating any nuisance codes.
 

The YardFarmers

In the Brooder
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
47
0
22
Ohio
The village guy told me this WAS the law forbidding chickens and this is what he highlighted and said I violated. I don't see anything written that says you can't keep chickens. There was nothing else either before or after this paragraph that said no animals. It just talked about injuring and cruelty to animals, making messes of other people's properties; etc.

What am i missing here?
 

Joz

Songster
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
308
2
119
MidCity, New Orleans
You really need to be able to see the entire code. That definitely sounds like a fragment... without context it's difficult to interpret any pieces/parts of a code.

Is there a local library that might have a copy of the local code?
 

Sonoran Silkies

Flock Mistress
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
20,149
439
421
Tempe, Arizona
You aren't missing anything. He is grasping at straws. If that forbids chickens, all pet ownership is forbidden. You might want to call in complaints about all the pets you see throughout the city and neighborhood (warn your neighbors ahead of time that you are making a point about the way the code inspector is interpreting code, not that you are complaining about their animals), as people are "harboring" them.

You should probably look up the rules of construction for your zoning code and city ordinances, however. It is fairly common for uses that are not specifically allowed to be unilaterally disallowed.
 

[email protected]

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 9, 2010
43
0
22
Sunshine State
I agree that you aren't missing anything. That first part you listed about "harboring animals" is just defining that particular term for the purposes of the ordinance or code. If there is nothing there that says specifically that ownership of waterfowl and/or chickens is forbidden, I don't see how it relates. The only thing I would do is check with your zoning office to find out if there is a restriction on your property regarding ownership of chickens. Where I live if you are zoned "R1" you can't own chickens, if you are zoned "Farm" you can. Good luck!
 

theFox

Songster
10 Years
Sep 21, 2009
1,279
12
145
Standish, Maine
You need to see the entire chapter that contains that wording. But in the mean time do the complaints about any and all animals as was suggested. Do not let anyone know what you are doing, just do it.

Start with the entire police department and town/city council. Make certain to include any lawyers living in your town or city. That should tie them up in knots for months.
 

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