Zoning laws

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by poissonguppy, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. poissonguppy

    poissonguppy Hatching

    Apr 6, 2008
    Hi everyone! I am new to this chicken thing, and before I get too deep into it, I wanted to figure out if I was even able to have any chickens.

    I live inside city limits in Omaha, NE. I have tried finding information about poultry zoning laws, but haven't had any luck. Can anyone help? Thanks a lot!
  2. twigg

    twigg Cooped up

    Mar 2, 2008
    Quote:Just go online and check the City Ordinances. They are often quite specific.

    For example .... in Tulsa they state that, within the City Limits you can keep up to six adult fowl, and no more than an additional 8 birds under 8 weeks.
  3. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    From an on-line compilation of chicken laws:

    "Omaha, NE. May have chickens in city limits as long as they are hens, no roosters, for egg production. Must have enclosure, subject to The Humane Society inspection, to apply for permit. "

    I'd check with for other regulations such as flock size.

  4. poissonguppy

    poissonguppy Hatching

    Apr 6, 2008
    Thanks everyone for the help. Who should I contact to get the exact laws for raising chickens inside city limits?
  5. fosterchick

    fosterchick Songster

    I live in a small town. I went to the town hall. I can have as many hens and roosters as I want. But they can not leave my yard. If they do I get a fine. So I talked to my neighbors and promised them free eggs. I also give them free Vegtables in the summer. Everyone is happy.
  6. BaronRenfrew

    BaronRenfrew Songster

    Zoning laws? Its easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.

    The rules: 1. Thou shalt make friends with the neighbours.
    2. Thou shalt limit roosters crow in morning (build an insulated chicken house, let them out in the morning)
    3. See rule # 1.
    4. If all else fails, get rid of rooster.
    5. If absolutely necessary, get rid of chickens and get something else: quails, pheasants, chukars, muscovy ducks.
  7. ChickenWing

    ChickenWing Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    Quote:Well, if you find out what the law is first, you may not need to do either of the above mentioned things.
  8. DLS

    DLS Songster

    tell me where to find this

    From an on-line compilation of chicken laws:
  9. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    How to find your town's zoning laws on chickens-

    In general:
    do a google search for "(your city and state), ordinance". (or "code of ordinance") Sometimes it is listed on a site like municode. Sometimes your town has the whole ordinance on line. (Sometimes neither...)

    Once you find the ordinance: if it is a PDF or otherwise has a search function, search the following terms:

    if no hits, try:

    If there's no search function it wil be more tedious. Look for a section about animals, fowl, pets, etc. Also (even if you find some mention in that section) you need to look at the LAND USE section. It'll be broken into residential zones (i.e. "residential zone BB") so figure out where you live and read through the pertinent section.

    Hope this helps!

  10. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    For example, I googled, "Omaha, Nebraska, ordinance" and got the town's web site. At the bottom of the town's menu is "municipal code". clicking that brings me to municode.com here: http://www.municode.com/Resources/gateway.asp?pid=10945&sid=27.

    the search function for chickens I get two references, one in Animal Control defining chickens as livestock, the other in the livestock section stating:
    Sec. 6-263. Poultry to be enclosed.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to allow poultry, chickens, hens, turkeys, ducks, geese, or other like fowl to be at large within the city, except in enclosed places on private property.
    (Ord. No. 36463, § 2, 12-16-03)

    Next I searched other terms as listed above, and found various things pertaining to chickens like: no selling chicks, no dying chicks.General stuff like no animal cruelty, vages kept clean, etc is in the Animal Control section and they seem to lump chickens with all animals there.

    Next I looked at Article IV (Zoning District REgulations)... you would need to look at the map and see which zone you live in....For REsidential, reading on you can see that "animal production" is limited to AG and DR districts, except provisionally by section 55-883 (basically applying for a permit).

    But then the question is, does raising a few chickens count as "animal production"? Back to definitions.... (c) Animal production: The raising of animals or production of animal products, such as eggs or dairy products, on an agricultural or commercial basis. Typical uses include grazing, ranching, dairy farming and poultry farming.

    Still, what about for personal use?

    Ah ha!!! This is probably it:

    (from Article x, Livestock:) DIVISION 2. PERMIT

    Sec. 6-266. Required for keeping of livestock or poultry.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, maintain or harbor any horses, goats, sheep, swine, except mini-pigs as defined in article XI of this chapter, cattle or poultry within this city without first obtaining a permit to do so from the health department.(Ord. No. 36463, § 2, 12-16-03)

    Sec. 6-267. Application.
    Any person desiring to obtain a permit required by the provisions of this division shall make application therefor in writing on a form furnished by the health department stating:
    (a) The name and location of the applicant.
    (b) The kind and number of animals or fowl to be kept.
    (c) The name of the person in charge of the animals or fowl, if different from the name and location of the applicant.
    (d) Such other information as the department may require.
    (Ord. No. 36463, § 2, 12-16-03)

    Sec. 6-268. Investigation.
    Upon receipt of an application for a permit required by the provisions of this division, the health officer or his duly authorized representative shall investigate the premises and the manner in which the animals or fowl are to be kept.
    (Ord. No. 36463, § 2, 12-16-03)

    Sec. 6-269. Conditions for issuance.
    A permit required by the provisions of this division shall be issued only if the location and the keeping of animals or fowl is, in the opinion of the health department, such as not to be a health hazard or nuisance to the surrounding neighborhood.(Ord. No. 36463, § 2, 12-16-03)

    Sec. 6-270. Revocation.
    A permit issued under the provisions of this division may be revoked by the health department for the violation by the permittee of any provision of this division or any other applicable provision of this code, state law or city ordinance, rule or regulation.
    (Ord. No. 36463, § 2, 12-16-03)

    Sec. 6-271. Duration.
    All permits issued under the provisions of this division shall be valid for a period of one year, running from January 1 to December 31.
    (Ord. No. 36463, § 2, 12-16-03)
    Secs. 6-272--6-300. Reserved

    So, if it were me, I'd contact the Health officer as noted above, tell them you have read this part of the ordinance, and ask what the stipuations are that must be met in order to raise chickens in your yard.

    Hope that's helpful.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: