Backyard chickens

As mentioned in my previous post, I want two chickens.  Just two, that's all.  Our city ordinance will not allow it.  So I have been writing my city council member this past week and have encouraged my buddies to do the same. 

Last night the city council meeting took place where the issue was supposed to be discussed.  I was unable to make it as I worked a little late but still hoped to catch the live broadcast of the meeting.  Unfortunately I missed that as well.

I checked my email this morning to find this reply from my council member

"If you were able to watch the council meeting, you saw that I didn't bring up the urban chicken issue. In talking with some council people and city staff, I found no interest in revisiting the ordinance. Most felt it would be abused and that the city does not have the manpower or time to enforce/police the issue, and cited the fact that we have enough trouble keeping up with nuisances and property issues as it is.

I wonder if the college, through their community ag program, would allow chickens out on their farm?

Best wishes."
To my disappointment it wasn't addressed.  In response, I suggested that those interested could apply for a license and if the property has had code issues or animal complaints in the past, the license will not be granted.  I also expressed how disappointed I was in the fact that just a handful of people who may abuse it can ruin the opportunity for other responsible people.  I told her that I appreciated the suggestion of taking advantage of the college farm however, I would like to be able to monitor the chickens at all times and not expose them to people who may not be familiar with them. Kind of defeats the purpose of having backyard chickens.
The ordinance took effect about 6-7 years ago due to 2 families who had either a loud rooster or a large number of chickens on their property.  I know the family that had the large number of chickens and they were well kept and clean. Beyond that, just a handful of people in the city had chickens which took up very little time as far as code enforcement went.  I worked for the city at the time so I was completely aware of lack of issues.
Elections are coming up in November. I might just revisit the issue at that time.
3 Responses
  1. Rachel Says:

    Just the fact that the council member says they don't have time to enforce chicken rules would make me go ahead and get chickens. Most codes are written to make people good neighbors. If you can talk to your neighbors (offer bribes of free eggs) you might find that they don't mind. If no one calls in a complain then the city will never know.

  2. meemsnyc Says:

    I'm sorry that they did not bring up the chicken keeping at the meeting. How frustrating. In NYC, you are allowed to raise only hens. Roosters are forbidden. My husband really wants to raise chickens, but I'm a little hesitant because our neighbors are so close to our yard. We have a large condo unit right next to us, and I don't want them to freak out if we had some hens running around our yard...We'll see.

  3. @Rachel believe me I have been tempted. All of my neighbors homeowner neighbors do not care. However, we have a rental property towards the back of our lot...where the chickens would reside. I could foresee an issue there. Otherwise our lot is fairly blocked off with a privacy fence. I'm the return an ink pen to the bank if I take it kind of person so I most likely will just bug the council to death until they turn.

    @meems I should use that as a reference. I mean for goodness sake, if a city the size of NY can have hens then I think my city of just over 30,000 should be able to handle a couple here and there. Thanks for the info!!!

I would love to hear from you!