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Chickens Laws – Local Zoning and Legal Restrictions for Keeping Chickens

Category : Zoning and Legal Restrictions

Chickens in your neighbors backyard isn’t really so strange anymore, in fact you might want to think about having your own flock. Many urban and suburban communities are allowing chicken keeping, the people have made their choice clear and they want chickens. That does not mean every community has surrendered to the large chicken mob. So just because you see someone with chickens in your neighborhood doesn’t mean that everything is on the up and up. Some people just say to hell with the rules and just start flouting the law. Before you rush out and start building your chicken coops you might want to check whether there are any laws preventing your from legally keeping chickens.

Just about all property is classified into zoning areas; only in a few areas might there be no zoning. If that is the case you probably know who you are already. Each zone has laws that state clearly what can and cannot be done to and on a property in each particular zone. So people won’t do anything stupid like build a movie theater in the middle of a residual area, stuff like that. These zone restrictions help regulate growth and stability in each community and keep property use in the area similar in some way.

Fight for What you Want

Zoning can be changed if you have enough people to fight for it, but it is really the job of local governments and officials. Each government unit then assigns laws governing property use within each individual zone.

Of course these laws vary from community to community depending on where you live. These laws and ordinances do say what type of animals and how many you can keep. Horses’, pigs, dogs, cats, goats, chickens, etc; that’s right most places allow you to have cats, but you can’t have a million of them running around. This type of regulation is done to keep everyone safe, comfortable, and in a healthy living environment.

Allowing people to keep chickens wasn’t always a normal thing to have in many urban areas. Many cities are giving in to the increasingly growing number of citizens who believe that it is unfair for them not to be able to keep chickens. The higher population of emigrants who are used to keeping chickens in small quarters has mostly contributed to the relaxation of some city rules. In a lot of places a person can ask for a zoning variance if they want to use their property in a way that’s not to date prohibited by the zoning.

You Got Your Papers Right

The first step in deciding to legally keep chickens starts with finding out whether or not it’s possible in the city or area you’re in. Makes sense right, start with the property zoning and work your way to seeing if there are any special regulations in that zoning district for raising chickens or building chicken coops.

Common Zoning Areas

  • Agricultural Zoningyou can probably keep chickens without any real problems with this type of zoning. You want to look for the “right to farm” bill on your paper work. The Right to Farm bill states quite clearly that any recognized legal methods of farming are OK at any time.
  • Residential Zoningthis is where things can get a little bit tricky, you’ll need to determine what is allowed and what is not. It’s best to go right to the source of the information. You local officials should have all that information.
  • Business Zoningis similar to the Residential Zoning you need to contact your local officials to be sure.

Things Change

One thing to remember is that zoning can change at any time, so just because you mother and father did it 10 years ago, doesn’t mean it’s OK today. Always check with your township before you make any plans on purchasing chickens. You don’t want to find yourself with a hand full of chickens and nowhere to keep them.

Common Restrictions for chicken Keeping

  1. There may be restrictions on the number of birds you’re allowed to keep at once.
  2. There may be a restriction on the sex of the birds you want to keep.
  3. There might be a restriction on the certain breeds.
  4. Restrictions on where your Chickens and chicken Coops can be located.
  5. How many acres you have may also be a factor in how many chickens you can have if any.
  6. How close your neighbor’s house is can be a deciding factor.

There are many factors and restrictions when it comes to keeping and raising chickens, but don’t let that detour you from continuing on with your endeavors. Once you get all this preliminary paperwork and research out the way you will be free to start your won flock.

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