Monday, May 08, 2006

City Codes And Livestock

Jim Robb reminded me of this topic. I had thought in the past to write about it. So here it is. It's in answer to is comments in Crop Circles...

Are you thinking about livestock in the suburbs? Chickens, rabbits, ducks, etc...?

When my rooster count passed one, I was worried that I was going to be in violation of city codes. Everything I knew about animal ordinances, I learned from hearsay and internet searches.

Finally, I called animal control and asked them. They told me that in recognition of changing demographics (buying the hispanic vote), the city had decided to remove all restrictions on owning livestock.

I'm still limited to 4 pets in my city, but I can have lot's of other kinds of animals.

Of course other code enforcement rules still apply, such as rules for structure types, cleanliness, etc... If my backyard starts to take on the unpleasant aspects of a farm, I'm sure soemone will be happy to come have a talk with me.

These things are worth a phone call, to determine what's fact and what's hearsay. You might be surprised at what you are allowed to do in your own city. You might only be required to have a permit and agree to certain restrictions.

If your city does not allow for any livestock, you could always show up at a council meetings and present an argument for small scale exceptions.

The City of Dallas for instance, allows chickens but has a limit of one rooster per lot, and an additional rooster for each extra acre of land you house them on.

Some folks I know of keep their birds indoors, or use the don't ask don't tell policy, and keep only hens. Roosters are bad about telling everyone where they live.

I've noticed also that folks that ask neighbors their opinion about getting birds receive more negative responses than folks that already have them and ask their neighbors if they are bothered by them.

The idea of a neighbor getting birds seems worse than having a neighbor with birds. Imagination can work against you in this case. Forgiveness is often better than permission.

Also, check out The site has a discussion forum and lots of members from all over the US. You may hook up with other people in your area and find ways to pressure your city leaders into passing more homesteading friendly legislation.

Good luck! The more of us that are seen doing mini-homesteading the burbs, the more acceptable such aberrant behaviour will become. At some point, we could once again become the norm.


At 1:38 PM, Blogger Jim Robb said...

Thanks, Weaseldog. I will enquire and see what is available. I have heard of an elderly neighbor in another neighborhood that has chickens, but I have not been able to confirm. Thanks for the link.



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