As the days get longer the chickens have started cranking out more eggs. In honor of our first four egg day, pictured above, we present a sampling of arbitrary and strange municipal codes around the country pertaining to chickens. Recent chicken controversies in Missoula (see our post on that dust-up) and Chicago, prove that urban poultry is still controversial.
Albuquerque: Zoning allows the raising of unlimited poultry if penned at least 20 feet from neighboring dwellings.
Atlanta: Up to 25 chickens may be kept if adequately housed, i.e. 2 square feet per adult bird, and their enclosure is 50 feet from the nearest neighbor.
Austin: Up to 10 fowl per household, but keep in an enclosure that’s 50 feet away from neighbors.
Boston: All residential zones in Boston forbid “auxiliary keeping of animals,” which includes poultry and other livestock. No person shall keep any live fowl of other farm animals, except in accordance with a permit from the Division of Health Inspections, Inspectional Services Department.
Chicago: May keep unlimited number of chickens for personal use, but their slaughter is forbidden.
Detroit: Unlawful to own, harbor, keep, or maintain, sell, or transfer any farm animal on their premises or at a public place within the City. [Despite this, we hear tell that there is some pretty progressive urban farming going on in Detroit, including plenty of livestock.]
Los Angeles: Chickens may not be within 20 feet of owner’s residence, and must be at least 35 feet from any other dwelling. Crowing fowl must be 100 feet from any dwelling. [Looks like we’re breaking the law again!]
Madison: Up to four chickens per household. Not allowed to roam free. Keep pen 25 ft. from neighbors. $6 annual permit required.
Miami: May have up to 15 hens, no roosters. Must be contained at least 100 feet from neighboring structures.
Minneapolis: Must obtain permission of 80% of your neighbors that live within 100 feet. Must be kept penned.
New York: Health Code § 161.19 Keeping of live poultry and rabbits.
(a) No person shall keep a live rooster, duck, goose or turkey in a built-up portion of the City.
(b) A person who holds a permit to keep for sale or sell live rabbits or poultry shall keep them in coops and runways and prevent them from being at large. Coops shall be whitewashed or otherwise treated in a manner approved by the Department at least once a year and at such other times as the Department may direct in order to keep them clean. Coops, runways and the surrounding area shall be kept clean.
Portland: Any animal may be raised for noncommercial purposes with no animals kept on any lot less than three (3) acres or closer than one hundred (100) feet to any street or lot line.
Raleigh: No limit on number of chickens kept.
San Francisco: You may keep any combination of four small animals on your property (dogs, chickens, etc.) without permit
Seattle: Three domestic fowl may be kept on any lot.
Considering how loud our perfectly legal Doberman is compared to the hens, these laws are ridiculous. You’ve gotta fight the Man if you want this–backyard eggs with homegrown Swiss chard and Italian parsley served on home-baked wild yeast bread:
Reviewing the laws, it’s obvious that the Man wants us to shop in his crappy supermarkets.