Can I Keep Chickens – The Laws

Most people ask the question, can I keep chickens where I live? The answer to this question is that it depends on the laws and regulations of where you live. In most suburbs, keeping chickens is not usually a problem, but you must be careful about the laws and regulations governing such activities.

You should get in touch with the relevant authorities to learn more about their requirements and guidelines. Failure to abide by these laws and regulations may lead to hefty fines or your chickens been confiscated – ignorance is no defense.

As you familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations in your locality, you should also check if your landlord permits rearing of chickens in his / her premises. Again, ignorance is no defense and failure to follow the laws and regulations may lead to law suits and litigations if not forceful eviction from the building for breaching the rules.

It is important to note that the restrictions are less severe in the suburbs and more stringent in urban cities. It is also important to note that even in situations where the city and the building or house owner allows you to keep chickens, you should always check with your immediate neighbors. This is because permission to keep chickens will not prevent them from suing you for such things as foul odors, noise and erecting chicken structures, which they may deem to be an eyesore among other things.

Asking your neighbors for their views before you decide to rear chickens will prevent future misunderstandings. They will see you respect them and you will be able to incorporate their views and demands in the design of the chicken coop.

Content of most laws and regulations

Although different states have different laws and regulations regarding chicken husbandry, there are a few laws which are uniform for every state. One such regulation is on the aesthetic value of the structure. This law demands that the structure / coop should not be an eyesore. However, this is mainly confined in cities and metropolitan regions and less in the suburbs regions.

A law common law in every other state is restriction on the number of chickens you can keep.

Most states and counties have laws governing where you can put up the chicken coop structure. In most areas, you are only supposed to put up the structure in the backyard if you have a house and on the roof if you are living on an apartment building.

Another common law touches on the materials used to construct the chicken coop – most laws encourage people to use recycled materials.

Other than laws meant to protect other people’s privacy, there are also laws that touch on hygiene. One such law is the one governing how often you are to remove the droppings. The law is meant to minimize foul odor / air pollution. Note that most garbage disposal companies charge extra for the disposal of chicken waste.