Back yard birds

Keep­ing city chick­ens a fun fam­ily hobby, but know the law

McDonald County Press - - SALUTE TO POULTRY - Source: Back­yard­chick­

City dwellers and sub­ur­ban­ites have flown the coop, so to speak. Even here in North­west Arkansas, a grow­ing in­ter­est in rais­ing chick­ens has en­abled coops and nest­ing birds to spring up in neigh­bor­hoods you would not typ­i­cally as­so­ciate with chick­ens.

As with any agri­cul­tural en­ter­prise, keep­ing chick­ens is sub­ject to a va­ri­ety of of­ten com­plex laws and reg­u­la­tions. Most towns and cities in the USA have some lo­cal law and/or chicken or­di­nance re­gard­ing live­stock and poul­try in place and no two towns’ re­stric­tions and al­lowances are iden­ti­cal, so be­fore you get started with chick­ens you should find out what the lo­cal laws and or­di­nances in your area are.

First of all find out what jurisdiction you are in, then con­tact your lo­cal gov­ern­ment and find out what the laws and or­di­nances in your city or town are. Go to the in­for­ma­tion desk at your lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity and ask to speak to a per­son who is knowl­edge­able about the lo­cal laws re­gard­ing live­stock. Most lo­cal gov­ern­ments also have online re­sources avail­able, so it is well worth an online search. If the law is un­clear or con­fus­ing or if noone at your lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity knows for sure what the laws are re­gard­ing chick­ens, your lo­cal an­i­mal con­trol of­fi­cer may be able to as­sist you.

• Fayet­teville re­quires 4-20 max­i­mum chick­ens de­pend­ing on the square footage of your prop­erty. Roost­ers are not al­lowed. Coops must be 25 feet from res­i­den­tial dwellings on ad­ja­cent lots. Coops must pro­vide a min­i­mum of three square feet per fowl and must have ac­cess to a se­cure en­clo­sure to pro­tect them from preda­tors. No coops are per­mit­ted in the front yard area.

• Rogers al­lows a max­i­mum of 4 chick­ens within the city lim­its, and no roost­ers. A per­mit is re­quired, there are re­stric­tions as to the size and lo­ca­tion of coops. Con­tact the an­i­mal con­trol of­fice or city clerk in your town for more in­for­ma­tion.

• Spring­dale al­lows chick­ens and roost­ers only in cer­tain zones. Clean­li­ness and prox­im­ity re­stric­tions ap­ply. Noise or­di­nances ap­ply. Chick­ens make won­der­ful pets, but it’s im­por­tant to fol­low all lo­cal laws and or­di­nances.

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