Raising Chickens - Finding The Right Information To Start
By: Tom Chung
To keep chickens at your home, you might have to find out first whether you can legally raise chickens in your area. This is to say, when you see that your neighborhood have chickens, it doesn't mean you can also keep your chickens legally. It is possible that they may have had them before a zoning change. For example, people are allowed to have animals at the time zoning is changed. Furthermore, they may have applied for a variance, or they may have kept those chickens illegally.
You should find out what you are permitted to do in terms of raising chickens, and also keep in mind that you need to get that information from the right person and the right source. For example, you might be able to get some information from your deed and your sale agreement if you own your house. Otherwise, go to your city council to ask for a zoning map. You can either request or buy a copy. Sometimes, you need to look in a book or at a large wall map.
If you live in a larger community, you might find the answer from the planning board or office. If you stay in a small town or village, go to ask the county clerk or an animal officer the questions about keeping animals. If your question is about building fences and shelters, then you might have to make an enquiry to another government unit.
As you probably have received many different opinions from your neighbors, you aunt or other relatives, you however only want to take the words of people connected to local government to make sure that it is alright to raise chickens at your home. In addition, if you are planning to buy a house, you should double check what the real estate agent has told you about being able to keep chickens or about the property zoning. When you receive any information from a secondary source, it is better to make sure it is legitimate. So the smart way to avoid mistake is to go to straight to the primary source of legal information.
Try to get a copy of the laws so you can refer to them later if you need it. For instance, if your neighbor challenges your right to keep chickens, then you can show them or remind you how many chickens you are allowed to keep.
After you make sure you are allowed to have chickens in your area, then you can start thinking about the right ways to raise your own chickens.