Urban chickens update

From TM Daily Post:

A survey of Texas chicken husbandry regulations showed an overall tolerance for backyard fowl as long as the noise and smell don’t offend your neighbors (although some cities, like Plano, forbid chickens). The regs require considerable patience to wade through, as chickens are not addressed in one tidy section. Most cities did agree that roosters are poultry non grata because of their love of pre-dawn crowing. And poop must be scooped on a regular basis.

 Urban Chicken Regulations in Major Texas Cities

BackyardChickens.com is a ueful website on all things chicken and includes summaries of Texas laws.

See here for more about the local movement called Hens for Houston. The Chron had a Sunday feature story about their founder.

[A] Houston ordinance says chicken coops must be 100 feet away from any neighboring buildings. Because most lots are not that big, many chickens in the city are illegal, although it’s an ordinance the city enforces on a complaint basis.

Hens for Houston, led by Claire Krebs, would like to see the city code changed. Her group still is in the research phase.

“I’ve always liked the idea of having chickens,” says the Houston native and Rice University graduate. “I went to Peace Corps right after graduating. I was in Honduras and there are chickens everywhere.”

Ready to settle in Houston, Krebs was not keen to break the law and risk having her chickens taken away. But she thought the time was right for the city to take another look at its fowl restrictions.

Many cities, including Dallas, allow backyard chickens, although roosters are banned, she says. That makes sense because roosters crow loudly at all hours of the day and night. Hens produce eggs without roosters.

Krebs notes that Houston’s poorly written ordinance allows 30 roosters if you have a big enough lot.

“You have to think about your neighbors,” Krebs says. “We are living in a city together. You wouldn’t want your neighbor’s dog barking all night. But hens hardly make noise at all.”

They’re working on their draft proposal, so we may see some action soon. Their petition now has over 300 signatures. I wish them good luck

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