I don’t usually use this blog for anything remotely political, but I received some worried inquiries about our city’s HEART animal ordinance, and whether it bans or limits chickens in the city, so I feel compelled to set the record straight. Don’t worry, backyard farmers, your chickens and mine are safe. The HEART statute controls and limits the possession and care of companion birds, but it carefully defines “companion birds” within the ordinance, and chickens are specifically excluded, as are ducks, geese, and a lot of other birds. The relevant section reads as follows:
COMPANION BIRD. A bird commonly kept as a pet by humans and confined on the property of the Owner, including, but not limited to, parakeets, canaries, lovebirds, finches, parrots, macaws, cockatoos, cockatiels, toucans and lories, but excluding:
(1) all of the family Anatidae (waterfowl);
(2) all of the family Tetraonidae (grouse and ptarmigans);
(3) all of the family Phasianidae (quail, partridges and pheasants);
(4) all of the family Meleagridae (wild turkeys) except for the domestic strains of turkeys;
(5) all of the family Perdicidae (francolins);
(6) all of the family Gruidae (cranes);
(7) all of the family Rallidae (rails, coots and gallinules);
(8) all of the family Charadriidae (plovers, turnstones and surfbirds);
(9) all of the family Scolopacidae (shorebirds, snipe, sandpipers and curlews);
(10) all of the family Recurvirostridae (avocets and stilts);
(11) all of the family Phalaropodidae (phalaropes);
(12) all of the family Columbidae (wild pigeons and doves) except for the domestic strains of pigeons; and
(13) ducks, geese, chickens and other poultry.
Therefore, existing laws about chickens permitting us to keep up to fifteen chickens (only 1 rooster among them) prevail. Thank goodness, because there’s nothing like those fresh warm eggs.