Grit Blogs > Back To Our Roots

City Chickens

Traci N Smith

You never know what you’re going to get with me. And I guess that makes you just like my family. I am looking at my 6th move in the last two years. This is due to a LOT of reasons, most of them personal. But one that I would like to discuss with you is keeping chickens in the city.

My current flock 

Where I live, there is a MAJOR issue with chickens in the city limits. I’m not entirely sure when the issue started, or if it’s always been there. I am coming into only my third year of having chickens, so I’m still learning. But the one thing I have learned is that the cities and towns around here don’t like chickens. I started with six chicks inside city limits. (You can read about that experience here.) I was at fault for the code enforcer being called on this one, as I did not realize that once they were feathered and outside that they would jump the fence in the backyard. They liked to free range in the neighbor’s yard and the neighbors hated us. So they called the city, the city told us we had to get rid of them, I moved out of the house and sent my girls to my ex-MIL’s.

I moved to my mom’s, who refused to let me have chickens. When I moved out of there, I moved back into city limits. And I wound up with 26 birds at one point, including the three that my MIL had been keeping for me. We did OK for about three months. Then the neighbor called code enforcement because I was living with her ex and he made her mad one day (I hate petty people). So I had to move AGAIN. Back to my mom’s I went and back to my ex-MIL's the birds went. She eventually sold all but seven of them.

Original temporary coop setup on 2 acre property 

Finally, last fall, I thought I found somewhere that I could have my birds. Two acres of land and a house big enough for me and my children. We moved 45 minutes away from my family, got everyone set up and the coop placed. We had been there a little over a month when … you guessed it. Code enforcement showed up at our door.

“I’m not sure if you are aware or not, ma’am. But you are inside city limits and you are not allowed to have chickens here.”

I had made sure to ask this SAME code enforcement officer not two weeks before what the animal ordinances were, and he said there were none, only a leash law. UGH! So we moved again. But this time, I convinced my mother to allow me to bring my birds with me.

So we packed up both the Critter Kids, myself and my fiancé, and we moved to my mother’s along with our seven birds. Within two weeks, three of my hens had been killed by her German Shepard. But that is a different story, one that I will share at a later date.

We are currently in the process of trying to sell our two acres and house while searching for another place that we can afford. I’m not sure if the housing market is just poor around here, or what. But the only places we can seem to find are inside city limits of some kind. Hoping to see some improvement soon. Be sure to check back in to see how things are going! I’m sure that we will have more adventures to share soon!

New coop setup at my mother's house