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Chickens Not Permitted in Berkley, Huntington Woods

Do you agree with the cities' ordinances? Why or why not? Leave a comment!

Cluck disapprovingly if you must, but residents in Berkley and Huntington Woods are not allowed to keep chickens.

A recent query of readers on the Huntington Woods-Berkley Patch Facebook page – Do any of you keep back yard chickens in Berkley and/or Huntington Woods? – generated 25 comments, several likes and questions about just what the rules are.

Article I of the Huntington Woods animal ordinance explicitly prohibits chickens.

9.38. Domestic Animals and Fowl. No person shall keep or house any animals other than domestic dogs, domestic cats, canaries or animals commonly classified as pets which are customarily kept or housed inside dwellings as household pets. The term "pet" or "household pet" does not include exotic, wild, vicious or dangerous animals including, but not limited to, any of the following: domestic fowl, live monkeys, alligator, crocodile, raccoon, skunk, fox, bear, sea mammal, poisonous snake, constrictor snake longer than six (6) feet in length,member of the feline species other than the domestic cat, member of the canine species other than the domestic dog, or any other animal which would require a standard of care and control greater than that required for customary household pets sold by commercial pet shops. This Section shall not apply to any lawfully operated zoo. Any person who violates this Section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. No. 423, § 1, 5-19-98)

However, readers expressed a lack of clarity on whether Article I of the Berkley animal ordinance applies to chickens.

Sec. 22-5. - Keeping of domestic animals and fowl. No person shall harbor or house any animals or domestic fowl within the city except dogs, cats, birds, fowl or animals commonly classified as pets. (Code 1981, § 5-4)

Berkley City Manager Jane Bais-DiSessa said the city does not allow residents to keep chickens.

She said there is no formal penalty for rule-breakers, but that if residents don't remove coops promptly when asked by the city, they could receive a citation. Bais-DiSessa said one coop has been identified in Berkley and the city is working with the property owner to have it removed.

"This is a highly dense area population-wise," Bais-DiSessa said, adding that keeping chickens in such close quarters can lead to noise issues and attract rats, which like to eat the chickens' spilled food.

[Do you agree with the cities' ordinances? Why or why not? Leave a comment!]

Citizen Berkley January 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM
I think they smell and create a huge mess. I agree with the ordinances. Do you really need that many eggs?
Gordy Oliva January 28, 2013 at 02:46 PM
I think its ok in Royal Oak. I'm wondering why they allow it with no issues of mess, noise, rats, etc.
Leslie Ellis January 28, 2013 at 04:05 PM
I'm not sure about Royal Oak, Gordy, but Ferndale allows back yard chickens. http://patch.com/A-qbcr However, noise and odor issues, as well as rats, did come up during the city's planning discussion. http://patch.com/A-mcGk

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