Escambia To Reconsider Chicken Regulations

February 23, 2013

The Escambia County Commission has made a temporary about face on a new ordinance regulating the raising of chickens in the county. Earlier this month, the commission decided against a new chicken ordinance mostly because the estimated enforcement cost would be too high.

But after hearing from pro-chicken groups, the commission decided to delay their official decision to consider options.

Last year, the City of Pensacola passed an ordinance that regulated chickens within the city limits. After observing if the ordinance would fly in the city, the county commission took up the issue during a committee meeting on February 14.

The ordinance considered by the county would regulate chickens to lots at least one acre is size, no more than eight chickens per residence, no roosters, require coops to protect the chickens from predators, and not allowed the sale of chickens.

County staff had estimated the cost to enforce the ordinance at $115,425 to hire three new animal control officers, $134,505 for three additional animal control vehicles and additional costs since the county animal shelter currently has no way to keep chickens.

At the February 14 committee meeting, commissioners voted not to support a new chicken ordinance, instead sticking with the county’s current ordinance that allows chickens only in areas zoned  agriculture or rural. But now, a new ordinance is expected to come before the commission for reconsideration that would apply only outside agricultural zones.


41 Responses to “Escambia To Reconsider Chicken Regulations”

  1. Molino Mom on February 26th, 2013 12:58 pm

    Well, I work each week day and I enjoy hearing a rooster crow in the morning. Now maybe when I retire, I might think differently. Naah, I’ll still like it.
    Just sayin’

  2. mary on February 26th, 2013 10:09 am

    Many people just want 3 or 4 chickens for eggs, maybe will eat a hen if they know how to dress her out. Chicks can be ordered by mail or bought at most any Feed and Seed store in the spring….roosters are not necessary to fertilize eggs. You just buy a couple more chicks when you start over again.

  3. 429SCJ on February 26th, 2013 10:04 am

    Why not consider orinances to regulate rape, robbery, theft, murder and mayhem.

    There is somethings to focus on.

  4. David Huie Green on February 26th, 2013 9:00 am

    Consider it could create more good jobs with your taxes.

  5. Tori on February 26th, 2013 2:16 am

    What a joke!!!!!

    Regulations on chickens within city limits?! Who the hell even knows where the city limits are anymore anyways?!?

    You would think that the PPD officers would have more to do then serve people with noise ordinance violations because of their “noisy” chickens.

    And further more, chances are that the people with the chickens lived there long before the people who are complaining moved in. (Kind of like the idiot residents around NAS Pensacola and the airport who like to complain about the noise from the planes).

    No one comes to Pensacola to ride around the numbered streets (we all know the ones I’m talking about). They come to visit the beach (which is no where near the city limits) and the occasional event downtown or at the civic center.

    Leave the “Pro-Chicken” people alone. We all know the government just wants to make it so more people have to shop and their local All Mighty Walmart anyways.

    Next thing you know they’re are going to pass a law that you’ll have to have a permit just to put a chicken coop in your backyard. What has Escambia County come to?

  6. countrygal on February 25th, 2013 3:19 pm

    If you have trouble with chickens flying, simply trim the big flight feathers on one wing. they can only get about a foot or two off the ground. Don’t trim both wings, just one. This prevents them from getting the lift required to fly very high. It does not harm the chicken.

  7. West End Girl on February 25th, 2013 8:04 am

    My girls have never tried to make a break for it! I have a coop for them and I keep them penned most of the time for their own safety. I have larger breed hens and I’ve never seen them get more than two feet off the ground. I know bantams and some lighter hens can fly better. I try to give them some time every day to run around and forage, but I’ve noticed that if they spend too much time out, they attract the attention of neighborhood hawks.

  8. David Huie Green on February 24th, 2013 4:59 pm

    CONSIDERING (although not seriously):
    “I was just trying to get those who live in the city to understand these animals need to be cooped. ”

    free range chickens all the way.

    That way you don’t even have to keep chickens, just have neighbors who do.

    Davdi for generous neighbors

  9. Rob D Blind on February 24th, 2013 10:09 am

    More government requiring more tax money, and less freedom for all. I seen a bumper sticker the other day “WELCOME TO THE USSA”. United Socialist States of America. I believe there soon is comming a day that there are not enough of us left with freedom values to hold on to the USA. Will the last one out please bring the flag? No money and no freedom this is the path we are on. A voter dependent on the elected, will agree to anything. So sad how many have died to protect what we cannot even vote to protect.

  10. Mic Hall on February 24th, 2013 9:28 am

    @CityBoy? Sorry, Nope! I was just trying to get those who live in the city to understand these animals need to be cooped. My point was that most don’t even think they can fly and would let them roam the yard thinking that is safe.

  11. Dennis the menace on February 24th, 2013 7:04 am

    Double ditto on what Georgette Harris said!!!!!!!!! Copied it as a post on fb.

  12. Jane on February 24th, 2013 6:13 am

    Take this rooster from my cold dead hands will be the next bumper sticker! Form the CRA…LOL!

  13. Jane on February 24th, 2013 6:06 am

    I have said this before but I will say it one more time…Hitler said “if you want control over a country first disarm the citizens, then control the food source”.
    I can’t beleieve the ECC are wasting tax dollars trying to control chickens! You can’t raise chickens for sale or food if you don’t have roosters! Maybe they need to take a class in agriculture!

  14. City boy? on February 23rd, 2013 11:37 pm

    @Mic, u must be a city boy, u keep your chicken in a coop so they can’t fly away and to keep animals from killing them!! So I don’t think you’ll have to be worried about ur paint job on ur car or them Landing on ur fence!! It’s a Bird It’s a plane, no it a Chicken…lol… As far as them drawing flies, if a fly comes around believe me that chicken is gonna eat that fly!!
    With the gov cut backs that’s about to come to our USDA inspectors u might not be able to find much chicken or other meats in the stores and if u do find it the prices will be so high u can’t afford it. So u might have to buy u some chicks to raise in order to feed ur family!!

  15. Georgette Harris on February 23rd, 2013 11:20 pm

    You know, I wish that for every comment, there would be a presence at any government meeting. PEOPLE WAKE-UP until WE every day citizens make a phone call, write a letter, attend a meeting or send an e-mail to our (local, state, or federal) representatives our rights will continue to be taken away. You know the old saying the early bird gets the worm. Well I can tell you from experience he who hollars loudest and mostes gets heard. Please stay informed and call or e-mail your representatives. And if there is any way you can attend a meeting GO!!!!!!!

  16. Donny on February 23rd, 2013 10:30 pm

    What A Waste Of Tax Dollars At Work !!! All Thats Going On In This Town And They Are Worried About Someone Having Chickens ……This Must Be A Joke!!

  17. billybob on February 23rd, 2013 9:04 pm

    Please BBC. This was a one horse town. Now I guess it is a one horse,eight chicken town.
    Looks like the chickens have come home to roost.

  18. Mark on February 23rd, 2013 8:16 pm

    It’s all about Freedom and Control. Less freedom for us and more control for them.

  19. DL Hall on February 23rd, 2013 8:14 pm

    Watch out , you people that have “pet birds” are next on their “list” …

  20. DL Hall on February 23rd, 2013 8:06 pm

    I’ve got a great idea I got from nancy pelosi (from that “other” party). Go ahead an pass the Chicken Law (if the people want to know whats in it – they have to approve it first , then find out)(this is great so far uh). Then the following week they will tell you that they will have to add a penny to your taxes to cover the costs of the new law (which no one has read/understands yet). IS THIS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING/CONCERN THE COMMISSION HAS (How about hiring some “chicken police”. I GOT AN IDEA – LEAVE THE CHICKENS ALONE (they are used for food & eggs) – HOW ABOUT LAWS CONCERNING TOUGH PENALTIES FOR MURDER/RAPE/ROBBERY/HOME INVASION/STREET CRIMES/ROBBERY. What a waste of the tax payers money & time. A Russian president said back in the 60’s that the USSR “would take over this country one day & an they will do it without firing one shot”.

  21. Trish on February 23rd, 2013 8:00 pm

    Like you I can’t believe our BCC wastes time on chicken ownership. I have geese, will they be next? Or ducks and turkeys???? The BCC reads northescambia and I hope they get the message we are trying to convey. The article says you can only have 8 chickens per acre, does that mean that if you have 3 acres you have to spread your chicken pens out so there really are only eight on each acre??? You also realize that you will affect local businesses with this stupid idea. So that means only feed stores can sell chickens, and only pullets (hens for all of you uneducated people) which cost more? So you buy fewer chickens then you buy less feed (watch out feed stores). Yes roosters can be loud and start crowing at two o’clock in the morning. If you have too many you turn them into chicken and dumplings but then you could be arrested for cruelity to animals. And FYI chickens eat BUGS and SNAKES, next they will tell us that our chickens are killing protected species and we could face jail time for that.

  22. greylady on February 23rd, 2013 6:37 pm

    Let me get this straight..The BCC wants to limit the number of chickens a person can have, even if this person lives on an acre of land, has a garden, all the neighbors have the same situation, and adjoining properties are zoned agricultural. Now if I want to have 25 dogs, and 40 cats on my acreage, they don’t care. Something a little wrong with this picture? Seems as if the BCC must be trying to pay back some campaign debts by buying some vehicles and hiring some extra friends of the family. Think this will be handled as well as the Equestrian Center debacle?
    And it is okay to have dogs on the beaches, where they say most of the money comes from? Have they never heard of sand worms that are found in feces of dogs? Maybe they think the sand worms won’t be detected until the tourists get back home. I guess they don’t think that dogs will defecate in the water either. Of course, every single dog owner is going to get every bit of the feces and urine up from the dogs. I digress.

  23. huh on February 23rd, 2013 5:25 pm

    Chickens shouldn’t be in the city limits, waking up and annoying all your neighbours and smelling up the places, attracting flies.

    Its going to bring down property values, after all no one is going to want to live beside someone with chickens that make noise all night.

    Just like most people can’t stand those with a loud radio on, barking dogs and loud chickens are no different

  24. Friction against the machine on February 23rd, 2013 1:24 pm

    Just another veiled attempt by government to control the food supply by limiting your ability to provide for yourself…or taxing that ability. Look at the new livestock laws in Alabama requiring ear tags on goats for the stated reason of tracing diseases back to a point of origin…it’s really just to keep track of who has what and make common citizens into criminals if they dont follow oppressive rules and regulations.

  25. AL on February 23rd, 2013 12:31 pm

    Animal control doesn’t enforce laws on the books now, I wouldn’t get worked up expecting them to be able to keep up with chickens. Send them a photo of a chained dog tangled around a tree – only takes a week or 2 for them to follow up.

  26. Gavin Price on February 23rd, 2013 10:24 am

    Our BCC is a joke ! I have complained about a man putting old house trailors on property in Beulah. Two on the same peice of property and then renting to people on a rent to own basis knowing he can not produce a deed to the land. Zoning states its not there problem. If the people complain they get evicted.
    I guess the BCC think chickens are more important than people getting ripped off and zoning laws not being inforced.

  27. Ifish4 on February 23rd, 2013 9:54 am

    Just wondering, why does the county think they need to hire three new animal control officers and buy three new vehicles for them. Why couldn’t this be handled on a complaint basis, if someone complains send someone to check on it, instead of hiring three more people.

  28. Darius on February 23rd, 2013 9:47 am

    I would rather our commisioners just sit on their duffs and do nothing than have them dream up new ways to take away our rights. Why do I bother having a deed if the government is going to tell me what I can do with it. Google communism.

  29. Ben on February 23rd, 2013 9:30 am

    This is almost as stupid as the gas tax. Don’t mess with my chickens or my guns…..

  30. worried on February 23rd, 2013 9:10 am

    Sorry, I can’t get upset over chickens. In the past week my gas bill went uo to 60.00 a week, I drove on a road that needs repair and has needed repairs for at least 10 years. The county decided to give ECAT money and they are worried that someone might have chickens in their yard! If someone owns their property, they should (up to a point) be able to decide if they want a dog, a cat or chickens. I saw on co. rd. 297a people riding horses recently, so people really need to GET OVER THE CHICKENS!!!!

  31. Mic Hall on February 23rd, 2013 9:05 am

    For those who are thinking about backyard chickens you only need a Rooster if you want more chickens. Hens lay eggs no matter if you have a rooster or not. But, Roosters come with some financial risk. They can fly better than hens are usually VERY aggressive and WILL attack cats, dogs, children, … So be ready for a bill from someone who says your rooster flew over to their yard and clawed and spurred their Pomeranian.

    Roosters like to crow from the highest point they can get to. If that is the roof of your neighbors SUV or truck you may be paying for a paint job. Claws and Spurs scratch paint. They are not worth the risk in a city style neighborhood only in rural areas.

    Even hens fly. I know it goes against “common knowledge” but most can fly up to 6 feet off the ground and land on even a privacy fence then you may have some serious complaints from neighbors who did not expect to see a chicken running around THEIR back yard. From those who doubt this – Don’t I have been there done that and its no fun to try to get your chickens back home from two yards down the block.

    If you can’t keep track of where they go then don’t have them. It’s just a cruel to keep a chicken perpetually confined in a small space as it is for a pet. So if you can’t do this right then DON’T and just buy eggs from a farmers market or somewhere else.

  32. Debra Hall on February 23rd, 2013 8:51 am

    This is a prime example of Govt regulation that slowly erodes and in the end snuffs out our rights as free people. If I own property >1 acre, and I would like to have a few chickens (roosters are chickens) I should have the right to do so without Govt interferance. Holy Cow! How sad it is that Esc. Co. Comm. can’t focus on REAL issues that plague our County. We should bundle them all and put them in a chicken coup…ie vote them out of office!!

  33. xpeecee on February 23rd, 2013 8:43 am

    “We will kill the old red rooster, when they come”. Oh, wait! Can’t kill him – animal cruelty! Can’t sell him – illegal! Can’t turn him loose – illegal! Let’s leave all the roosters and excess hens on our Commissioner’s doorstep! How “utterly” silly our Commissioners are…

  34. xpeecee on February 23rd, 2013 8:32 am

    Big Government at it’s best! Ban all assault chickens! Absolutely no roosters that crow more than 10 times without reloading! County Commissioners are going to make a criminal out of this law abiding citizen! Y’all can take my chickens from my cold dead hands! Kiss my grits!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. fred on February 23rd, 2013 8:26 am

    knuckleheads. No roosters? Really? We can let bass booming cars rattle our windows at will, but the kid next door can’t have a rooster with his chickens because the crow a little ? I like the sound, and they aren’t loud.

  36. Dudley Herrington on February 23rd, 2013 8:00 am

    I truely believe that our own District Five Commissioner, who is Home Grown,
    will never favor trying to take away OUR SOUTHERN TRADITION !!!!!
    I am not to sure about a couple of the others.

  37. Richard head on February 23rd, 2013 7:49 am

    Seems like there are bigger fish to fry. We allow destructive rodents, squirrels aka tree rats, to run free protected by law. We are poised to allow dogs to run free on our beach unfenced with the belief owners will clean up and control them. Why are we so concerned about a chicken. Really 100’s of thousands to enforce this. I’m in the wrong business

  38. just saying on February 23rd, 2013 6:49 am

    @Jane the stork brings new chickens duh. LOL Your right these county commissioners do not have any idea what agriculture means. These are the same folks who have waive off industry and make the claim that we are, “A tourist town.” A single beach does not make all of Escambia County a tourist town. In fact we are mainly an agricultural county all the more reason the county she would divided so these county commissioners can stop making moronic rules that adversely effect those of us who do not live in their, “Tourist Town.”

  39. West End Girl on February 23rd, 2013 5:42 am

    I’m one of the “pro-chicken” people. The ordinance change only affects residential areas, not agricultural! If anything, we want to make it easier for people in rural areas, too. There’s a lady in our group who lives on an acre in Beulah who had to get rid of her chickens because her zone was changed to residential even though there are fields all around her!

    We are contesting the costs they claim will be required by animal control and offering other options. For one, Escambia County’s animal control department serves the City of Pensacola where you can have chickens in your backyard and they haven’t had to confiscate a single chicken yet! There are cities all over the U.S. and Florida who are allowing backyard chickens without incident!

  40. Jane on February 23rd, 2013 4:35 am

    This confirms my suspicions that the County Commisioners have no sense of what “agricultural” means. You can’t raise chickens if you don’t have roosters. Many people breed chickens for food…where do they think new chickens come from? Why are they even wasting our tax dollars on this foolish discussion?

  41. Just a thought on February 23rd, 2013 4:09 am

    With all of the important issues facing Escambia County, why are our commissioners wasting time medeling in something that is really none of their business!!!!

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