Escambia Once Again Looking At Chicken Ordinance

March 28, 2013

Escambia County is once again looking at new rules for chickens at single family homes outside areas zoned rural or agricultural.

Earlier this year , 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.

In a meeting next Monday, the county’s planning board will look at chicken regulations on the books in Sarasota and Pinellas counties, plus they will consider a position statement from a group call the Escambia County Chicken Owners.

The chicken owners group wants an ordinance that allows chickens — no roosters — within all residential zones in the county.  No commercial or breeding operations would be allowed, except for youth that might be participating in a 4-H or equivalent program. There would be no minimum acreage requirement.

“Chickens are no more a nuisance than any other animal permitted within residential zones of Escambia County. In fact, chickens can be ideal for residential areas, provided the owners use common sense and individual responsibility. We believe that under the existing animal nuisance section residents can legally and responsibly keep chickens within their own backyards,” the position paper states.

Any chicken recommendation from the Escambia County Planning Board would require  public hearings and the approval of the county commission prior to becoming law.


17 Responses to “Escambia Once Again Looking At Chicken Ordinance”

  1. carroll leis on July 31st, 2013 3:10 pm

    Really need information regarding keeping 3-4 hens in my Nokomis, FL (Sarasota County) backyard. Have sent emails to county officials but no response. Strange, if I lived in a city I could have chickens but living in the county is a no-no! I’m trying to understand the logic, but geeze…..just can’t!

  2. Beverly Macauley on July 31st, 2013 12:11 pm

    This is just one more waste of taxpayers money. Personally, I grew up on a small farm and hearing a rooster crow brings back a lot of memories. How many people who complain about chickens have gone to Key West to see them roaming free…such colorful creatures! There are plenty of ordinances in effect that “govern” the people who keep animals, but a chicken ordinance? Poppy-Cock! Pun intended.

  3. ABC on March 30th, 2013 10:58 pm

    It seems there is being an awful lot of time used as well as county payroll on this Chicken issue…………… Seems to me there can be an ordinance limiting a few chickens per household in the city as long as they are penned and comfortable, As for the county, we live in the county to have room and the freedom to enjoy our land, If they are allowed tocontrol what animals we own and how many, before you know it they will be creating laws to control how many croops we grow and what kind….. this is America folks, wake up and smell the honey, before it is all taken away from you……………………..just like your money…….in taxes and hours and hours of wasted payroll ………

  4. CD on March 30th, 2013 1:01 pm

    We live on 7 acres and the next door neighbor does too. Most folks around here live on 1 to 30 acres. Think I’ll build a chicken yard of about 1/4 acre and get a dozen hens…………maybe a rooster too. We are too old to fool with the horses any more! It’s much ado about nothing! Might get a few goats also. :D

  5. CD on March 29th, 2013 1:10 pm

    Oh. My neighbor has about a dozen hens and a rooster. He is kind enough to give me a few fresh yard eggs from time to time!

  6. Concerned on March 29th, 2013 9:37 am

    Come on though. If a chicken owner has egg laying chickens but no roosters, and their kept within the backyard of the chicken owner, whats wrong with having fresh farm eggs? And if someone puts in a complaint about the owner of the chickens having any roosters, then all the chickens should be removed and that person is no longer aloud to have chickens of any kind. If a chicken owner lives in a agricultral or rural zones, then they are alowed to have roosters. But has anyone seen the price of eggs the stores lately? Come on. Plus whats wrong with having a few fresh chickens? All im saying is no roosters unless you live in a rural or agricultural zones, or if you are apart of a club such as 4H or Boy Scouts.

  7. xpeecee on March 29th, 2013 9:26 am

    Tell um Huie!!!!!!!!!!

  8. liberty on March 28th, 2013 8:17 pm

    more rules ,,,…….more regulations,…………….another reason for the gov’t to get into your house or onto your property,……………” to see if your chickens are under the current guidelines of the state”…………..ankle bone connected to the knee bone , knee bone to the thigh bone , thighbone to the hip bone ,……….you get the picture ,……………at least i used to think that we would get it…where is the end to this soft tyranny?????

  9. David Huie Green on March 28th, 2013 3:22 pm

    “COME ON PEOPLE…have some respect for your neighbors rights too…”

    They give you free chicken to eat, even deliver it to your door and you complain.

    Just eat those who come into your yard and be thankful

    David for chicken and rice

  10. David Huie Green on March 28th, 2013 3:20 pm

    regulate chickens when you’ve eliminated all other crime

    Then you’ll have something to crow about.

  11. No Excuses on March 28th, 2013 1:25 pm

    I’m with the Escambia Chicken Owners Assoc. Although I live on 10 acres in Molino, I want to get chickens. They will be cooped with a run, and I will only have 5 or 6 (no roosters – I want them for the eggs). As for rats or mice, we have so many feral cats from the neighbor’s unspayed female, that I doubt they will be much of a problem :-) .
    The last thing I would want to do is bother someone with irresponsible behavior with my animals. Take care of your chickens everyone!

  12. Bob on March 28th, 2013 11:29 am

    The neighbor that used to live behind me had one chicken. That was in the Pensacola City limits. I had no problems with the chicken. However I did have a problem with the chicken feed that attracted an armada of rats. The rats were everywhere. Since the neighbor sold the house and moved with her chicken there have been no more rats. That is the drawback that I see to having chickens in residential areas. Rats are also the reason I do not put out bird seed or hang corn for the squirrels. Rats are opportunistic and see chicken feed or any other source of food as a free banquet.

  13. Janice on March 28th, 2013 9:28 am

    ONLY in North Escambia could we find an issue with CHICKENS!!!! Here’s a NEW ordinance, grab some crisco and some flour, call the neighbors, and have a picnic- SHEESH!!!! LOL!!!!

  14. Escambia County Chicken Owners on March 28th, 2013 8:15 am

    We at ECCO agree that people should keep their chickens responsibly, which means not allowing wandering, odors, or an excessive amount of noise to bother your neighbors. All pets have the potential to create a nuisance situation. It is a shame that people can’t talk to their neighbors without fear of retribution. We plan to use our web site as an educational tool to give backyard chicken owners advice on how to properly care for their chickens and not create a nuisance. We would also love to see the county extension office offer more chicken keeping workshops. Perhaps some day our group could give information presentations once we get a reasonable ordinance. Of course, there might still be people who continue to do it irresponsibly, but they will probably do it whether or not it is legal.

  15. van on March 28th, 2013 7:34 am

    Really? your dogs are in danger because of a chicken? I have NEVER seen a chicken or a rooster go after and inflict damage on a dog of any size. And if they are in a tree, they are roosting and highliy unlikely to come down because a pipsqueak dog is outside. They aren’t hawks. I do agree that the neighbor should keep them in a coop, but come on…lowering your home yalue due to nuisance? goodness.

  16. Duke of Wawbeek on March 28th, 2013 6:32 am

    Chicken is a Kosher species of bird and most certainly should be allowed in Pensacola. Who do these commissioners think they are imposing their dietary restrictions on others?

  17. J. Lanford on March 28th, 2013 4:48 am

    There is a homeowner in our subdivision that has several chickens (maybe around 12 and a few roosters that crow throughout the day). Thery are not pinned in and have been known to roam around the neighborhood. Code enforcement will not do anything to solve the issue unless you file a formal complaint with your name, leaving yourself open for angering the chicken owner. I have come home to find them in my yard and now have a couple of large birds that is sitting in the nearby trees which could be dangerous for our pet dogs that are not large and go outside in the back to run and use the bathroom. If they feel the need to leave like farmers and do so in a neighborhood not zoned for farming, they should be considerate and keep them in the backyard, not the side of the front yard which also lowers my home value due to the nuisance…The code enforcement should do their job and enforce the NO ROOSTER and also limit these people to a certain amount of chickens and also the backyard not front….i mean, COME ON PEOPLE…have some respect for your neighbors rights too…

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