Not in my backyard! Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Cue a sad cock-a-doodle-doo (is there even such a thing?): citing the ever-clucking presence of chickens as "too much of a burden" and "nuisance" to non-chicken owners, the Port Orange city council has voted down an ordinance that would allow citizens to raise and care for barnyard fowl in their backyards. Local feed store owner Michael Glasnak defended the city's pro-chicken contingent, noting that "[these people] like their ... farm fresh eggs. They don't want to have to go to the store and have eggs with all kinds of chemicals on them." Indeed, it is hard to argue the virtues of an egg fresh from a chicken's butt.
That's all fine and dandy for Port Orange, one of Volusia County's many jewels, but what are the chicken ownership laws here in Orlando? As far as we know the City Beautiful is still running its "Urban Chicken Pilot Program" wherein interested parties may lobby to keep three to four hens in their backyard for a $50 permit and attendance of a mandatory class on how to raise urban chickens. (We ran a feature in February asking whether these backyard chicks were pets or meat?) Now, Orange County residents whose property is zoned Agricultural, Citrus Rural or Farmland Rural have long been allowed to harbor up to 30 domestic fowl (i.e. chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, pigeons, hens, quails, pheasants, or squabs) provided they are also 100' from all Residential zones, no permits required.
Alas, there is no central online resource for all chicken-related statutes in Florida, so please, before you start building a 6' backyard coop, check with your designated local legislative body. You don't want the cops showing up the day you lead little Cluckster and his friends to their fancy new home.
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