City of Sacramento to allow backyard chickens (at a price)

On Tuesday night, the City Council passed an ordinance that will allow city residents to keep up to three egg-laying hens in their back yards starting November 1, 2011. It has been legal to own chickens in Sacramento County for some time as long as your property lot size meets the 10,000 square feet requirement.

This is good news, right? Sure, but there are a few catches, cause it’s, you know, politics and stuff.

Households that want to keep chickens will be required to pay $15, plus an annual fee of $10 per chicken. No roosters will be allowed.

Really? You couldn’t just pass an ordinance for the fun of passing an ordinance?

And for those concerned that the new law will lead to chickens roaming city streets, the law requires that hens be kept in pens, coops or cages at all times. Those holding areas must be at least 20 feet from a neighbor’s home…Chickens will be tagged for identification.

Oh, this can’t miss. Folks will have a field day ratting out their neighbors when their chickens cluck their way inside 20 feet. Not to mention random chicken busts of non-tagged hens.

Next thing you know Sacramento will try to tax tourists for having an accident in our city or something.

Author: RonTopofIt

RonTopofIt is a complex personality, as are most of the small breed of modern day renaissance millionaires. He wishes more people were like him and yet believes that it takes all kinds. You've met RonTopofIt many times, you just don't remember him.

6 thoughts on “City of Sacramento to allow backyard chickens (at a price)”

  1. I get it, and I think it’s got some up sides. But it’s going to be totally unenforceable from a practical standpoint. A few years back we had a huge problem with feral roosters coming into our yard. If you think that’s a quaint idea you have never heard a rooster crowing at your back window around 2 a.m. We tried everything to get rid of them. They are a lot harder to dispatch than you’d think. We begged animal control to come get them. Animal control first told us they do not come out for chickens and roosters, and then lectured us that it was unlawful to keep them. To which we suggested we were in violation and asked them to confiscate them. They declined. So there’s not really any resource for controlling the chicken population once this starts going. Ugh.


  2. Yep. I’m w/Meg. When you deal w/ roosters ruining your quality of life (and sleep!) on a daily basis, you’d understand that the city may have good intentions but is useless regarding enforcing any laws/guidelines. It took a group of neighbors contacting code enforcement, our councilwoman, animal control, getting Graswich to write a bit in The Bee, and KCRA showing up to do a story to finally get things resolved. Never again.


  3. A chicken is not a rooster. People will follow the rules. Except the licensing part. And the lot size part. And the 20 foot setback part. And the keeping them in a coop part. Hmmm- given how easy it would be to sell little chicks now, I bet the rooster part too.


  4. Cats continually crap in my tomato beds. Last week I caught my 2.5 yr old doing his Han Solo imitation sword thing with a petrified cat turd in each hand.

    Yet the city apparently has no regulations on the number of cats, and I have never heard of anyone actually licensing their cat (people just don’t bother to do this for the more disposable pet varieties).

    So if I had to choose, I would prefer chicken crap in my garden. At least my kid can’t wave a pelletized chicken crap sword over his head. And since chicken is a commoditized meat, the killing of stray wandering chickens is simply classified as “dinner preparation” while the same thing is considered animal cruelty for cats and dogs.


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