City ordinances: does no mention of a situation mean it's OK, or not OK?
So Mr. Laureth and I are looking to buy a new place to live. One of the goals is to make it into an intensely cultivated minifarm, providing the majority of our food. As such, I would like to keep chickens for eggs and meat. (This is not a question about vegetarianism; but whether or not you approve of factory farming, please understand that as a meat-eater, I’m doing this so that it is done as well as possible.)
I don’t want to break laws, or buy land and then learn that I can’t engage in my self-sufficiency plan. So we’ve been spending a lot of time reading over local city ordinances, looking for laws about livestock in general, and chickens in particular. Some areas allow a resident to keep a certain number of hens (and no rooster) if they follow other rules, such as keeping them in a hutch that’s X number of feet from the neighbor’s house, perhaps paying a small licensing fee.
Most cities, however, don’t even mention any kind of livestock rules – especially the more rural, outlying communities. We don’t know what to think about those. Does the absence of a rule about keeping chickens imply that no chickens can be kept, or that chickens can be kept because there’s nothing saying you can’t?
(The main burg here is known for its hippy residents and allows limited numbers of hens, but the outlying communities “in the sticks” might want to seem more “modern” by outlawing the things one might expect to find in the rural hinterlands.)
I’m planning to send emails to the appropriate City Hall, if and when we find a property that we like. In the meantime, wanting to know what the general public assumes to be true, I’m turning to Fluther.
As a related question, please also tell me what you would think, in your own neighborhood, if your neighbor kept a well-tended, not-stinky clutch of 3 or 4 hens. (They might cluck a bit, but they’re not crowing all the time like roosters.) If you didn’t have to see them, or much hear them, would you be amenable to the idea? If you’re borderline on it, would the occasional gift of fresh eggs or garden vegetables do anything to sway your opinion?
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.