Hot Chicks in the City

Paula Frumusa SWQ Summer 2016

Thinking about raising your own chickens? Fresh eggs in the morning sure do sound tempting. But there are some things you need to consider before bringing home a chick or two. The City of Rochester codes relating to owning fowl (Code 360 Chapter 30) include the following regulations:

You need to have a license from the Chief of Police to own fowl.

  • All coops shall be at least 25 feet away from any dwelling or any building used for continuous daily human occupation.
  • You can’t have any male fowl (like a rooster) over 4 months of age in the City of Rochester after a nuisance has been reported to the Chief of Police.
  • You can’t keep the chicks in a cellar or any part of a dwelling or any building used for continuous daily human occupation.
  • All premises where fowl are kept shall at all times be subject to inspection and all licensees shall at all times be subject to the orders of the Chief of Police.
  • You can’t let animals (chickens or any animal) run at large on any City street or anyplace that they or someone could be injured or be an annoyance to the public.

Owning chickens can be satisfying and they can live up to 15 years. Before you decide to share your life with chickens, you have to be willing to make a dedicated, financial long term commitment. It’s good to have the support and understanding from your neighbors about your hens and, if you are so inclined, a rooster. It is a rooster’s instinct to crow at daybreak and a rooster’s crow is the same decibel level as a barking dog or a lawnmower at 90 decibels. City traffic is 80 decibels. So talk to your neighbors. There are things you can do to minimize the noise from your Roo, like letting them out later or fitting them with no-crow collars. While uncomfortable for the Roo, the collar will keep him from making such a loud announcement of the new day. And lastly, remember chickens are vulnerable to predators that exist prevalently in the City.

More information can be found on the City of Rochester’s website: http://ecode360.com/8674253