Suburban Homesteading Livestock

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by tn_junk, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. tn_junk

    tn_junk Living Simply

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    I am trying to forge a small homestead right smack in a big city. Have developed a decent garden over the years now wanting to add stock. Know that chickens would be too noisy. Anybody growing rabbits close in to town? If so, have you had any problems with neighbors or codes type people. The codes folk around here are real serious. I got a nasty letter once 'cause I had an ornamental cotton plant in my front flower bed. A no-no according to our county code. Helpful hints and honest discouragement/encouragement appreciated.

    galump
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can't see a problem if you are willing to keep a low profile. Two does and a buck will produce enough meat for the average family and can be passed off as pets if anyone comes calling. If you keep them in a shed or trellis house, likely your neighbours will not even know they are there.

    I'm in Canada and likely different rules apply... but even so, unless pet rabbits are forbidden or restricted in some way, I can't see how anyone could have a problem - as long as you don't broadcast your activities.
     

  3. insocal

    insocal Well-Known Member

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    Rabbits can be kept secretly. They don't usually make a sound.
     
  4. RiverPines

    RiverPines Well-Known Member

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    'Pet' rabbits are not livestock, just ask the people with NAIS or the ones doing the premise programs. Rabbits are pets. Unless your planning on having tons of them to sell as meat rabbits. They still are not legal livestock, but could come under a local code.

    These days 'communities' can have their own rules. If you dont want to break a local code, find out whats is and not allowed.

    But a buck and few does, they're pets.
     
  5. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Everett, Washington is a city of just under 100,000 people. For five years, I kept chickens (no roosters) and dairy goats (females only) on a double city lot totalling less than a quarter acre, six blocks from the courthouse in downtown Everett. I would/could have kept rabbits, too, but my husband is allergic to them, and we didn't want them so close to the house.

    I kept my animals with the full knowledge and approval of Everett Animal Control. I simply cleared it with my neighbors first, then went to Animal Control to find out how they felt about it. The deal was that as long as I had proper facilities for the number and kind of animal I wanted, it was OK. They came out once a year to look things over, always with an appointment. I never had any trouble with them, and in return for my small licensing fee ($5 per goat, $1 per chicken over six, temporary residents like new kids and broiler chickens not included), they fielded all the calls from passersby who asked, "Can she really keep goats and chickens in Everett?" The answer they gave was, "Yes." :p I'm sure they saved me a huge amount of hassle from busybodies that called.

    You should give the Animal Control folks in your area a call and tell them what you'd like to do. Or better yet, visit, and maybe bring cookies. You'd be surprised how helpful and friendly they can be!

    P.S. Seattle allows homeowners to keep three hens per home!
     
  6. tn_junk

    tn_junk Living Simply

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    Thanks ya'll. Never thought about asking animal control, have this fear of talking to folks in authority cause sometimes it is easier to ask forgiveness than get permission. I will also ask about the pet chicken idea. A couple of hens would give me a few eggs.
    Thanks again, everybody, for the help.

    galump
     
  7. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Ditto. Honey attracts more flies than vinegar! Be nice, ask Animal Control about it first...bring cookies...bribe the neighbors with fresh eggs....whatever works. :D I think if you sincerely want to find out what the rules are in your area and abide by them, powers that be and neighbors will be MUCH easier to live with. :)

    Good luck.
     
  8. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Speaking of honey...I've got a friend who keeps bees in her backyard in a subdivision. She's got three hives now. Sells all the honey she doesn't need. Something else to think about...

    Meg
     
  9. travisandjill

    travisandjill Member

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    We live in a city outside of San antonio Texas. Our lot is 13,000 square feet and we have 16 chickens. The city code states that we cannot keep chickens on a lot under 40,000 square feet. We just plan on keeping the hens and eating the roosters once they start to crow, as to be considerate of our neighbors. The neighbors have seen the chickens because a few of them got out from under the fence one day, but they never said anything. If my neighbors are nice about it I will bring them fresh eggs. I hope the city doenst make me get rid of them, they are more like pets to us than anything. My kids and I love them, we spend at lease 1 hour a day outside just playing with them :)
     
  10. seanmn

    seanmn Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend that lives in town and has about 30-40 head, when he moved into the place there was a workshop built onto the back of the garage, he has staking cages in there now but cleans them about every 3 to 4 days...so be prepared to clean cages alot to keep down the smell....his neighboors dont even know that there there, If I was you I wouldn't even tell the neighboors you have them even if they seem nice, people have a tendency to talk and some people just love to call the local city gov't over anything and everything...
     
  11. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If your rabbits cages have trays under them to collect the manure, a thin layer of peat moss will really help with the urine odours. It absorbs an amazing amount of liquid and neutralizes the ammonia. (Thanks to Terry W for this wonderful idea. :) )
     
  12. tn_junk

    tn_junk Living Simply

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    Thanks Ya'll, I really appreciate the info. Talked to the city authorities, both zoning and animal control, before Christmas. Zoning said no problem, animal control said no way. Will research the applicable laws myself the next few weeks.

    Galump
     
  13. Junkmanme

    Junkmanme Well-Known Member

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    I was once told that I had to remove
    "unlicensed" and "uninsured" vehicles from my yard in town in Colorado. I told the policeman that their "new" ordinance did NOT apply to me because I was doing this BEFORE they wrote the "new" ordinance. (I was "grandfathered-in".) (By the way, the vehicles were ALL fairly up-to-date and No "Junkers". I just didn't see me licensing and insuring vehicles I didn't use every day.)

    I advised the policeman to contact the City Attorney and ask if I was right. He said he would do so and "get back to me", which he did by phone about an hour later.

    He said, "You were right. The City Attorney said that the ordinance could ONLY APPLY to those initiating the violation AFTER the ordinance was passed. Otherwise, the courts consider it an "ex-post facto" law which is illegal under the U.S. Constitution.

    NOTE: "Ex-Post Facto" means: "After the fact".

    "Ex-Post Facto" laws are STRICTLY PROHIBITED in the U.S.A. since the American Revolution!!!!! (BUT, there are a LOT of them out there and they ARE BEING ENFORCED!
    (by idiots who don't know their own Country's civics!)

    just my 2 pesos worth,
    Bruce
    P.S. NEVER allow a search of your property without a WARRANT. NEVER admit to ANYTHING. ALWAYS, shut your MOUTH and request the presence of an attorney! IF the cops are talking to you.......IT IS NOT very likely to be FOR YOUR BENEFIT! What the "HE-double-hockey-stick" do you think their job is?????.........
     
  14. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    To save yourself considerable time looking for a probably obsure statute or paragraph of administrative code, you might talk to animal control again and ask which laws they're citing that say what you want to do is prohibited. Just tell them that you'll feel better if you can read them for yourself.
     
  15. tn_junk

    tn_junk Living Simply

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    Thanks for the ideas. In my job I have a lot of interaction with both attorneys and the police. Luckily I am on good terms with most of both of them. I am going to call in some markers and get a couple of my lawyer comrads to dig thru all of the legal muck for me and see what they find.

    galump

    p.s. The problem was with the chickens, not the rabbits. Both said that rabbits, as long as they were not being sold commercially, were pets, and not a problem.
     
  16. Buffy in Dallas

    Buffy in Dallas Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can keep chickens inside as "pets" and no one will know.

    :nana: To the code enforcers!!!
     
  17. lmnde

    lmnde Well-Known Member

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    If noise factor is an issue - forget about the chickens.

    Rabbits are non-brainers on the other hand - a bit of privacy fencing goes a long way to protect any of your activities out back;if that is cost prohibitive - some type of fenced enclosure if you are not all the way fenced in to keep dogs etc out and so the rabbits are not visible openly from the road, perhaps some creative plantings with trellises and raised beds for shade and protection and some rabbit greens.

    In regards to manure - build your rabbit hutches to allow for wormbeds underneath - this will take care of the smell issue, reduces a lot of the clean-up factor, as well as provide for the best compost/fertilizer you can possibly ask for your garden.