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Backyard Chickens in an Urban Floodplain

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  • Backyard Chickens in an Urban Floodplain

    Someone just bought a house in my city neighborhood and immediately got on social media and started trying to drum up public support for backyard poultry, which are not legal in the city. This is apparently a real crusader and she's been pestering our district commissioner.

    Every time it rains, the runoff flows down my driveway and into the backyard that I use for my daycare. So I hate this idea so much.


  • #2
    My city allows chickens within city limits. 3 max but totally allowed.
    Can you contact the city or district commissioner yourself and bring up the run off issues?
    There should be a solution for proper drainage as you shouldn’t be the one that gets it all.


    • Cat Herder
      Cat Herder commented
      Editing a comment
      3 max??? That is crazy. They need 3 just to survive socially and produce eggs. I can't believe some of these areas have gotten away with it for so long with voters.

  • #3
    I get that! I hate our town laws, NO chickens!


    • #4
      Right to farm laws are a huge thing right now. Self-sufficiency is a practical goal after so many were left struggling and begging for handouts during the pandemic. Food deserts, I believe they were called.

      Here, hobby farms are the norm. Almost everyone has, at least, a garden. Small livestock is becoming the rage of the new generation. I have to say, I am not mad at it. The alpaca can be a jerk, sure (he pulls hair, hovers, and yells if you try to walk away), but I prefer him to the junk car collector/shade tree mechanic with 40 cars in the front yard. I also don't miss the trap houses. Chickens over meth and heroin every weekday and twice on Sunday. Idle hands.....

      "Right to farm laws in the United States deny nuisance lawsuits against farmers who use accepted and standard farming practices and have been in prior operation even if these practices harm or bother adjacent property owners or the general public." -
      Last edited by Cat Herder; 04-14-2022, 06:22 AM.


      • #5
        Are we talking a couple 500 footer chicken houses or a garden shed-sized hen house? What exactly is running off?

        I found this resource with limits for different areas.
        Last edited by Cat Herder; 04-14-2022, 06:37 AM.


        • #6
          The city won't do anything to improve drainage here. At one point, after many complaints, they sent people out to all of our houses and said it was all our responsibility. (We dropped $9000 on this right after we moved in and have continued to pay to try to improve the drainage, but once it hits the city line there's nothing we can do about it.) At another point, they went around and poked the ground and could not identify where their sewer line is. They came out at least three times looking for it and at one point discussed whether or not to move another neighbor shed to see if they could find the manhole cover that apparently exists on paper but not in reality. I have a drain in my backyard, which means somehow it is connecting to the main culvert or to the sewer line, but nobody is sure what it connects to and how.

          We had a rain garden team come by and test the percolation rate to see if we could handle some of it that way; they have done rain gardens in other parts of the neighborhood. They came back to the door and said "it doesn't percolate at all. You can't have a rain garden here."

          When it rains, my backyard, including the paved area where the kids play as well as the grassy area where they sit and dig in the dirt and the little ones are, likely is not, sticking things into their mouths, floods completely, almost all the way up to the house. It drains eventually, but the house next-door and the one that backs up to it don't drain at all and it will be several days after each rain before there isn't standing water in the adjacent yards.

          My big thing is native plants and providing habitats for pollinators and native birds. So having a yard where the kids can really tuck in and explore nature is important to me and I hate the idea of a neighbor who doesn't have kids and isn't concerned about kids introducing chicken litter to my daycare.
          Last edited by Pestle; 04-15-2022, 02:32 PM.