Arizona Lawmakers Seek to Allow Chickens in Every Backyard

Categories: I'm Only a Bill
rooster-azbill.jpg
Tom Woodward via Flickr


A bill backed by 22 legislators aims to prevent Arizona cities from prohibiting chickens in residential neighborhoods, ruffling a few feathers across the state.

At first glance, the most interesting thing about Senate Bill 1151 appears to be the unlimited potential of bad puns. However, the bill proposed by Republican Senator David Farnsworth addresses the larger issue of city versus homeowner in Arizona, saying property rights are "of statewide concern."

Although cities couldn't outright prohibit chickens in residential neighborhoods under the bill, they could limit the number of chickens in residential lots. They could also prohibit roosters, unless the rooster is "incapable of making noise."

Arizona cities currently have individual regulations regarding chicken rights, ranging from Tuscon, which allows up to 24 chickens on residential lots, to Sierra Vista, which prohibits them completely. Chandler allows chicken and roosters in agricultural areas, but it recently considered allowing up to five hens per single-family residential properties. However, in one of its more meetings, the Chandler City Council voted against it 4-3 last July.

"People made expenditures and spent money buying homes with the expectation that this wasn't allowed," Councilman Jeff Weninger said at the meeting. "So I believe once that expectation is created, people have every right to expect that it is going to be upheld."

The Chandler law is in place for now. But if the bill passes, it will overrule any city laws regarding chicken rights.

My Voice Nation Help
52 comments
crisgo5
crisgo5

i think some people bought property knowing they can raise chickens, especially i n todays economy. Why do the people who hate always try to win. Let people alone, live your lives, don't try to live everyone elses lives for them, no one asked them to, no one wants them to.

DNichols
DNichols

Senate Bill 1151 should not be considered with out first consulting the Arizona G.O.P. Member, and  Resident Expert on Cock Consumption, Sheriff Paul Babeu.

FRONTERA
FRONTERA

puro breed ,Obregon Sonora males for sale...no steroids  or antibiotics...

azteachcc
azteachcc

I think it interesting that some people want to grant or deny freedom on an item by item basis. Heaven forbid someone want to infringe on one's constitutional right to own guns that have the potential for serious negative side effects; it's in the Constitution. But property rights too are guaranteed in the Constitution yet people would comment and argue to continue to infringe on property owner's rights while wanting to protect other rights they feel more important. It's not about chickens-it's about freedom and whether government should be allowed to violate constitutional freedoms!! Freedom is freedom folks!! If you want to be and stay free, government cannot be permitted to trample some rights and not others. Chickens or guns or speech or religion or... the list goes on. Freedoms as granted in the Constutution are freedoms worth fighting to maintain. That's the beauty of freedom--not to do whatever you want irresponsibly but "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" (not in a hedonistic sense-you can research what Jefferson intended). If you want YOUR freedoms protected and maintained then everyone should be invested in this cause regardless of whether you want to own chickens or not but because it IS exactly why and what we have legislatures and government for (when acting properly)--to protect our freedoms not to place value on what is and isn't worthy of upholding or to continue infringing on rights and freedoms.

zrcalos
zrcalos

How about banning dogs in cities right? they totally bring down property prices because of their barking and smell.


sarahe2884
sarahe2884

I loved having chickens and the lessons my children learned from being immature farmers.

sarahe2884
sarahe2884

I loved having chickens and the lessons my children learned from being miniature farmers. They are so much quieter than dogs and the are frequently giving. When we had too many eggs, we often gifted them to our neighbors. Hens are some of the greatest pets. They eat all the bugs, well except for ants, and they love to eat weeds. Our yard never had any problems with grasshoppers when we had our girls. Wish I could have them where I live now. I am so proud of law makers for making this an important issue. Thank you!

ronnysraine
ronnysraine

I am so happy this is making headway, I love my silkies and love their eggs. Please join Arizona Silkies if you love your silkies like I do!

mclevinson
mclevinson

I am relieved that it may soon be possible to raise meat and eggs for my family without antibiotics, hormones and the risk of contamination.


Chickens are quieter, cleaner and less smelly than dogs, make lovely compost, eat bugs and entertain (as well as teach) the whole family.  I love my dog, but I have to admit he required a great deal more cleanup than even several chickens.


Where can you buy uncontaminated chicken meat?  It's not easy according to Consumer Reports.


http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/january/food/chicken-safety/overview/chicken-safety-ov.htm



P_Burton
P_Burton

In my neighborhood you could throw a stone in any direction from my home and hit the home of someone owning backyard chickens. I had no idea until one day I heard a soft clucking noise coming from across the street. Much more pleasant than the barking of dogs or the screaming of mating cats at night, it started me thinking that this isn't such a bad idea. A fried brought me a dozen fresh eggs and I couldn't believe that they came from the same animal as the ones I'd been buying in the store. They were delicious. I'd heard, years ago about how chicken farms are run, with chickens being stuck in a small crate all their lives, with their beaks filed off and not many feathers to speak of. Not to mention that they had to be pumped full of anti-biotics and growth hormone to keep them alive and laying. I thought of the scripture, "By their fruits, ye shall know them." I was feeding my family eggs produced by sick and poorly treated animals. After changing our diet in many ways including buying eggs from local producers, the health of my family has improved greatly. We even got some Christmas chickens for our own backyard. To my surprise, they don't stink and they make little to no noise. I don't have to battle the city to keep my fowl. But my neighbors do. I support this bill.

acadliahona
acadliahona

It's about time our legislatures give us BACK our freedoms.  Good for them.  People should be able to use their property to provide food for their families.  That is a fundamental right that should never have been removed in the first place.

jasonm1090
jasonm1090

I bought a house in a community where I thought I could have chickens etc but recent laws passed prohibited them at one point it was considered everyone's patriotic duty to grow your own food this included chickens now it's a crime in most communities on par with much more heinous crimes. All should be able to use their own legal property to help sustain a better life

Reggievv
Reggievv

Nothing too minute ever escapes the pea brains in the Arizona legislature. An omnibus bill to prohibit flying the Vietnamese flag over urban chicken coops while requiring womb probes prior to registering to vote, sponsored be Eddie Farnsworth, and co-sponsored by Judy "One World" Burges and Kelli "null set" Ward.

daniellezeus
daniellezeus

I live in a residential neighborhood and have chickens as my neighbors. They are much quieter than any dog around us and they provide our neighbors with fresh eggs every morning. My husband is not tolerant of animals, but he doesn't mind them at all either. The way I see it, my neighbors have the right to use their property in whatever way they see fit as long as it isn't a nuisance to others around them. The only nuisance in our neighborhood are the barking dogs behind our house. If only the dogs would be as quiet and easy to live near as the chickens.

jenesse.moffett
jenesse.moffett

My family has a severe wheat allergy and for many reasons do not support the consumption of soy. Raising our own eggs means we can actually eat eggs from chickens not fed either of these ingredients! Thank you to all who are advocating for real food freedoms.

az.thewolf
az.thewolf

I see many people that feel this is a waste of time. This is about freedom, and that is never a waste of time, In fact it is about time that Arizona starts giving back the freedoms that have been taken by cities and HOA's. I will support every member that has signed this bill, and supports this bill! Thank you for doing the right thing here! It is time we actually start allowing people to grow their own food in a safe and humane way. We have come so far away from our food, and this is a small step back to allowing us a choice. The people that actually oppose this bill have yet to provide real facts on banning chickens. They are friendly, fun, provide food, quite, good pest control, good at enriching the soil, and not smelly at all. This is one bill with only upsides, and the best use of time for our lawmakers! Thank you for giving our choice and freedoms back!

BYFunited
BYFunited

The Backyard Farmer United is working diligently to make Bills that restore the most basic of all things when it comes to property rights. The Backyard Farmers United Homegrown Freedom Act is proud to present PHASE 1 known as Senate Bill 1151 (Homegrown Freedom Act) to all of Arizona residents. Backyard Farming is not just a movement across the country it is a new way of life. Backyard Farming guarantees that the food you are eating grown to the standard you prefer. Clean Food is what people want, they do not want all the pesticides and chemicals that are used by commercial growers. The experiences and education that come from Backyard Farming with benefit our children and grandchildren for generations to come. Oh, and nothing ever tastes better than anything you put your heart and sole into raising & growing. If you are thinking what about the smell etc? Chickens do not smell a family dogs waste or even a cat box smells worse. Fowl droppings can be used to make compost and intern increase the quality of your garden soil which means even healthier food for you. Plus you will have plenty of Fresh Tasty EGGS! 



McZoo
McZoo

Last year, according to news reports, a Chinese poultry supplier provided Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in China with chicken fattened by large quantities of illegal drugs. And in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently warned pet owners not to feed their pets jerky treats from China. Since 2007, approximately 600 dogs and cats in the United States have mysteriously died, and 3,600 have been sickened from eating Chinese pet treats, including those containing chicken or duck.


China has an unusually troubling record when it comes to food safety. Specific instances include: dangerously high levels of mercury found in Chinese baby formula; more than 16,000 diseased pig carcasses dumped in a river to rot; more than $1 million worth of rat and other small mammal meat sold to Chinese consumers as lamb; and more than 300,000 Chinese children sickened, with several dying, from melamine-tainted milk powder.

Yet despite these concerns, chicken can now be processed in China and sent back to this country for human consumption even though there will be no on-site USDA inspectors in Chinese processing facilities to ensure food safety. Furthermore, Chinese-processed chicken does not have to bear “Country Of Origin Labeling,” which means that consumers will not know if they are purchasing or eating chicken processed in China.

There should be NO QUESTION why we want to grow/feed/raise our own chickens in OUR own backyards.

As others have stated, there is no smell, hens only cackle when laying an egg, they eat bugs, scorpions, weeds (we have none because they eat the shoots as they first sprout), provide excellent compost/fertilizer material, etc.  If you've NEVER owned a chicken, you'll NEVER likely understand why we all want this bill passed into law. 
The good news is - this bill will give YOU the right to own your own chicken and the innumerable benefits from doing so.

100% FULL SUPPORT FOR SB 1151


cleanhippiechick83
cleanhippiechick83

I'm very happy to see this bill. I think everyone should have the opportunity to keep backyard chickens. They're more quiet than dogs, they eat bugs, and they DO NOT smell, contrary to a common misconception. They're very easy to take care of, and they are surprisingly entertaining.  They also lay eggs, meaning chicken owners don't have to buy eggs from factory farm chickens that are living in their own filth, with no space to move and their beaks partially removed. The chicken waste can be composted (unlike dog or cat waste) and makes great soil for gardens, or just spreading around trees or on grass. 


I think it's silly that chickens are not already legal anywhere, and I hope this passes so more people can discover the fun of having a pet that makes food instead of just waste! I'd be surprised if neighbors of current chicken owners even know there are chickens in the neighborhood without being told or looking over a fence and seeing them with their own eyes...

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

I'm all for urban farming and self-sufficiency.


Bring on the chickens! Fresh eggs and fresh rotisserie for all!

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

Yay! Now when I hold my cock in the backyard it will be legal!


DNichols
DNichols

Chickens in the City are dangerous, they are always crossing the road.

Don't "Law Makers" have any damn thing better to do?!

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Fucking idiots that get elected here never cease to amaze me.

DNichols
DNichols

Picture Caption: 

 "I wonder if people believe me when I proclaim I am America's Toughest Sheriff?"

Patrick Wasbotten
Patrick Wasbotten

as long as it's not a rooster male fowl have no place in an urban setting

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Goddamn don't these jackwagons have anything better to do?

Like growing jobs?

Bettering education?

What about the ocean of red ink the State is swimming in?

Seriously, it's time for fresh faces at the Capitol.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Chickens in the back yard and chickenshits in the capitol- that's Arizona.

sarahe2884
sarahe2884

Oops, accidental post with spell check changing words.

daniellezeus
daniellezeus

@Reggievv  

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/10/23/2821411/growing-public-health-threat-congress/

Hello Reggie. :)  Please read the above link. If our government doesn't do something about these issues we are in serious trouble. The least they can do is give people other options. My son's friend (a sweet 10 year old boy) was on life support for an entire month because he acquired an antibiotic resistant infection. He nearly died. Overuse of antibiotics is everywhere. Fortunately we are able to chose whether or not we overuse antibiotics. Unfortunately, we don't always have a choice in the matter when it comes to our food. Many people can't afford antibiotic free meat/eggs. Passing this bill will give many people other options.

DNichols
DNichols

Like the Cows say:

"Eat More Chicken."

gtnoriega
gtnoriega

@DNichols Now we know that our state officials are hard at work on the major issues of the day.

McZoo
McZoo

@DNichols Any law maker who wants to preserve my rights to maintain my freedoms when it comes to my property are doing the best thing they can with their time.

McZoo
McZoo

@Cozz If we weren't surrounded by *&)(%^$ idiots who argue that a chicken is a worse nuisance than teens playing their music at mach volume or speeding up and down the streets putting the rest of the neighborhood in danger; then we, the people, wouldn't have to ask the powers that be in the State Legislature to take on this battle. 
If you don't care what you eat or where it comes from then just continue to sit idly by whilst your freedoms are ravaged one by one.  The rest of us will continue to fight to protect your freedoms as well as our own and even get some of our rights returned to us (by the intelligent officials who get elected here which will actually "listen" to the people they represent).  That our government (from the towns up to the Oval Office) is full of people who don't "listen" to the people is what will never cease to amaze me.

mclevinson
mclevinson

@Cozz The fact that I am currently prohibited from producing a small amount of our own food is idiotic.  I will be glad to have some personal freedom back.

mclevinson
mclevinson

The average rooster crow is the same decibel level as a barking dog.  Except the dogs that live behind me.  They are WAY louder than a rooster :-)  But I agree that a considerate neighbor never lets ANY of their animals become a nuisance, especially one that likes to announce the morning!

disgustedamerican
disgustedamerican

@MaskedMagician1967  whats better than preserving one's health, and the right to use your property without undue intrusion by the government and others...Seriously, its one bright light shining for change that actually helps the average joe...

mclevinson
mclevinson

@MaskedMagician1967 As these lawmakers are acting on behalf of voters who requested it, I think they are doing their jobs quite nicely.

McZoo
McZoo

@MaskedMagician1967 Any law maker who wants to preserve my rights to maintain my freedoms when it comes to my property are doing the best thing they can with their time.

DNichols
DNichols

The picture looks like Joe Ourpollo?

Reggievv
Reggievv

A matter of Statewide concern requiring a new State law? And what about the rights of the neighbors to be chicken free. I raises chickens in a past life. They attract coyotes like flies to the one party dictatorship legislature. In addition they fly pretty damn well, over fences and don't always roost where you want them. And the inevitable moron will have to a rooster or two because they are so beautiful. I raised roosters too in Yuma, until the animal rights nuts outlawed a long standing Mexican/Filipino sport that hurt no one.

disgustedamerican
disgustedamerican

@McZoo @DNichols  frankly, my dear DNichols, this is one of the best pieces of legislation the lawmakers have presented in quite sometime...my right to have nutritious eggs grown without antibiotics and pesticide laden chicken food is important to me, and my family! 

disgustedamerican
disgustedamerican

@mclevinson  Like my neighbors dogs that he puts in the backyard at 5 am every morning, barking at every sound? I have three little hens and three ducks...thankfully, the dogs do not bark at them...of course they make little noise, and arent the nuisance the dogs over the fence are...

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Mclevinson, I pay the politicians to resolve issues that are of importance to the state.

Not deal with something that can be addressed at the city level.

Where are the jobs?

How are you going to balance the state's budget?

How is education going to b funded?

daniellezeus
daniellezeus

@Reggievv 

I'm a neighbor to chickens (I don't have chickens myself) and I have never had a problem with them. They are kept in a coop at night and their wings are clipped so they don't fly over fences. I haven't seen an increase in predictors either. Now if I could get the cats to stop jumping over my wall and pooping in my garden I'd be a happy camper..lol ;) I guess we all have rights that are impinged on by neighboring dogs and cats. Haven't had any issues with the chickens though and neither have any of my friends that live near them. Roosters are and will continue to be illegal.

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...