Chickens in the Suburbs Now Legal in Texas

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Xerobull, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Xerobull

    Xerobull Contributing Member

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    A few months late on this but it looks like anyone can own up to 6 chickens now in the state of Texas.

    I grew up in the country and we had chickens. They're good for awesome fresh eggs and great for the kids to take care of.

    My HOA currently doesn't allow them but I'm considering just getting a quiet breed and seeing if they say anything. The only issue I may run in to is subsection (b)(4): the minimum distance an individual must maintain between a chicken coop and a residential structure.

    Anyone in the suburbs acquired some chickens since this bill came into effect?

    Story from the Chronicle in April:

    Backyard chicken bill sparks Foghorn Leghorn impression in the Texas Legislature

    The State Senate on Wednesday passed a bill allowing the keeping of six or fewer backyard chickens, but only after the august body was subjected to a Q-and-A full of awful puns, culminating with Sen. Paul Bettencourt's impression of Foghorn Leghorn.

    [​IMG]

    Bettencourt's performance can be seen in the video above. For footage of the full fowl debate, head over HoustonChronicle.com. Listen to Mike Ward and Scott Braddock's take on the week in Austin - chicken or otherwise - in the latest edition of the Texas Take podcast.

    Made famous in the heyday of Looney Tunes in the 1950s and '60s, Foghorn Leghorn is a big white cartoon rooster with bushy red tail and comb, who speaks with the overbearing tones of a Southern good 'ol boy politician. He frequently says, "Ah say, ah say..."

    Bettencourt and the others were talking about Senate Bill 1620, introduced by Sen. Van Taylor. In starting the discussion, Taylor noted that several major Texas cities, including Houston, Dallas, El Paso and Austin, allow residents to keep backyard chickens.

    "But some still have outdated ordinances," he said.

    Once Taylor finished his introduction, Sen. Dan Patrick, the senate president, opened the floor to roasting by the others.

    "I truly feel this is an egg-ceptional piece of legislation," said Sen. Bob Hall. "How did you hatch this idea? I would like to peck at it a little bit. Do you count the chickens before they hatch? Did you egg-nore any stakeholder?"

    "I'm going to have to chicken out," Taylor dead-panned.

    Patrick interjected, "This has turned into 'Hee Haw.' This is not good."

    Sen. Lois Kolkhorst managed to include a serious comment: "I want to thank you for bringing this.... I think this is a liberty thing. If you want to raise your own food, you ought to be able to."

    Sen. Sylvia Garcia of Houston noted that she grew up in the country and had fond memories of chickens. She wondered why Taylor's bill limited the number to six. He responded that it represented an average of the numbers found in other ordinances.

    "I plan to support your bill, but I think you need to think about amending it," Garcia said. "It's always cheaper by the dozen."

    The groans kept coming until Bettencourt literally "dropped the mic" when he finished his Foghorn Leghorn remarks.

    "If anyone else passes a chicken bill that allows him to do that impression again, it will not make it to the floor," Patrick said.

    Official Law Link, in effect September 2017


    By: Taylor of Collin S.B. No. 1620
    (In the Senate - Filed March 9, 2017; March 21, 2017, read
    first time and referred to Committee on Intergovernmental
    Relations; March 30, 2017, reported favorably by the following
    vote: Yeas 5, Nays 0; March 30, 2017, sent to printer.)

    A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
    AN ACT

    relating to the regulation of raising or keeping six or fewer
    chickens by a political subdivision.
    BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
    SECTION 1. The heading to Chapter 251, Agriculture Code, is
    amended to read as follows:
    CHAPTER 251. EFFECT OF NUISANCE ACTIONS AND GOVERNMENTAL
    REQUIREMENTS ON CERTAIN [PREEXISTING] AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS
    SECTION 2. Chapter 251, Agriculture Code, is amended by
    adding Section 251.007 to read as follows:
    Sec. 251.007. SIX CHICKENS ALLOWED. (a) Notwithstanding
    any other law and except as provided by Subsection (b), a political
    subdivision may not impose a governmental requirement that
    prohibits an individual from raising or keeping six or fewer
    chickens in the boundaries of the political subdivision.
    (b) A municipality may impose reasonable governmental
    requirements on the raising or keeping of poultry in the boundaries
    of the municipality that do not have the effect of prohibiting the
    raising or keeping of six or fewer chickens, including:
    (1) a limit on the number of chickens an individual may
    raise or keep in excess of six;
    (2) a prohibition on breeding poultry;
    (3) a prohibition on raising or keeping roosters; or
    (4) the minimum distance an individual must maintain
    between a chicken coop and a residential structure.
    (c) A governmental requirement adopted by a political
    subdivision that violates Subsection (a) is void.
    SECTION 3. Section 251.007, Agriculture Code, as added by
    this Act, applies to a governmental requirement adopted before, on,
    or after the effective date of this Act.
    SECTION 4. This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
     
  2. marky :)

    marky :) Member

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    Legal schmegal.

    I've had asian neighbors with chickens since 2002.
     
  3. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    my family had this mini chicken farm when i was little. it was nothing spectacular, you can't teach em anything. we ate their eggs tho and occasionally my parents threatened to cook and eat one of the chickens if i was bad. didn't really care... tho a couple probably did end up on our dinner table.
     
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  4. Blurr#7

    Blurr#7 Contributing Member

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    We’re Latinos from the hood, we been deep in the chicken game for decades.
     
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  5. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Legal chickens in the suburbs is a good front.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    I'm good with this. Hens don't bark all night long.
     
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  7. Nook

    Nook Member

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    I had some chickens years ago living in the suburbs in Houston while in high school and college. If you get a quiet breed and keep your chicken house area clean, not obvious and not an eyesore you should be fine.
     
  8. JumpMan

    JumpMan Contributing Member

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    What about roosters?
     
  9. Torn n Frayed

    Torn n Frayed Member

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    Nut uh, get up too damn early..
     
  10. fallenphoenix

    fallenphoenix Contributing Member

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  11. Mr. Brightside

    Mr. Brightside Contributing Member

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    Do we have to keep them in cages or can I let them run the streets?
     
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  12. B-Bob

    B-Bob Contributing Member

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    Having lived next to chickens for many years now: God help you, one and all. Get sophisticated rat extermination systems now, like the ones from Australia.

    God I hate chickens.
     
  13. Duncan McDonuts

    Duncan McDonuts Contributing Member

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    Your chickens won't be fond of the helicopter. But at least you got chicken nuggets if they get caught in it.
     
  14. Asian Sensation

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    I’m in Kauai right now. So many damn chickens EVARYYYWHERE. All I can think of is at least 180g of organic, free range protein.
     
  15. hooroo

    hooroo Member

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    as annoying as a windchime.
     
  16. rockbox

    rockbox Contributing Member

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    Chickens wouldn't last long in my backyard with my Vizlas running around. My nextdoor neighbor had chickens for a while and my pups went crazy. Hard to train genetics out of them.
     
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  17. Xerobull

    Xerobull Contributing Member

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    My wife pointed out that this bill hasn't passed the House yet. Ruined my night. But I think it will pass.

    There's an ordinance in Key West that chickens are protected. You see them running around everywhere. There were also no mosquitoes when I was there.
     
  18. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    We've had chickens for a few years now. Our only concern was the rule about distance to a residence. So, we talked to the two closest neighbors and they were cool about it, so no problem. After vacating with the dog for Harvey though, we discovered how effective that dog had been in keeping predators at bay. Something dug under the wall of the coop and dragged off a chicken when the dog was away.
     
  19. Torn n Frayed

    Torn n Frayed Member

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    You know it was el chupacabra...
     
  20. srrm

    srrm Contributing Member

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    I'm surprised and weirdly disturbed by the number of clutchfans who have experience with chickens
     
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