The city has put together a nice bundle of paperwork for the backyard coop permitting/inspection process. I’ve taken pics of the sheets from the bundle for any prospective chicken owner to peruse before putting together their coop:
The building permit needs to be filled out, much like you would if you were building a shed.
In addition to filling out the building permit and chicken coop application, they require a basic site plan indicating that the location of the coop meets the dimensional requirements and a plan for the coop’s construction demonstrating that the material requirements are being met. The fee for the permit is $35 annually, and is paid when you submit your application to the city. You can schedule your coop inspection at the same time. The permit and application are available at City Hall, which is also where you turn in the completed paperwork.
Putting together my site plan tonight, and should be able to turn in the completed paperwork tomorrow. Can’t wait to have everything done and legal!
The only thing I was worried about with keeping backyard hens was my dog’s reaction.
Hurley is fast, and has the highest prey drive I’ve ever seen in a dog. I’ve watched this dog snatch low flying birds out of the air, and found countless headless carcasses in my backyard. I stopped feeding birds in the backyard for this very reason.
Before letting these chicks out into their run on a trial basis, Hurley managed to snatch a fledgling sparrow. I yelled, she dropped it, and it hopped away while she looked ashamed. With that fresh in my mind, I was incredibly nervous about the prospect of her reaction to seeing large, tasty looking birds hopping around on the ground right in front of her (albeit separated by a fence).
Looks like all my worrying was unfounded.
I’m counting myself lucky. I think these birds spent enough time in the house and around me that they’re exempt from the normal backyard prey menu.
Paperwork was picked up from the city offices this morning, and after a brief glance everything seems pretty straightforward. We’re in compliance with all the rules, now we just need to draw up the dimensions and submit the application along with the $35 license fee.
The girls are strolling around their run during the daytime, and being brought inside like spoiled pets at night. What? it’s getting down into the low 30’s at night right now, and I’d be a hot mess if I inadvertently harmed them by leaving them out in the cold while they’re still so young. The good news is that the chicks are learning that the cat carrier is their best friend, and they walk right in with a little shooing when I come out at dusk.
Little Girl still has some of her head fluff hanging on, despite looking like a mini adult everywhere else. So cute! I love that she looks like a painting in this picture below. Part of me will miss having these little girls in the house, despite being relieved that I won’t have to clean up the wood shavings they kick out of their brooder box.
They’re quickly getting too big for the brooder, and I’m eager to get them outside. Little known fact: chickens wake up earlier than yours truly, and immediately want to be fed and run around. I’m all for that when I’m not sleeping less than a foot away from them.
Lots of stuff happening in preparation for the permit and inspection!!
The chicks were acquired March 18th, and have been staying in my house in a brooder box. I didn’t get them at the tiny fluffball stage- they had a few “big girl” feathers, and were likely about 3 weeks old. They’re growing FAST, which means that I need to get them out of the brooder box and into the coop as soon as possible. It’s been a madhouse trying to get everything built and installed, but the end is in sight and we should have it ready for the chicks this weekend.
Now, the difficult part: trying to figure out who I need to contact at the city for the permitting process, and what forms (if any) need to be filled out.
Per the ordinance that was passed, “Completed applications shall be submitted to the community and economic development department along with the fee which shall be determined by city council resolution. Application shall be made to the community and economic development department and shall include any drawings or other information required by the department.”. I looked on the Ferndale city website, and couldn’t find any application. I feel weird about filling out a building permit application, or writing my own- but if it’s necessary, I will. I’d also like to know what the exact requirements are for drawings/information that I need to submit- can I just list out the dimensions, or do I need to mock up a drawing of the coop? So many questions, and no time to go down to city hall. Hopefully they respond to my email today, so I can get started on any paperwork and drop it off this week.