Sec. 5-8. Keeping of Chickens.
(a) Any person residing in R-1 or R-2 residential zoned district property, in a
single family detached structure, obtaining a permit from the city, may keep not more
than six hen chickens in the city for personal use only and not for any business or
commercial use. 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. The department shall issue a permit where the application is in
compliance with all requirements, regulations, and ordinances of the city. Approved
permit holders shall schedule an inspection within 30 days of permit issuance. Failure
to schedule an inspection shall result in an automatic revocation of the permit. If an
inspection identifies noncompliance with any of the requirements set forth in
subsection (c) of this section, the permit holder shall have 15 days to achieve
compliance with the requirements or the department may revoke the permit or seek
prosecution of the violation under section 26-19 of the Ferndale Code. Permits shall be
valid for up to one year, shall be non-transferable, site-specific and shall expire on
December 31st of each year. A person who wishes to continue keeping chickens shall
obtain a new permit prior to expiration of the previous permit. Application for a new
permit shall be pursuant to the procedures and requirements applicable at the time a
person applies for a new permit.
(b) Notwithstanding this section, private restrictions on the use of property shall
remain enforceable. Private restrictions include but are not limited to deed restrictions,
neighborhood association by-laws, and covenant deeds.
(c) A person residing in R-1 or R-2 residential zoned district property, in a single
family detached structure who keeps hen chickens shall comply with all of the
(1) Keep no more than six hen chickens at any time.
(2) Roosters or male chickens and any other type of fowl or poultry are prohibited.
(3) Slaughtering of any chickens at the property is prohibited.
(4) Chickens shall be maintained in a fully enclosed structure or a fenced
enclosure and shall be kept in the enclosed structure or fenced enclosure at all
times. Fenced enclosures are subject to all fence provisions and restrictions in
the Ferndale Code. An enclosed structure shall be constructed of permanent
materials and shall be properly maintained in accordance with the property
maintenance code adopted by the city in section 6-16 of the Ferndale Code, as
(5) Chickens shall not be kept in any location on the property other than in the
backyard. For purposes of this section, “backyard” means that portion of a lot
enclosed by the property’s rear lot line and the side lot lines to the points where
the side lot lines intersect with an imaginary line established by the rear of the
single-family or two-family structure and extending to the side lot lines.
(6) No enclosed structure shall be located within any side or rear yard setback
area. An enclosed structure or fenced enclosure shall not be located closer than
ten feet to any residential structure on adjacent property.
(7) All structures and enclosures for the keeping of chickens shall be constructed
and maintained so as to prevent rats, mice, or other rodents or vermin from
being harbored underneath or within the walls of the structure or enclosure.
(8) All feed and other items associated with the keeping of chickens likely to
attract rats, mice, or other rodents or vermin shall be secured and protected in
(9) Chickens shall be kept in compliance with the Michigan Department of
Agriculture Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices for
the Care of Farm Animals, as it relates to laying chickens, as amended, except
as otherwise provided in this section.
(10) Any violation of any of these provisions may be prosecuted as provided in