**THE ORDINANCE WAS AMENDED JANUARY 2012! SEE 2012 CURRENT ORDINANCE PAGE**
In order to properly regulate the owning and maintaining of backyard flocks, we propose implementing a code such as this (wording taken from Ypsilanti ORD1100):
Keeping of Female Chickens (Hens)
(1) Any person who keeps hens in the City of Ferndale shall obtain a permit from the City prior to acquiring the hens and pay a permit fee set by City Council. This permit shall be kept by the owner and presented upon demand by any city official
or police officer. Permits are non-transferable and do not run with the land.
(2) Notwithstanding the issuance of a permit by the City, private restrictions on the use of property shall remain enforceable and take precedence over a permit. Private restrictions include, but are not limited to, deed restrictions, condominium master deed restrictions, neighborhood association by-laws and covenant deeds. A permit issued to a person whose property is subject to private restrictions that prohibit the keeping of hens is void. The interpretation and enforcement of the private restriction is the sole responsibility of the private parties involved.
(3) A person who keeps or houses hens on his or her property shall comply with the following requirements:
a. Must obtain a permit pursuant to subsection (1) of this section.
b. Keep no more than 4 hens.
c. The principal use of the person’s property must be for a single-family dwelling or two-family dwelling.
d. No person shall keep a male chicken (rooster).
e. No person shall slaughter any hens.
f. Any person keeping hens shall remain subject to public nuisance animal controls.
g. The hens shall be provided with a covered enclosure and must be kept in the covered enclosure or a fenced enclosure at all times.
h. A person shall keep hens in the backyard only.
i. All enclosures for the keeping of hens shall be constructed, repaired and maintained in a manner to prevent rats, mice, or other rodents from being harbored underneath, within, or within the walls of the enclosure.
j. All feed and other items associated with the keeping of hens that are likely to attract or to become infested shall be so protected so as to prevent rats, mice, or other rodents from gaining access to or coming into contact with them.
k. Chicken coops and enclosures shall be at least 20 feet from any residential structure not owned by the permitee unless written permission is granted from the owner of the affected residential structure.
(4) If the requirements of subsection (3) are not fully complied with, the City may revoke any permit granted under this section and/or initiate prosecution for a civil infraction violation.
Implementation of code similar to the above would clearly outline the limitations and accountability necessary for residents to effectively manage their backyard flock.