Throughout the Summer and Fall of 2007, the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition worked closely with Missoula's City Council to research how other cities -- both small and large -- successfully deal with urban chickens and preempt nuisance issues. CFAC would like to give a special thanks to Councilors Stacy Rye, Bob Jaffe, and Dave Strohmaier, as well as the rest of the Urban Fowl Sub-Committee for spending dozens of hours working out the details of the new chicken ordinance.
Chickens not only allow urban folk to raise protein right in their backyards, they also turn food waste -- a significant burden in the landfill -- into some of the most fertile compost for our garden beds. The vast majority of Missoulians understand these important edible and ecological benefits and support your right to keeping a small flock of hen chickens (see the results from the City Talk survey (PDF)).
We hope you will be a proactive chicken-keeper. Talk to your neighbors. Share eggs. Know the city ordinance and the resources at your finger tips to be a good steward.
Legalized ... under the following stipulations:
Missoula's chicken ordinance can be found in the municipal codes. Here's the gist of it:
Is it possible to follow the above rules and still create a nuisance for your neighbors? Probably, but let's not find out. Please be a proactive chicken owner. Hint: Many neighbors are much more likely to adore your goofy feathered friends than despise them -- especially if you share excess eggs.
There are lots of resources about raising chickens on the Web. Good places to start are:
Here are some very useful books about raising chickens and housing your flock: