Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dade City bans free-roaming chickens, sets rules for the roost

Chickens are popular backyard food producers.

Times files (2007)

Chickens are popular backyard food producers.

DADE CITY — The days of wild chickens running free in the streets, merrily squawking and clawing about, are officially over.

The City Commission gave final approval Tuesday evening to an amendment to the city's bird sanctuary ordinance, officially making the free-roaming fowl outlaws.

With a nod to a growing trend in "backyard food production," though, the commission also approved an ordinance allowing residents to keep up to six hens confined on their property. There are conditions:

• No chickens in multi-family complexes, including duplexes.

• The fowl must be secured at all times in enclosures that are at least 20 feet from any neighboring homes.

• Birds must be well cared for and their coops cleaned regularly — there should be no offensive odors sniffed out at property lines.

• No slaughtering the chickens; backyard food production refers to eggs.

• Under no circumstances are the hens to entertain male visitors; roosters are strictly prohibited.

The measures started taking shape earlier this year, when complaints about the free-roaming chickens began piling up. There wasn't anything city officials could do about it, though, because the bird sanctuary designation made it illegal to harm, trap or hunt birds in the city limits — including poultry.

Removing chickens from the bird sanctuary ordinance will allow the city to trap nuisance fowl, if needed.

>>fast facts

Not for the birds

In other animal business, the Dade City Commission established a fund that will pay for the creation of a city dog park. Money raised by the city's youth council and public donations will help pay for the park.

Dade City bans free-roaming chickens, sets rules for the roost 10/10/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 7:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor's race has been making headlines for nearly two months as Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker have been making speeches, pressing the flesh at fundraisers and gathering their ground forces for an election battle that has already broken fundraising records.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  2. Tampa moves to pause permits for 5G wireless equipment to assess impact of new Florida law


    To business groups, the bill that Gov. Rick Scott signed Friday will clear the way for superfast 5G wireless communications and give Florida an edge in attracting high-tech companies.

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and other local officials have worried that a new state law aimed at facilitating the installation of 5G wireless technology could clutter scenic corridors like Tampa's Riverwalk.
  3. Trump takes another swipe at CNN after resignations over retracted Russia story


    NEW YORK — President Donald Trump used the resignations of three CNN journalists involved in a retracted Russia-related story to resume his attack on the network's credibility Tuesday.

    Anthony Scaramucci, a senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, talks to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. [Associated Press]
  4. Clearwater woman dies after losing control of SUV, flipping in Palm Harbor


    A Clearwater woman died early Tuesday morning when she lost control of her SUV and crashed in Palm Harbor, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  5. Countryside alum A.J. Andrews lands in ESPN's annual body issue


    A.J. Andrews has taken over the spotlight in softball. Last year, the former Countryside High and LSU standout became the first female to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award's 59-year existence.

    Former Countryside and LSU softball standout A.J. Andrews will be among 23 athletes to be featured in ESPN The Magazine's body issue. "I have a really ripped back," Andrews says while laughing in the video. [Photo from video]