It’s not uncommon for HOAs to allow cats and dogs within the community. Sometimes there are weight limitations, but they are usually allowed in detached-unit communities. However, more and more people want to raise chickens in their community to take advantage of their many benefits, such as fresh eggs and fertilizer. If you are interested in keeping chickens, you’ll need to make sure your HOA allows it first.
Check the Rules
First and foremost, check the HOA rules and regulations to see what it says about keeping animals within the community. Some guidelines are more specific, such as “only cats and dogs are allowed,” but others are vague, such as “livestock is not allowed.” If the language is vague, your argument may be easier because you can argue that the chickens are going to be kept as pets instead of livestock. Either way, unless your guidelines happen to say “chickens are allowed,” you should get your chickens cleared with the board to prevent problems.
Most people know a bit about cats and dogs, but few people know about chickens. Before you start advocating to have chickens within the community, educate yourself about them. Learn everything you can about these birds and how to care for them, such as cleaning up after them, maintaining a coop, etc. The more you know about chickens, the better prepared you will be to make your argument.
Have a Plan
You need to have a plan for your argument. If you just go up to the board and say “chickens should be allowed,” they are going to be less inclined to approve your suggestion because they’ll still have to do a lot of the legwork. If you do the work for them, it is easier to make your case. Don’t just tell them you want chickens, come up with logical and appropriate rules and regulations regarding the chickens, such as what types of chickens, how many chickens, how far the coop should be from the house, etc.
Present Your Argument
Once you are fully prepared, it’s time to present your argument to the HOA board. When presenting, make sure to have all the appropriate materials to help prove your argument. This includes a copy of your city’s rules regarding keeping chickens, current HOA regulations about keeping chickens, information about chickens and your suggested rules and regulations. It’s also a good idea to bring in photos from other HOAs that allow chickens, so the board can see the neighborhood can still remain beautiful with chickens.
More and more people like the idea of keeping chickens in their backyards, but most HOAs still don’t allow them as pets. If your HOA doesn’t allow chickens, you can change the rules, but you’ll need to do a lot of homework to prove allowing chickens is a good idea.