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Backyard Chickens in Columbus?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Q&A Backyard Chickens in Columbus?

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    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans

    Columbus Public Health Department wrote

    A person needs a permit from the Columbus Health Department to keep

    domestic fowl. Columbus City Health Code 221.05 addresses the criteria

    for ownership. If you have fowl, want to get fowl or would like to

    report a complaint about domestic fowl, please call the Animal

    Program clerk with the owner address and type of animals involved at 614-645-7288 to make that report or request in person.

    Columbus City Health Code 221.05 wrote


    (a) No person shall keep any equine, cow, sheep, goat, pig, llama or other large animal in any stable, barn or structure unless that stable, barn or other structure shall have a floor of impervious material and shall be so drained that all fluid excrement or refuse liquid shall be conducted into a City sanitary sewer. All manure and refuse shall be placed in tightly covered containers and removed from the premises before the manure and other refuse becomes offensive. The structure, animals and premises shall be kept in sanitary condition so that they shall not become offensive and so that they will not harbor animal or insect pests.

    1) Exemption shall be made for any land annexed into the City of Columbus which is zoned agriculture and/orcurrently has livestock and/or domestic fowl at the time of annexation.

    2) This exemption shall be in force as long as this land is zoned and/or used for agricultural purposes and poses no environmental or health hazards. (Amended 3/1/92, Resolution 92-5)

    (b) No person shall keep, store, maintain, shelter or care of, at any time, animals of the hog or goat kind, equine, cow, alligator, crocodile, caiman, sheep, goat, llama, captive wild fowl, and all domestic fowl in any pen or enclosure on any premise, lot or parcel of land in the City without written permission from the Health Commissioner. Anyone intending to keep such animals must first obtain a permit from the Health Commissioner.

    Each pen or enclosure for such animals shall have a floor of impervious material and be under cover.

    The Health Commissioner may grant permission on the above situations only after it is determined that the keeping of such animals:

    (1) creates no adverse environmental or health effects;

    (2) is in compliance with all other sections of this chapter; and

    (3) in the judgment of the Health Commissioner, after consultation with the staff of the Health Department and with the surrounding occupants of the place of keeping such animals, and considering the nature of the community (i.e., residential or commercial single or multiple dwellings, etc. ), is reasonably inoffensive. The Health Commissioner may revoke such permission at any time for violation of this chapter or nay other just cause. (Amended 3/1/92, Resolution 92-5)

    (c) No person, owning or responsible for cows, rabbits, sheep, equine, captive wild fowl and domestic fowl, shall knowingly or negligently permit any of them to run at large in any street, alley or unenclosed lot within the City. (Amended 3/1/92, Resolution 92-5)

    (d) No person shall allow the house, kennel, runs, yards or the premises where dogs, cats, or other small animals are kept to become offensive due to unsanitary conditions. Dogs, cats and other small animals shall not be allowed to create an unsanitary condition on the streets, alleys or sidewalks, or premises of others.

    1) Offensive, unsanitary conditions shall include but not be limited to odor, accumulated urine, urine soaked ground, feces, and rodent harborages.

    2) When a owner, harborer, or keeper is cited the third time in a twelve (12) month period for unsanitaryconditions, the Health Commissioner or representative, on the recommendation of the Environmental Health staff, may limit the number of dogs, cats, or other small animals that may be maintained on a premise. (Amended 3/1/92, Resolution 92-5)

    (e) No person shall allow any animal suffering from a zoonotic and/or communicable disease to run at large or to come in contact, either directly or indirectly, with any other animal or any person, except the owner or keeper of the animal, household member or a licensed veterinarian, and employees of any animal hospital, Capital Area Humane Society or Franklin County Animal Control. (Amended 3/1/92, Resolution 92-5)

    (f) Upon the death of an animal the owner or keeper of the animal shall promptly notify the Division of Refuse Collection requesting the removal of the animal body or make arrangements for other proper disposition of the dead animal.

    (g) No person shall stable a horse except in a stall large enough for the horse to turn around, and to be able to be bedded in a minimum depth of six (6) inches of either sawdust, wood shavings or other approved material. . (Amended 10/17/90, Resolution 90-20)

    (h) No person shall operate a stable used by a horse carriage company unless the following requirements are met:

    1. All stable locations shall be approved by the Health Department.

    2. The stable shall be of sufficient size to house all horses, vehicles, food supplies and equipment utilized in the horse carriage company.

    3. The stable is well ventilated to minimize odor, humidity and maintain temperature.

    4. A minimum of forty (40) foot candles of light are provided in all stable areas.

    5. Complete restroom facilities which shall include a hand sink with hot and cold running water are on the premises.

    6. All windows are screened.

    7. All grain or grain-type feed is stored in rodent-proof containers, hay is stored off the floor and at least eighteen (18) inches away from any wall.

    8. Stalls are picked and cleaned twice daily and stripped every seven (7) days. Horses shall not be tethered, kept, washed and/or groomed outside of the stable facility, except as needed, when being worked outside of the stable facility. Horses shall not be washed while at a designated Tether Location. (Amended 10/17/90, Resolution 90-20)



    Hm. In my very humble opinion, I think if you had ever raised chickens, you might think twice about doing it, especially on a small scale where you aren’t prepared for it. They are the messiest, dirtiest animals I have ever seen. Seriously. They will destroy all of your landscaping and gardening. Every once in awhile I’ve briefly thought about having a chicken in the city, and then I remember what it’s really like having chickens and I think better of it.

    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans

    Sounds like the best thing to do is just know someone else with chickens. ;)



    Goats are nice to have in the city, we had two at 17th Avenue and 4th Street during college. They didn’t lay eggs, though. We used them for milk. It was yummy!


    I think it also makes a big difference what kind of chickens they are (noisewise), but I’d definitely just keep a few hens. Plus all the work of keeping them clean! Egads!

    As for the fruit trees, +1 heritage. Usually more hardy and require less fussing-with to make edible fruit. Less likely than modern varieties to get all gnarly.

    Sigh. I think I’m just about ready to move back to the country.



    True Story……….

    A two and a half years ago we recieved a letter from the Columbus Health Dept. It stated that one of our neighbors (it didn’t list the address) here in Clintonville wanted to raise chickens and wanted to know if we approved or disapproved. We disapproved (as did the neighbors I spoke with), sent back the form and forgot about it. Buckeye egg farm was fresh in our memories.

    That summer I was sitting on my porch enjoying the weather when a slew of city vehicles converged in front of my house. There were two police cars, two or three health dept. cars, lawyers from the city and others. It turns out that the chicken rancher lived across the street from me and had disappeared several weeks prior. The police were tipped off by a neighbor and they had a warrent. The cops started hauling out dozens of dead chickens from southeast asia. Apparently the floors in the house were quite a mess! NBC4 had a crew on the scene and broadcast a blip that night. The weird thing was we never heard the chickens. Our dog didn’t sniff any more than usual when we walked her by that house.

    They house was auctioned off and someone flipped it. I went in during the open house and asked the realtor about the dead chickens and noted that the house was cleaned very nicely. The realtor said “I don’t know what your talking about.” The incident was very odd and our family now refers to the house as the “dead chicken house”.



    Walker wrote Sounds like the best thing to do is just know someone else with chickens. ;)

    Just like boats. Always better to have a friend with a boat than to have to deal with having your own boat.

    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans

    JohnWirtz wrote

    Walker wrote Sounds like the best thing to do is just know someone else with chickens. ;)

    Just like boats. Always better to have a friend with a boat than to have to deal with having your own boat.

    And swimming pools. :D



    This topic is hot in Worthington right now. City Council hearings on whether to allow backyard chickens.

    Also, Dispatch Article from this week

    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans

    Lotsa more discussion over here:

    Citified Chickens: Backyard hens mean fresh eggs




    Anne wrote >>
    Columbus City Health Code 221.05 wrote 221.05 STANDARDS RELATIVE TO ANIMALS AND FOWL. (a)

    And don’t be lettin’ your rabbits run in the street either.



    Story in This Week Worthington about Physician Andy Rozmiarek’s battle to keep his backyard hens. story link



    Sad Update from Andy:

    Dear Friends,

    We had some very sad events today. Two dogs got into our chicken coop while we were out Sunday morning. Veronica and Cindi were killed. Hillary was injured, but she’s alive. She’s had one operation already, and will likely need one more. She’s stable, and her vet thinks she will survive.

    The worst part about this, is that the chicken wire on the run was cut with tools, and pulled back from the outside. Somebody put these dogs into the run. The police are investigating.

    We’ve had these chickens in our yard here for over a year. It is a chilling coincidence that this happens at a time when we are trying to show City Council that chickens and dogs can live together peacefully. I know that they can. I’ve spoken to the dogs’ owner. She’s a very nice person, and her heart is breaking over our loss. I believe her when she tells me that these dogs regularly work on a farm and are not aggressive around chickens. They did get loose this morning, but someone had to put them in the run.

    These were not vicious dogs that killed our pets. It was a vicious person, seeking to breed fear and controversy around the thought of chickens living near dogs. It was someone who wants people to believe that there is no way to control a dog when chickens are around, and that is simply not true.

    Tonight, I am incredibly sad, but thankful for all the support our family has received from friends and neighbors. I believe that Hillary will get better, and will come home soon. I want her to be able to come home to a place where she can be safe and live at peace with our neighborhood.

    Kelly Provost, Lael and I passed around a petition this week and posted it at the Hardware Store, the Candy Store and the Barber Shop. Friends of ours have taken the petition through their neighborhoods as well. We have over one hundred and fifty signatures. I was planning on going to the City Council meeting tomorrow with this rather happy news of support. I’m still planning on going, but my message will be a bit different. Regardless of the actions of one violent individual, chickens can be a welcome addition to any community.

    Please come if you can. The meeting is Mon 2/9 at 7:30pm at City Hall, 6550 North High Street.


    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans

    From the dispatch article yesterday, it sounds like their other chicken also died. Sad.



    lisathewaitress wrote >> They are the messiest, dirtiest animals I have ever seen. Seriously. They will destroy all of your landscaping and gardening.

    I think pigs get the award for dirtiest and messiest. bleh.

    the chickens I have at home are total sweethearts and very clean. it really depends on the type of chicken you have. the ones with the long legs keep up off the ground better and are cleaner. but if they are fatter with short legs, they drag and get dirty.
    other than that, they only smell if you don’t clean up after them, like litter boxes in the house for cats. it’s not the cats fault.

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