Phoenix AZ City Ordinance for Keeping Chickens

2023 | Phoenix, AZ |Section 8-7. Poultry & Rodents

  • No poultry or rodents shall be kept in an enclosure within eighty feet of any residence within the City. Poultry may be kept within eighty feet of a residence if written permission consenting to the keeping of poultry less than eighty feet from a residence is first obtained from each lawful occupant and each lawful owner of such residence. Poultry shall not be kept in the front yard area of any lot or parcel within the City. Poultry and rodents shall be kept in an enclosure so constructed as to prevent such poultry and rodents from wandering upon property belonging to others.
  • No more than twenty head of poultry nor more than twenty-five head of rodents nor more than twenty-five head comprising a combination of rodents and poultry shall be kept upon the first one-half acre or less. An additional one-half acre shall be required for each additional twenty head of poultry or for each additional twenty-five head of rodents or for each additional twenty-five head comprising a combination of poultry and rodents. For areas larger than two and one-half acres the number of poultry or rodents shall not be limited.
  • No male poultry shall be kept within the City limits except such male poultry as are incapable of making vocal noises which disturb the peace, comfort or health of any person residing within the City.
  • All such enclosures shall be kept in such condition that no offensive, disagreeable or noxious smell or odor shall arise therefrom to the injury, annoyance or inconvenience of any inhabitant of the neighborhood thereof. 

Section 8-5. Manner of Keeping Generally

  • It is unlawful for any person to keep or maintain any animal or bird in the City in a manner likely to disturb the peace, comfort, or health of any person residing within the City.
  • A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, however, the City Prosecutor may authorize the filing of certain cases or classes of cases as civil violations unless the person previously has been found responsible or guilty of violating this section.
  • A person found responsible for a civil violation of this section is subject to a sanction of not less than one hundred fifty dollars and not more than two thousand five hundred dollars.
  • In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, a person found guilty of a criminal violation of this section shall pay a fine of not less than one hundred fifty dollars.

Can you Have Chickens Where You Live?

Check with your local government or health department websites for information on regulations and restrictions regarding raising chickens in your city.
Key words: Poultry & Rodent Ordinance

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Information on Current Bird Flu Influenza in Wild Birds and Poultry

  • A Better Understanding of the Current Situation
  • Preventive Measures
  • Information & Guidelines by the CDC
  • CDC Contact Numbers

Nov. 2022: As bird flu outbreaks in wild birds and poultry continue across the U.S., the country approaches a record number of birds affected compared to previous bird flu outbreaks. Since early 2022, more than 49 million birds in 46 states have either died as a result of bird flu virus infection or have been culled (killed) due to exposure to infected birds. This number is nearing the 50.5 million birds in 21 states that were affected by the largest bird flu outbreak that occurred in 2015. Even so, the number of states affected in 2022 is already more than double the number of states that were affected in 2015.

Although the overall risk to the general public from the current bird flu outbreaks remains low, it is important that people take preventive measures around infected or potentially infected birds/poultry to prevent the spread of bird flu viruses to themselves or to other birds/poultry and other animals, including pets. This applies not just to workplace or wildlife settings but potentially to household settings where people have backyard flocks or pet birds with potential exposures to wild or domestic infected birds.

To prevent infection, people should avoid unprotected contact with wild or domestic birds and poultry that look sick or have died. Bird flu infections in people happen most often after close, prolonged, and unprotected (no gloves or other protective wear) contact with infected birds or surfaces contaminated with bird flu viruses. If contact cannot be avoided, people should minimize contact with wild birds or sick or dead poultry by taking the following precautions:

  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), like disposable gloves, boots, an N95 respirator if available, or if not available, a well-fitting facemask (e.g., a surgical mask), and eye protection. Specific CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) PPE recommendations are available at Backyard Flock Owners: Take Steps to Protect Yourself from Avian Influenza (Bird Flu).
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes during and after contact with birds or surfaces that may be contaminated with saliva, mucous or feces from wild or domestic birds/poultry.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after touching birds/poultry.
  • Change your clothes before contact with healthy domestic poultry and after handling wild birds, captive wild birds, farmed birds, and other pet birds. Then, throw away the gloves and facemask, and wash your hands with soap and water.

CDC has more  information for specific groups who may come in contact with potentially infected birds/poultry.

For backyard poultry or bird owners, take measures to keep your bird(s) from becoming infected with bird flu virus, which can be deadly. Infected birds shed avian influenza A viruses in their saliva, mucous and feces. Susceptible birds become infected when they have contact with the virus as it is shed by infected birds. This can happen through direct contact with infected waterfowl or other infected poultry, or through contact with surfaces that have been contaminated with virus. Avian influenza A viruses are very contagious among birds, and some of these viruses can sicken and even kill certain domesticated bird species, including chickens, ducks and turkeys.

CDC has been monitoring for illness among people exposed to bird flu virus-infected birds since these outbreaks were first detected in U.S. wild birds and poultry in late 2021. To date, bird flu viruses have been found in U.S. commercial and backyard poultry in 44 states and in wild birds in 46 states since early 2022. CDC has tracked the health of more than 5,190 people with exposures to bird flu virus-infected birds with one case reported. Information on the person in the U.S. who tested positive for bird flu earlier this year can be found in the associated spotlight and press release.

CDC continues to monitor the current situation and risk to the general public. Sporadic human infections with bird flu viruses in the U.S. resulting from close contact with infected birds/poultry would not be surprising given past human infections that have occurred in other countries after exposure to infected birds. This would not significantly change CDC’s risk assessment. However, if person-to-person spread with this virus were to occur, that would raise the public health threat. Note that sustained person-to-person spread is needed for a pandemic to occur. It is important for people to continue taking precautions around infected and potentially infected birds/poultry to help reduce the risk of bird flu virus infections in people.

Backyard Chicken Keepers

If birds in your flock have avian (bird) influenza (flu) A virus infection, or you suspect they might, take the following actions to protect yourself:

  • Don’t touch sick or dead birds, their feces or litter, or any surface or water source (for example, ponds, waterers, buckets, pans, troughs) that might be contaminated with their saliva, feces, or any other bodily fluids without wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Wear PPE when around sick or dead birds.
  • As best as possible, during depopulation and while cleaning and disinfecting contaminated premises, avoid stirring up dust, bird waste, and feathers to prevent virus from dispersing into the air.

Once bird flu infection is confirmed within a flock and premises, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recommends that backyard owners continue to wear PPE when in contaminated areas until there are no longer infected birds, eggs, feces, or contaminated litter on the property. The recommendation to wear PPE when in contaminated areas (primary poultry housing: coops, runs, barns, etc.) depends on whether a 150-day fallow is used for virus elimination after flock depopulation.

USDA has information on cleaning and disinfecting or fallowing of premises that were contaminated with highly pathogenic avian influenza virus and information on good biosecurity practices:

Birds infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses may show one or more of the following signs:

  • Sudden death without clinical signs,
  • lack of energy and appetite,
  • decreased egg production or soft-shelled or misshapen eggs,
  • swelling of head, comb, eyelid, wattles, and hocks,
  • purple discoloration of wattles, comb, and legs,
  • nasal discharge, coughing, and sneezing,
  • incoordination, or
  • diarrhea.

If you see any sign of illness in your birds, immediately report it to your state veterinarian or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1-866-536-7593).

Source: Centers for Disease Control and PreventionNational Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)

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Chicken Keeping Problems and Helpful Solutions

Lice and mites: These parasites can cause chickens to lose feathers and become more susceptible to illness. To treat lice and mites, you can use a poultry-specific insecticide or try natural remedies like diatomaceous earth or neem oil.

Coccidiosis: This is a parasitic disease that affects the intestines of chickens. Symptoms include diarrhea, weight loss, and lethargy. To treat coccidiosis, you can use a medicated feed or water additive that contains coccidiostats.

Worms: Chickens can become infected with various types of worms, including roundworms and tapeworms. Symptoms include weight loss, poor feathering, and a decrease in egg production. To treat worms, you can use a poultry-specific wormer or try natural remedies like garlic.

Egg binding: This occurs when a chicken is unable to lay an egg due to a physical blockage in the oviduct. To treat egg binding, you may need to gently massage the area around the vent or give the chicken a warm bath to help the egg pass. In severe cases, you may need to contact a veterinarian.

Frostbite: Chickens can develop frostbite on their combs and wattles in cold weather. To prevent frostbite, make sure chickens have access to a warm, draft-free coop. Applying Vaseline to wattles and fleshy appendages will help prevent frostbite. To treat frostbite, you can gently warm the affected area with a warm cloth and apply a moisturizing ointment.

🙂 Don’t be afraid to ask your local feed store for further advice on products for these specific problems. You can also use the search box on my home page for more information.

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    How Do Feathers Help Keep Chickens Warm?

    Feathers help chickens stay warm by providing insulation. The structure of feathers traps air, which helps to keep the chicken’s body heat from escaping. Chickens have a layer of down feathers close to their skin that helps to keep them warm, and they also have contour feathers on the outer layers of their body that provide additional insulation.

    Chickens also fluff up their feathers when it is cold to create additional air pockets and increase the insulating properties of their feathers. In this way, feathers help chickens to maintain a stable body temperature even in cold weather.

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