Ordinances serve a purpose (or so says the town). The town, however, has made it nearly impossible to find said ordinances. After nearly an hour of mad Google-ing and putting all of our internet-searching prowess to work, The Baker and I have yet to be able to find out the following information:
- Do we need a building permit? We assume we do, but it’s anyone’s guess at this point, quite frankly.
- Where and how do we obtain said building permit? This information is NOWHERE to be found on the town’s website (which appears to have last been updated in 2010).
- How much does a building permit cost? No idea. We still don’t even know if we need or how to get one.
- Building permit aside, how many clucking chickens can we have? One (seemingly typed out with a typewriter then scanned in at enough of a jaunty angle that you have to cock your head to one side to read it) document found only after at least four differently-worded Google searches seems to imply that we can only have six chickens (because the State of Maine has decreed that chicks can only be sold in lots of six or more for the welfare of the chicks). However, when, during a recent call to the town office, we told them we’d like to have “no more than a dozen and a half or so chickens”, we were told “yeah, that should be fine.”
- Are chickens pets? Excellent question! We still don’t know. We don’t think they are. In the same crappily-scanned document, chickens are included in both the “Animals that are pets” and the “Animals that are not pets” paragraphs. ‘Does it really matter?’ you might ask. Apparently, yes. If chickens ARE pets, then the crappily-scanned document says we’re limited to five of each species of pet (except fish, obviously) and a total for all pets of no more than ten. If they’re not considered pets, then the “limit of five per species and ten in total” rule wouldn’t apply. Soooo… how many chickens can we have?
- Can we own or rent a “stud rooster” for a couple of weeks each year? We have bandied about the idea of obtaining a stud rooster for a couple of weeks each year in order to help rotate some of our brood, especially as the initial group of clucks ages and slows/stops production of eggs. However, another of these hard-found documents indicated that roosters are prohibited within the town limits.
- Do you need a permit to have a pellet stove? OK, we know this has NOTHING to do with chickens, but it was an interesting point that we came across in all of our mad Google-ing. Maybe we’ll bring it up when we speak with the Code Enforcement Officer. Maybe we won’t. We WILL, however, be bringing up the fact that there is a significant lack of information about these topics on the town’s website.
The irony of this entire blog entry is that it originally had NOTHING to do with any of this except that we realized that we’re planning on getting our pullets next month and still haven’t built them a home yet. The Baker has found numerous FABULOUS plans online to build a chicken coop out of pallets (reuse, reduce, recycle!), but hasn’t started building yet because we don’t know whether we need a permit (oh, and we don’t have a truck, so we also don’t have any pallets yet) (also because I just had surgery, so I’m hardly allowed to lift a hammer, much less a pallet, so I’m essentially no help, except for blogging about it).
So, to sum up, we need a permit (maybe, we still don’t know), pallets, and a truck. Also, we’re getting chickens in a month (though we don’t know how many).
Planning sucks. We just want our chickens!