LETTER: ‘Why it is legitimate to have 2 pitbulls on my property, but not 4 chickens?’

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

Dear Editor,

I have received a notification from the city of Burien saying we are only allowing 3 chickens. My hens are all very quiet.

I am struggling to understand, why it is legitimate to have 2 pitbulls on my property, but not 4 chickens? Also never mind the neighbors decomposing rusty car in the driveway?

Now I have to get rid of some of these docile, quiet egg laying hens which in a professional enclosure so no noise or smell is emitted.

Has anyone else on the blog had any success in receiving permission to keep chickens?

Thank You for your help!!

– Ian Gracey

PS: To see what this has forced me to do, please see this ad I posted: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/grd/4321278762.html

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19 Responses to “LETTER: ‘Why it is legitimate to have 2 pitbulls on my property, but not 4 chickens?’”
  1. Shere'e says:

    It stinks I agree but no city around allows roosters. Hens yes, but not roosters. Also, it is very clear on the city FAQ. It took me less than 10 seconds to get the answer.

    8. Can I raise chickens within City limits and if so how many am I allowed to keep? You are allowed to have a combination of any three (3) total fowl and /or rabbits. Roosters are prohibited.

    • Shere'e says:

      Also, your letter states you have hens, however, your craigslist ad states that you are getting rid of a rooster.

    • Ian says:

      Thanks that helps!

      to clarify, here’s what happened:

      1. a neighbor complained about the rooster i have (one). Fair enough. its on its way out.
      2. another neighbor came the other day with a gift and said, “thanks for keeping chickens- i enjoy seeing them and it adds character to the nieghborhood! ”
      3. another neighbor other end of the block has a much louder rooster.

      So fine, fair enough, the law is the law. Getting back to my original subject, the only point i was making is, why cant Burien do something about the loud, vicious, and dangerous dogs that run around? I’ve had such come onto my property more than once. (i know, my fault i dont have a fence) but still.

      It just seems unfair, thats all. no big deal, im not asking everyone to blow up, please!!

  2. sallie tierney says:

    Confused by this post. Dogs have nothing to do with hens. The law is not intended to prevent chicken attacks but noise and odors. Plus if you read the Crookslist post (oops, Craigslist) it concerns roosters – which are never legal in Burien. Three hens ought to provide enough eggs for most households so what’s the problem?

  3. Amy says:

    And why are you willing to trade “for the loudest, meanest, watchdog or pitbull”? Either you’re looking for trouble with your neighbors or you’re just ignorant. You started this by housing an illegal animal in the first place.

    Also, it’s people like you who raise dogs like those to be mean and aggressive therefore giving them a bad reputation. STOP IT.

  4. Amy says:

    I live in a neighborhood full of dogs that bark non- stop, so I would gladly have a rooster instead of all the darn barking I have to listen to. Some of the irresponsible owners let them out to start barking at 5am and there are some who leave them out all night and there is not much you can do about except try and talk to the owners. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. Maybe we need better rules about dealing with the dogs. Oh, and I haven’t even started about the two pit bulls that run loose. I have owned dogs and have always been responsible for my animals. Ok, I am done venting, and I do feel for the person with the rooster.

  5. H says:

    You’re mad because you got caught breaking the law, and now you want to throw a tantrum? People like you shouldn’t own any animals!

    • Ian says:

      Calm down everybody, calm down! obviously you think i was actually serious that i’d get a pitbul!

      My point is this:
      why are we allowed to have pitbulls but not a rooster.

      chill out, im not getting a pitbull, never would, never will, im just a little bent that many of the people commenting on this blog have dogs that make a lot more noise than any chicken EVER could.

      im just saying its a lopsided law…

      • PJ says:

        Yep, tons of people have dogs…and guess what? There are plenty of neighbors out there that complain about their neighbors loud dogs. However there are many more people that have dogs that are quiet…including pit bulls. That was such an ignorant statement to compare the two. Apples to oranges. Any breed of dog has the ability to be loud and annoying to a neighbor! Why must you stigmatize one breed?
        Obviously your chickens (or rooster) was making enough noise for one or more of your neighbors to complain. So suck it up and follow the law or move. If a stray dog (no matter the breed) is roaming your property you have every right to call animal control. Exercise your rights, not your ability to whine.

        • Seahurst Relic says:

          HA! What animal control, we don’t have animal control in Burien. And I agree that Pitbulls can get a bad rap, but come on when was the last time you read about a Rooster attacking someone. Granted most Pitbulls are great animals but there have been enough incidents with those that are not properly bred or raised to lend credence to the OP’s original comparison. If you can’t see that, then I doubt the OP is the ignorant one in this debate.

      • Joe says:

        Why are you allowed to have pitbulls? Because there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with pitbulls as animals. I will concede that there is something wrong with certain owners of pitbulls. But pitbulls themselves are fantastically loyal dogs that are great with children (Originally bred in Europe as “Nanny Dogs” – fact) and provide excellent companionship. It was terribly unnecessary for you to try and slander any other animal in defense of your rooster, but to attack pitbulls simply perpertuates the cycle of mistreatment those animals receive. Clearly my pit has a better sense of humanity than you do.

  6. Wanker says:

    By specifying that you have a professionally built enclosure that prevents smell and sound, I think you really identify the issue with chickens in the suburbs. While you may have taken a step to mitigate these issues most don’t. By breaking the law (having a rooster), you just made yourself visible to the enforcers. Had you not, they would have never known. Unfortunately, (fortunate for those of us who don’t think farm animals belong in the suburbs) once it is known that you have violated chicken occupancy, they cannot look the other way because you have a nicer enclosure.

  7. Mary says:

    I love the chickens, and the rooster is a wonderful sound. Also they don’t leave piles of poop on sidewalks and parks. And I can attest that this person’s chickens do not stink. They are beautiful birds. There should be no laws against someone trying to feed their family, and quiet, clean dogs should be awarded (maybe with an egg in their kibble).

    • Jordan says:

      Well said. I also agree that it will be sad to see these go!

      Not only that, he gives his neighbors a dozen fresh eggs free!

      Show me a dog that can do that.

      I also like nice dogs too, every good farmer has one.

    • rose says:

      and if you have enough hens to give your neighbors free eggs, thats more community minded than leaving poop on their front sidewalk and a lot of barking in an otherwise peaceful night.

      I vote that Burien allow chickens as much rights as any other pet.

      In fact, chickens are now recognized as environmentally friendly suburban pets that have a lot of benefits and teach young children responsibility.

  8. abby says:

    ‘3 hens, no roosters’ used to be the rule in Seattle. In 2010 they changed it to ‘8 hens, no rooster’. Perhaps it’s time for Burien to do the same. The City of Bellevue allows up to 6 fowl.

  9. Somer Harmon says:

    There are two sides to this post. One, please do not list pitbulls as the enemy here. We have a pitbull lab and have fostered pitbulls in the past. They are one of the most loving and intelligent breeds. I would agree that nothing makes me crazier than another dog’s poop in my front yard so I feel for you on this.
    Dogs barking and running through neighborhoods is an issue. The minute I open my front door, or arrive home from work all I hear is my neighbor’s five dogs barking, growling and yapping. There is nothing I can do about this since the local animal control that Burien has chosen to employ does not respond to the barking. On the other hand, every once and a while I hear a rooster crow, and some ducks near by quack and I think it is a delightful sound. As long as the rooster remains enclosed fully (they are in fact protective as created by mother nature and will bite) I think they should be allowed. I definitely think three hens is not enough to make enough eggs to feed a family, but feel eight is too many due to the smell the chickens can create. Six seems reasonable. Roosters are a great deterrent to racoons and other animals that might prey on a family’s flock so they are very useful when it comes to protecting a family’s food source.
    I am curious what area of Burien you live in Ian?

    • Ian says:

      Thanks for your thoughts. Yes i agree, no specific breed is in mind- more figuratively speaking.
      I live in the seahurst area.
      several neighbors after reading this blog have kindly spoken to me, saying they dont mind the chickens at all, and are actually in favor of them so its quite encouraging!
      However, the code enforcement officer has given a deadline to become compliant so it is what it is. I have sent an email to [email protected] hoping for info on possibly getting the laws changed to be a little more lenient. We’ll see what happens- anyone else in support, would appreciate your input as well! 🙂

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