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Feeling Cooped Up? The Hazards of Keeping Pet Chickens

Brown Chicken in Verona Rental BackyardOne of the many popular trends raising questions for Verona rental property owners is whether or not to allow tenants to keep chickens. Keeping chickens has changed into a popular activity in recent years, even for urban neighborhoods. While the motives for this popularity vary, numerous people do it with the purpose of producing their own food or keeping insect populations under control. Both of these reasons are certain advantages of keeping chickens, but there are multiple issues to be aware of. In that way, you can more confidently decide what to say when your tenant asks to keep chickens on your rental property.

Zoning Issues

Not all municipalities are chicken-friendly. Other regions allow residential neighborhoods to keep chickens in their yards, while some do not. As a property owner, it’s recommended to know your local ordinances and explain them properly with your tenant. If not, they may not believe it is critical to follow local laws and keep banned animals on the property, thus exposing both of you to the risk of fines and legal troubles.

Property Damage

At a minimum, most chickens will need a clean and secure chicken coop, as well as fencing and a run. If your rental property doesn’t already have a fence and a coop, your tenant will definitely have to install one. While some chicken coops can be very nice, there’s no guarantee that the one your tenant will build will be. Moreover, if your tenants decide to leave, and even if they take the coop with them, you’ll be leaving with dead and damaged landscaping where the coop used to be.

Biohazard Risk

Another hazard that chickens pose is that chicken droppings are a potential biohazard. Chicken poop is unpleasant, nasty, and regularly gets tracked everywhere, including inside the house itself. Plus, chicken droppings can carry diseases that can put the health of you and your tenants at risk.

Attract Rodents and Predators

Rodents and other pests are opportunistic feeders. Consequently, they will be attracted to an environment where food is convenient and overflowing. Rodents love chicken coops because of this. Not only will rodents be lured to the chicken feed, but they may also search for chicken eggs or even the chickens themselves. The same may be true for wild animals or even domesticated cats and dogs. If an owl, neighborhood stray, or even your neighbor’s beloved pet gets into your rental yard, the resulting massacre will not be pleasant.

Noise Issues

Another downside of keeping chickens is the noise. Chickens can make too much noise, even hens. Chickens produce a variety of loud sounds that may irritate a nearby neighbor. If your rental property’s yard isn’t big enough, those noisy birds could transform into a nuisance or, sometimes, even violate noise ordinances.

Regardless of several stories of tenants successfully keeping chickens, the hazards aren’t worth it for most property owners. Definitely, every incident and rental property is not identical, so picking the best decision for you and your tenants is imperative.


Do you want assistance fielding tenant requests for animals, pets, or other items? Our Verona property managers can support you! Contact Real Property Management Greater Madison Metro for more information on how we help rental property owners like you keep your tenants happy and protect your investment at the same time.

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