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Chickens are the most sustainable pet on the planet. They eat unwanted pests like mosquitos, provide organic fertilizer for gardens, encourage healthy worm growth and micronutrients in topsoil, and consume organic waste, saving it from the landfill. And best of all, they provide a healthy, sustainable supply of fresh eggs.

Backyard chickens are no more of a threat or nuisance to urban life than a dog or cat, yet offer many benefits that man's best friends do not. It is important to residents with concern for the environment, humane treatment of animals, or their own health to have access to this great alternative to mainstream poultry.

Over 500 U.S. cities and towns have changed their rules to make it easy for people to keep backyard chickens in recent years. 

Chapel Hill, Charlotte and High Point all specifically allow backyard chickens, with similar restrictions, while others such as Greensboro and Raleigh do not restrict chickens at all. We want our ordinances to be updated similarly to make it easier to keep urban chickens, while still requiring sanitation and humane treatment to the animals.

Letter to
Winston-Salem City Council
Mayor, Winston-Salem Allen Joines
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Winston-Salem City Council.

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Allow Urban Chickens!

Chickens are the most sustainable pet on the planet. They eat unwanted pests like mosquitos, provide organic fertilizer for gardens, encourage healthy worm growth and micronutrients in topsoil, and consume organic waste, saving it from the landfill. And best of all, they provide a healthy, sustainable supply of fresh eggs.

Backyard chickens are no more of a threat or nuisance to urban life than a dog or cat, yet offer many benefits that man's best friends do not. It is important to residents with concern for the environment, humane treatment of animals, or their own health to have access to this great alternative to mainstream poultry.

In our city, the ordinance reads as follows:

Location of shelter. It shall be unlawful for any person who keeps, feeds or maintains in the city any:

(1) Chicken or other fowl or pigeons to place the shelter, housing or fencing for said animals within 150 feet of the property line of any adjoining lots or parcels of land unless a special use permit has been obtained pursuant to section 6-1.4 of the Unified Development Ordinance.


Over 500 U.S. cities and towns have changed their rules to make it easy for people to keep backyard chickens in recent years. For example, in Chapel Hill, their ordinance has been updated to the following:

(d) Chickens.

(1) No person shall allow his or her chickens to run at large within the corporate limits of the town.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep more than ten (10) chickens within the corporate limits of the town.

(3) Chickens must be kept a minimum of thirty (30) feet from the nearest residence other than that of the owner and may not be kept between the street and a line drawn parallel to the street facing walls of a residence.

(4) All chicken houses and lots must be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition at all times.

(5) It shall be unlawful to raise chickens for commercial purposes within the corporate limits of the town.

(e) Noisy fowl. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or maintain on any premises or lot within the town any rooster, duck, goose or other such bird or fowl that by loud and habitual crowing, quacking or honking or in any other manner constitutes a public nuisance. Failure to abate such nuisance within two (2) days after written notice to do so from the town manager shall be unlawful.


Charlotte and High Point also specifically allow backyard chickens, with similar restrictions. We would like our ordinances to be updated similarly to make it easier to keep urban chickens, while still requiring sanitation and humane treatment to the animals.
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Sincerely,