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Revise City ordinance to allow chicken coops within 20 ft of a residence.
  • Petitioning City of Houston

This petition will be delivered to:

City of Houston

Revise City ordinance to allow chicken coops within 20 ft of a residence.

    1. Isabella Acuña
    2. Petition by

      Isabella Acuña

      Houston, TX

 Hens for Homes!

The current City of Houston ordinance for backyard chickens makes it nearly impossible to legally and responsibly have a backyard flock within residential neighborhoods. We request the City implement a clear permitting process to easily allow a small number of backyard hens for the following reasons:

·         Hens eat insects (including termites and roaches), weeds and act to till garden areas while providing a natural fertilizer in the form of organic manure.

·         Hens consume organic waste, recycling table scraps into nutrient-rich manure that benefits soil quality and enhances plant growth.  The keeping of backyard poultry can reduce local use of pesticides and inorganic fertilizers and the problems associated with such products.

·         Hen eggs provide a sustainable food source that is fresh, local, healthy, and delicious.

·         Hens are wonderful, easy to care for, entertaining pets. They provide educational opportunities to teach children where food comes from and how to be responsible pet owners.

By establishing a permitting process to allow residents to keep a limited number of hens in residential neighborhoods, the City of Houston will encourage stewardship of the environment, food production on a household scale, and environmental sustainability.


Would you be interested in writing a letter to Houston City Council Member James Rodriguez supporting this cause?

Please email any letters of support to Eva Lozano, Constituent Services Director to James Rodriguez, at eva.lozano@houstontx.gov.  Subject line “Support for change to Houston’s chicken ordinance.”

Please cc me at Isabella@hensforhomes.com so I have a record of support letters.

Thank you,

Isabella Acuña

Hens for Homes      



Check the petition progress under the Petition Updates tab.


 Like me on Facebook, Friends not Food  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-not-Food/348580631844006


Recent signatures


    1. Happy Pi day!

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      Not really anything to do with chickens.
      I like Pi.

    2. Raising Chickens: It's not just for the eggs

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      Columnist Kyrie O'Connor has a really good commentary in 3/13/2013 Star section of the Houston Chronicle, titled Raising Chickens: It's not just for the eggs. I can relate how hard it is to loose pet hens as 3 of my girls have disapeared since I had to move them to Pearland.

    3. Interview with Univision45

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      Turn on channel 45 today, 2/17/13, for the 5pm news & watch my interview!
      Last week Univision45 called me for an interview and we did it today at North Main Quality Feed. The interviewer/camerman was so nice. He interviewed me, my dad & Quality Feed owner Ken Cousino. We talked about chickens & the ordinance changes for over an hour.
      Thank you Ken for lending us your store for the interview location.

    4. Ordinance meeting at BARC

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      I was invited to be a part of the BARC meeting today to discuss changes to the ordinance. I was suprised there were so many city officials attending a meeting where I, a 13 yr old, was asked for her opinion and input. I take this as a very good sign that this movement is gaining traction and progress between city officials and concerned citizens.

    5. Push to allow to keep chickens in Houston on Channel 13 News

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      Channel 13 News interviewed both Hens for Houston and me before the city council meeting. Lots of people told me they saw me on the 6pm & 10pm news.

    6. Houston City Council meeting 1/15/13

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      A good day for chickens! I spoke before Houston City Concil at the council meeting today. It was great! Mayor Parker and several members voiced their support. Hens for Houston spoke right after me in the open comments part of the meeting. Council members had lots of comments and questions for us both.
      You can watch Houston City Council meetings on line at
      go to the bottom of the home page, click on the council meeting box, then look for the City Council tab over the LIVE. My talk is in part 2, starting at 33.10.

    7. Houston Chronicle editorial supporting backyard hens

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      Dealing with the urban chicken
      The Houston Chronicle ran a very supportive editorial on 1/12/13. Treat urban chickens like other animals.The city of Houston should treat backyard hens like other animals.

      Dealing with the urban chicken

      More Houstonians are starting to raise urban chickens, keeping coops in their yards to take advantage of the fresh eggs, avoiding factory-farmed poultry, composting chicken waste as fertilizer or just enjoying the sheer novelty.

    8. Learn about Hens for Homes at HEB Recycle Day, Sat. 10/27, 10am-2pm

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      HEB Montrose is having another Recycle Day and invited me to come back! I'll have information about Hens for Homes, and why chickens are the natural recyclers. I'm hoping the weather will be cool and we can take my pet hen Esther.
      For details on everything you can bring with you to recycle, click the link.


    9. OURblok - Don't Count Your Chickens Before You've Measured Your Lot

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      OURblok magazine, greater Heights edition Fall 2012, has several articles about eating local, including benefits of eggs from your backyard. Nothing about me, but it's a nice article.

    10. Chicken girl

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      FACT: there’s always that one weird girl in your class obsessed with horses.

      Except in my class she’s obsessed with chickens.

      And it’s me.

    11. CultureMap - Meet Isabella Acuña, chicken crusader

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      I loved meeting Whitney Radley from CultureMap, and so happy with the nice story she wrote about Hens for Homes titled "Meet Isabella Acuña, the 12-year-old chicken crusader fighting the city to keep her hens." Click on the link to read the article and see me with my hen Esther.

    12. Reached 750 signatures
    13. Houston Press - 7th-Grader Isabella Acuna Fights Houston Hen Ordinance

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      My chicken campaign made the Houston Press Hairballs section! This is the online version. We'll find out Thursday if it's in the printed Houston Press.

    14. Backyard Poultry magazine - Chicken Activist article

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      Backyard Poultry magazine re-printed the Leader article about my Hens for Homes campaign. Look for the Aug/Sept issue, page 34.

      This is a really good magazine, sold nationally, with readership over 70,000! I can't believe they gave me a whole page. The editor also sent me a cute t-shirt and and signed me up for year's subscription.

    15. Houston PetTalk magazine: Hens - Man's New Best Friend?

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      Check out my article on page 56 in the August Houston Pet Talk magazine. You can pick
      it up free at locations all over Houston (check the link below for exactly where.)
      I wrote a short article on why hens make great pets.

    16. Recyle Event at W. Alabama HEB

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      It was fun to be a part of the HEB/Montrose Mgmt District Recycle event on 7/21. I talked to a lot of people about pet hens as recyclers, and learned about recycling in Houston.
      I loved meeting the BARC dog Alf, and had the opportunity to talk to the BARC people to explain why the chicken ordinance should be revised.
      Hens for Homes has been invited to come back to the next recycle event on 10/27/12 and do another chicken education table.
      Attached is a video link from this fun event.

    17. Examiner article - Eggs just a bonus says young backer of change

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      The River Oaks-Bellaire-West University Examiner did two articles on the ordinance
      change, page 6.
      One article on Claire Krebs Hens for Houston and a second article on my Hens for Homes.

    18. Hens for Homes at the HEB Recycle Event, 10am-2pm 7/21

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      I was invited to have a Hens for Homes table the HEB recycle event on 7/21 at the new HEB on W Alabama. Please come to this education event where I can answer questions about keeping hens in Houston, and other experts can answer recycling questions.
      Chickens are the perfect recyclers – they take in chicken food, weeds, and bugs then turn it all into fertilizer for your garden, eggs for your kitchen, and are wonderful pets to boot.

    19. Chickens on the radio - KUHF 88.7

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      Did you hear the 88.7 story about chickens?
      Chickens: Local Organization Looks to Change Hen Laws in the City of Houston.
      They interviewed an owner sneaking hens, and Claire Krebs talked about Hens for Houston.
      BARC's Chris Newport had an encouraging quote "Our overriding concern is that fowl in general be kept in a way so that the owners of the animals can realize the benefit and not negatively impact or impose a cost on their neighbors."

    20. Chickens on TV - Backyard chicken owners push for ordinance change

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      Click link for KHOU news Backyard hicken owners push for ordinance change.
      More chickens on TV. Watch the KHOU news story and Claire Krebs interview.

    21. Friday eNews for the HISD Community, June 22, 2012

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      I made the HISD weekly news email!
      Wilson Montessori sixth-grader Isabella Acuña is on a mission to change the City of Houston's livestock ordinance governing the keeping of chickens in residential neighborhoods. She started the Hens for Homes petition after being told she had to get rid of her own pet chickens.

    22. IN OTHER NEWS - The Heights Life

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      I got a nice mention in the The Heights Life blog. For the full story, click the link.

      Fighting for Feathered Friends--- Middle school student, Isabella Acuña, is working hard to convince city hall to allow Houstonians the option of keeping a few laying hens in their backyards.


    23. Village News & Southwest News article

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      I'm so excited that the nice people at Village News & Southwest News printed an article about my chicken campaign. They also printed a nice photo of me with my cute hen Ester. You can read the article on page 8 in either edition.

    24. Article in June Hyde Park United Civic Assoc newsletter

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      I was so happy to see an article about chickens and this petition in the June Hyde Park newsletter on page 8. I hope a lot of people sign this petition after reading the article.

    25. Heights Association Meeting

      Isabella Acuña
      Petition Organizer

      Heights Assoc was nice enough to let me speak about chickens at the 6/11 meeting. I hope I was convincing and HHA will send a letter of support to CM Gonzalez. There was a man at the meeting who has owned hens in the Heights for 40 years! Amazing!


    Reasons for signing

    • Silvia Henderson FRIENDSWOOD TX, TX
      • about 1 month ago

      I want to have organic eggs, twice

      cancer survivor; need to have a better diet. And I like raising chickens, they will eat my insect in my organic garden, and give me free fertilizer!

    • Carmen Portocarrero HOUSTON, TX
      • 3 months ago

      I would like to own three Buff Orpingtons pet hens and name them Henry (short for Henrietta), Omelette, and Mary Poopins.

    • Bonnie Keller HOUSTON, TX
      • 4 months ago

      A small flock for the backyard is plus for the neighborhood. Will not cause a problem if managed properly.

    • Becky Steele HOUSTON, TX
      • 10 months ago

      I want to raise hens in my backyard.

    • miguel gomez HOUSTON, TX
      • 11 months ago

      hen eggs is delicious and keep the bugs aut of my yard


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