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Feeling Cooped Up? The Hazards of Keeping Pet Chickens

Brown Chicken in Granada Hills Rental BackyardOne of the more popular trends raising questions for Granada Hills rental property owners is whether or not to allow tenants to keep chickens. Keeping chickens has become a popular activity in recent years, even for urban neighborhoods. While the grounds for this popularity vary, some people do it with ideas about producing their own food or keeping insect populations under control. Both of these factors are clear advantages of keeping chickens, but there are several concerns you should be aware of as well. 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. While some localities allow residential neighborhoods to keep chickens in their yards, others do not. As a property owner, it’s critical to identify your local ordinances and discuss them correctly with your tenant. Or else, they may not understand that it is important to follow local laws and keep unauthorized animals on the property, thus exposing both of you to the risk of fines and legal troubles.

Property Damage

Basically, 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 need to make one. While some chicken coops can be very nice, there’s no guarantee that the one your tenant will build will be. Additionally, if your tenants decide to leave, and even if they take the coop with them, you’ll be left 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, foul, and regularly gets tracked everywhere, including inside the house itself. On top of that, 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. That signifies they will be attracted to areas where food is convenient and bountiful. Rodents love chicken coops for this reason. The rodents will not just be attracted to the chicken feed, but they may also want the chicken eggs or even the chickens themselves. The same principles apply to 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 ensuing massacre won’t be a wonderful thing.

Noise Issues

Another issue with keeping chickens is the noise. Chickens can be very noisy, even hens. Chickens make a wide range of loud sounds that potentially annoy a nearby neighbor. If your rental property’s yard isn’t large enough, those noisy birds could become a nuisance or, in some cases, even violate noise ordinances.

Notwithstanding a few instances of tenants successfully keeping chickens, the hazards aren’t worth it for most property owners. Certainly, every situation and rental property is individual, so choosing carefully for you and your tenants is imperative.


Would you like assistance fielding tenant requests for animals, pets, or other things? Our Granada Hills property managers can assist! Contact Real Property Management West San Fernando Valley for more information on how we help rental property owners like you keep your tenants happy and protect your investment at the same time.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.