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Feeling Cooped Up? The Hazards of Keeping Pet Chickens

Brown Chicken in Pleasanton Rental BackyardOne of the more popular trends raising questions for Pleasanton rental property owners is whether or not to allow tenants to keep chickens. Keeping chickens has eventually been a popular activity in recent years, even for urban neighborhoods. While the explanations for this popularity vary, most people do it with ideas about producing their own food or keeping insect populations under control. Both of these factors are indeed advantages of keeping chickens, but there are several disadvantages you should know about, too. 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. Several localities allow residential neighborhoods to keep chickens in their yards, while others do not. It is vital for you as a property owner to understand your local ordinances and express them properly to your tenant. Or else, they may not feel it is vital to follow local laws and keep undesirable animals on the property, thus exposing both of you to the risk of fines and legal troubles.

Property Damage

At least, most chickens will need a clean and secure chicken coop, as well as fencing and a run. If your rental property doesn’t yet have a fence and a coop, your tenant will probably be needed to install 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 previously stood.

Biohazard Risk

One more hazard that chickens pose is that chicken droppings are a potential biohazard. Chicken poop is disgusting, smelly, and commonly gets tracked everywhere, including inside the house itself. Also, 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. Therefore, they will be attracted to places where food is convenient and ample. Rodents love chicken coops for this reason. Not just will rodents be tempted to the chicken feed, but they may also aim for the chicken eggs or even the chickens themselves. This is particularly true for wild animals or even domesticated cats and dogs. If an owl, neighborhood stray, or even your neighbor’s beloved pet enters your rental yard, the subsequent massacre will not be pleasant.

Noise Issues

Another problem with keeping chickens is the noise. Chickens can generate a lot of noise, even hens. Chickens produce a variety of loud sounds that may annoy a surrounding neighbor. If your rental property’s yard isn’t sufficiently big, those earsplitting birds may turn out to be a nuisance or, in some situations, even violate noise ordinances.

Despite some cases of tenants successfully keeping chickens, the hazards aren’t worth it for numerous property owners. Undoubtedly, every scenario and rental property is unique, so finding the best option for you and your tenants is crucial.


Would you want assistance fielding tenant requests for animals, pets, or other stuff? Our Pleasanton property managers can support you! Contact Real Property Management Masters for more information on how we help rental property owners like you keep your tenants happy and protect your investment concurrently.

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