Help us, please! What can be done about chickens running wild within city limits? Don’t know who they belong to, but we constantly have 8-20 chickens digging around our bird feeders and the neighbor's gnome garden. We have tried a water gun with food coloring to mark and alert the owner to the fowl problem, watering them with a hose and putting spices on the ground. Nothing works! Can we use a pellet gun on our own property? Guessing we are not the only residents with this problem. That many chickens can’t be legal without being fenced in, can they? Thanks for your unending knowledge for all of Rochester’s questions. — Fed Up With Chicken Fiends
Dear Fiends: I'm sorry to hear your neighbors are running afoul of the city ordinance and ruffling your feathers with a loose flock. City ordinance allows for up to three hens on any premise. If its for educational or instructional activity, that number can go up to 12 hens. This is also the case for ducks. (roosters and drakes are not permitted.)
If you are not a fan of Alfred Hitchcock's film "The Birds," then you might want to stop reading. City ordinance also allows permits for up to 50 pigeons in a coop or loft. What do you want with 50 pigeons? I'm not sure, but the Answer Man isn't here to question, the Answer Man is here to answer.
Erica, with the City's Animal Control Department, said officers respond to any animal at large situation. The city's running-at-large ordinance covers all animals, but cats get their own definition. (I'm just spitballing here, but have you tried cats to solve your chicken problem?)
You can call Animal Control or the Rochester Police Department's non-emergency number to file your complaint. Depending on staffing and call load, I am certain the department will send out its finest chicken wranglers.