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Feeling Cooped Up? The Hazards of Keeping Pet Chickens

Brown Chicken in Lynbrook Rental BackyardAmongst the most popular trends raising questions for Lynbrook rental property owners is whether or not to allow tenants to keep chickens. Keeping chickens has evolved into a popular activity in recent years, even for urban neighborhoods. While the motives for this popularity vary, several people do it with ideas about producing their own food or keeping insect populations under control. Both of these reasons are true advantages of keeping chickens, but there are numerous downsides you must be aware of, as well. In this 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. As a property owner, you need to understand your local ordinances and express them appropriately to your tenant. Or else, they may not feel it is necessary to follow local laws and keep banned 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 currently have a fence and a coop, your tenant will probably need to assemble one. While some chicken coops can be very nice, there’s no guarantee that the one your tenant will build will be. What is more, if your tenants decide to leave, and even if they take the coop with them, you will be left with dead and damaged landscaping where the coop used to be.

Biohazard Risk

An added hazard that chickens pose is that chicken droppings are a potential biohazard. Chicken poop is messy, stinky, and often gets tracked everywhere, including inside the house itself. Plus, 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 signals they will be attracted to environments where food is convenient and sufficient. Rodents love chicken coops because of that. The rodents will not only be attracted to the chicken feed, but they may also seek the chicken eggs or even the chickens themselves. The same is true for wild animals or even domesticated cats and dogs. If an owl, neighborhood stray, or even your neighbor’s beloved pet comes into your rental yard, the ensuing massacre won’t be a pleasant scenario.

Noise Issues

Another downside to keeping chickens is the noise. Chickens can make lots of noise, even hens. Chickens produce a wide range of loud sounds that might distress a nearby neighbor. If your rental property’s yard isn’t spacious enough, those noisy birds might transform into a nuisance or, in some instances, even violate noise ordinances.

Despite some examples of tenants successfully keeping chickens, the hazards aren’t worth it for most property owners. Obviously, each case and rental property is exceptional, so choosing wisely for you and your tenants is beneficial.


Would you want guidance fielding tenant requests for animals, pets, or other things? Our Lynbrook property managers are here to help! Contact Real Property Management Innovation for more information on how we help rental property owners like you keep your tenants happy and protect your investment at the same time.

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