[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Evesham 8-18-2020 by Ord. No. 8-8-2020. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Chickens may be kept and maintained on residential property within the Township of Evesham only in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The following general requirements shall apply:
The keeping and maintenance of chickens and other egg-laying poultry on residential property that is farmland assessed pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.1, the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964, is not subject to the provisions of this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- A certified Municipal Animal Control Officer or, in the absence of such an officer, the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality or his or her designee.
- Include hens but shall not include roosters.
- LICENSING AUTHORITY
- Refers to the Township Clerk.
- RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- Property that is purposed as a detached single-family, single-family semidetached, or duplex or two-family as defined in § 160-5 of the Township Code. Further, for the purposes of this chapter, residential property shall not include property that is purposed as a townhouse or apartment house or multiple dwelling as defined in § 160-5 of the Township Code.
- SHELTER or COOP
- An accessory structure where female chickens or poultry are typically kept secure consisting of an indoor area containing nest boxes for egg laying and perches on which the birds sleep, as well as a fenced-in outdoor area typically made from chicken wire or similar nonsolid fencing capable of containing the chickens, where chickens feed and may roam during the day.
No person shall be permitted to keep chickens on their residential property in accordance with this chapter without having first obtained a license from the licensing authority.
No license shall be issued unless the applicant is the owner of the land to be used to keep the chickens or, if renting, has the permission of such owner. Further, the licensure or keeping of chickens under this chapter is only permitted so long as such activity is not prohibited or restricted by any master deed, covenants, restrictions, easements, homeowners' association documents, including bylaws, and any similar documents as well as any amendments to any such documents. Applicants who are part of a homeowners' association may not obtain a license unless the applicant's association permits the keeping of chickens on residential property.
Any person who shall own, keep or harbor a chicken on residential property pursuant to this chapter shall apply for and procure a license from the licensing authority for each such chicken, which license shall expire on January 31 of the following year. License renewals shall be obtained for each chicken in the month of January of each subsequent year from the Township Clerk.
Any person who shall fail to procure a license renewal for any chicken pursuant to this chapter by January 31 of any year shall pay a late fee in addition to the licensing fee in accordance with the fee schedule contained in Chapter 72 of this Code. Said licenses and renewals thereof shall expire on the last day of January of the following year.
Before obtaining a license, the applicant must certify:
He or she has taken necessary measures to educate themselves about raising chickens or other egg-laying poultry. Such measures include but are not limited to education regarding hygiene and sanitation, appropriate fencing and knowledge of veterinarians who specialize in poultry;
He or she is the owner of the residential dwelling and the property where the coop is located or, if an applicant rents his or her residential dwelling, has obtained permission from the property owner to keep and maintain chickens on said property;
He or she has provided and will maintain an appropriate shelter or coop for the number of chickens sought to be licensed and has obtained all necessary permits and approvals required for such accessory building or structure;
His or her keeping of chickens under this chapter is not prohibited or restricted by any master deed, covenants, restrictions, easements, homeowners' association documents, including bylaws, and any similar documents as well as any amendments to any such documents. The applicant must affirmatively represent, if applicable, that his or her homeowners' association permits his or her keeping of chickens on residential property.
The keeping of roosters is prohibited.
The sale of eggs or other chicken by-products is prohibited.
The slaughtering of chickens owned or kept by a licensee pursuant to this chapter on the residential property, or otherwise in public view, is prohibited.
The number of chickens permitted will be based upon the lot area of the residential property in question in accordance with the following table:
No owner of any chicken nor any person in charge of any chicken shall suffer or permit such animal to run at large upon any public street, public park, public building or other public place within the Township, or on private property without the permission of the owner of said property or other person having control thereover.
Every person owning, keeping or harboring any chicken under this chapter shall prevent such chicken from running at large upon the lands of any person, other than the person owning, keeping or harboring such chicken, without the consent of the owner of such lands.
No person who shall own or be in charge of any chicken shall cause, suffer or allow such chicken to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any other place where people congregate or walk or upon any public property whatsoever or upon any private property, without the permission of the owner or person in control of said property.
Every person owning, keeping or harboring any chickens pursuant to this chapter shall prevent such chickens from becoming a public nuisance.
The shelter and adjoining areas must be kept clean and free from vermin and rodents.
The resident or owner (as appropriate) shall be obligated to notify the Animal Control Officer within 10 days of any rapid die-offs of their flock.
Any person who shall own, keep or harbor a chicken shall provide it with proper and adequate food and water, proper shelter and protection from the weather and with humane care and treatment. No person shall inhumanely beat, ill treat, torment or otherwise abuse a chicken.
The governing body shall have the power to appoint annually an Animal Control Officer who shall enforce the provisions of this chapter.
The Animal Control Officer shall take into custody and impound or cause to be taken into custody and impounded and thereafter destroyed and disposed of any chicken, whether licensed or not:
Any officer or agent authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this chapter is hereby authorized to go upon any premises to seize for impounding any chicken which he or she may lawfully seize and impound when such officer is in immediate pursuit of such chicken, except upon the premises of the owner of the chicken if said owner is present and forbids the same.
No person shall hinder, molest or interfere with anyone performing any duty which he or she is authorized or empowered to perform under this chapter.
Chickens shall be housed in structures, commonly known as "coops," with enclosed runs, which shall be maintained to ensure the safety of the chickens and individuals. The following minimum standards shall be maintained at all times:
Each shelter and enclosed run shall be located in the rear yard only of a residential property.
Each shelter and enclosed run shall be located at least 10 feet from any property line and at least 15 feet from any principal residential dwelling unit on an adjoining property. This fifteen-foot setback does not include garages either attached or detached, or other accessory buildings and structures.
Shelters may not exceed 100 square feet in area, or eight feet in height.
Fences for each enclosed run shall be a minimum of four feet in height and shall not exceed a maximum of six feet in height, and shall comply with § 160-22, Fences.
Each shelter and enclosed run and all areas within which chickens are allowed to roam shall be kept clean and free from vermin and rodents.
Chickens may be permitted to roam outside of the shelter and enclosed run during daylight hours in the side and rear yards only of the residential property only if said residential property is appropriately fenced in accordance with the Township Code.