Each week, Scottsbluff Police Cpl. Krisa Brass will answer questions submitted by Star-Herald readers. Send questions for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving your question at 308-632-9057.
Not too long ago, you asked about being arrested for DUI while riding a horse. Now, we have received questions regarding the general ownership of horses and other animals within the city limits. Let’s start with the easy one and go from there.
Q: Can you have chickens in town? If so, are there any special rules?
A: As it currently stands, yes, you can have chickens within the city limits. When it comes to birds, city ordinance prohibits the captivity of “wild” birds which specifically includes; crows, game birds, and upland game birds. There are a few ordinances you should be aware of if you plan on having chickens on your property.
Scottsbluff City Ordinance 2-2-1 references animals running at large. Stating no person owning or having in charge any horse, goat, mule, ass, cattle, sheep, swine, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowls or other domestic fowl, shall permit the same to run at large within the city. Any animal found running at large is declared a nuisance and may be impounded.
Also be mindful of the cleanliness of the area in which you keep the chickens by keeping the area washed sufficiently to prevent all avoidable accumulation of manure and minimize possible odors. If the area is not maintained and the odor is not controlled, this too could be considered a nuisance. I know I know it seems so obvious but there are reasons this point is being clarified.
The last bit regarding chickens would be the probability of noise. Regardless of the animal type, city ordinance says an animal can be declared a nuisance if continually causing noise and disturbing the peace of the neighborhood.
Q: Are you allowed to have horses, goats, or pigs in Scottsbluff?
A: Regarding the pigs, you are allowed to have mini-pigs. Mini-pigs fall under the domestic animal definition and do come with some requirements. They must be spayed or neutered within 30 days of turning six months old.
The same rules apply to the number you are allowed to have without obtaining a kennel license. As with dogs and cats, you cannot have more than three mini pigs or combination of three domestic animals without said kennel license.
Although the “at large” ordinance references horses, goats, mules, cattle, sheep, swine, ducks, geese, turkeys and guinea fowl, zoning ordinances haven’t allowed for the ownership of those animals for quite some time.
The zoning ordinances specify for non-business recreation, the amount of livestock allowed on lots, acres, etc. in addition to the location of the animal’s shelter and how the property should be maintained.
With this in mind, I would recommend you pass on the horses and goats in town.