Is it time for a state law allowing people to raise chickens?

Last year the Texas legislature looked at passing a state law allowing chickens to be raised by anyone as long as the coop was at least 10 feet from the owner’s residence and 20 feet from their neighbor’s property line. Households with less than a half acre would be limited to 6 hens(although municipalities could allow more) and with more than half an acre they could have up to a dozen. The bill SB1620 passed the Senate but would ultimately fail to come up for a vote in the House.

Right now in Maine, many places allow families living in town to raise chickens, however, not everyone does. A few years ago it was brought up in Bangor and was rejected. Meanwhile, residents of Portland, a larger and more crowded city can raise chickens. The reason? Hard telling not knowing, although it seems odd in the modern day and age that anyone could really object to backyard poultry. Egg prices are rising (organic eggs are up to $5 a dozen for factory farmed organic now and surpassing $6 a dozen for organic local eggs- even conventionally produced egg should surpass $2 a dozen this summer) and the interest in being more self-sufficient has been increasing in all sectors of society.

Local municipalities would still be able to set limits regarding chickens ability to free range as well as noise levels and housing restrictions. They could also set permit requirements and fees. However what they would not be able to do is cart blanche say no chickens allowed. Herbert Hoover once ran on putting a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. Here in Maine- we seemed to have gotten it a bit skewed and instead of a car in every garage- it seems like we have one in every dooryard- maybe it’s time to put a chicken or two there as well.

Lucas Rumler

About Lucas Rumler

I’m originally from the land of Soybeans and Corn- growing up the tallest thing in our town was the grain elevator. I moved to Maine in 2008 as part of Americorps. I fell in love with the state, and then the Saint who would eventually become my wife (much to her dismay on most days). We settled in her hometown- Mount Vernon which had been our plan since we started dating. We are active and involved in our community, we homestead, and we both work full time. We are trying to balance the stresses of living and working in this state while at the same time trying to strengthen our little corner of the world. My ambitions for our homestead do not necessarily line up with my competency, capacity, or free time. I am an apple nerd with no knowledge, a beekeeper who keeps hope alive- but maybe not my bees, a gardener who is trying desperately to figure out a niche market for the only things I can successfully grow (ragweed and crabgrass), and a backyard carpenter who has never made a straight cut or a level table- and doesn’t see any real reason to start now. I hope that this blog can help document my continuing failures and occasional successes as we continue to build our lives in our Village. I am active and involved in our local community, and I have been recently nominated by the Cat as the best male blogger. You can contact me at, on Facebook at, or by mail at 46 Weston Road, Mount Vernon, ME 04352.