Hens for Houston

A movement to keep Houston current by allowing the raising of chicken hens on city lots

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  • Barred Rocks are generally calm hens which lay light to medium brown, slightly pinkish large eggs.
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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

– Next mtg Apr 21, 2-4 pm

Posted by cjkrebs on March 25, 2013

kay3wkeastereggersLots of excitement on our end.

Next meeting will be Sunday April 21, 2-4 pm. We’ve made a lot of progress with the city, and we’ll be talking all about it! Location TBA.

Media coverage

Most recently, we’ve had stories about us on Channel 2 and in the neighborhood newspaper the Leader. This year we’ve also appeared in SwampLot, Houston Press, and CultureMap. Kyrie O’Connor continued Houston Chronicles vocal support of urban hens as well.

Upcoming Events:

April 6, 10 am – 2 pm. We’ll be at the Arboretum helping them celebrate Earth Day… with hens! Come visit with us at this free, family event: http://www.houstonarboretum.org/event/earth-day-free-family-event

Other events:

March 29 – An Easter Egg hunt for real eggs, plus arts and crafts projects? Located just outside Houston! What fun! Ring in Easter with MyChickenDiaries as they host two easter egg hunts this Friday! See the left column of http://www.mychickendiaries.com/kids.html

March 30 – Galveston coop tour! Check out our neighbor’s inaugural tour-de-coops. Not only can you take notes for your own coop, proceeds benefit the Seawall Interpretive Trail beautification project. Details at: http://www.ibcgalveston.com/blog/2013/02/hold-on-to-your-hens/


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– Next mtg Mar-10, 2-4 pm

Posted by cjkrebs on February 16, 2013

Hope you’re enjoying the beautiful weather we’re having… here’s a quick chicken update:


1. HUGE THANK YOU to all who filled out our BARC survey…  we were very impressed by the quantity and quality of feedback (almost 100 responses, wow!). Your feedback allows us to be better able to represent your interests, and continue pushing the core hen issues with the City.

2. We’ve had two meetings with BARC and the city lawyer, and anticipate at least one more meeting before a draft is released to stakeholder groups and for public comment. Soon we’ll need your help emailing council members; things will be heating up in March, so stay tuned!

3. Good meeting last Sunday… one result of which we’d like your help to beef up our website’s “Resources” page for the hen owning Houstonian. Send us your favorite source of information for chickens and we’ll add it to the website!

4. Thanks to the Houston Food Policy Workgroup for inviting us to speak last Wednesday. We appreciate your encouragement and suggestions!


1. Sunday March 10, 2 – 4 pm: Next meeting! Location TBA

2. Saturday April 6, 10 am  – 2 pm: Earth Day at the Houston Arboretum. Come help us celebrate both Earth Day and our unofficial one-year anniversery. Want to volunteer for a 2 hr shift? Hang out with baby chicks and really neat people? Let us know!

Don’t forget to pick up your limited-edition Hens for Houston T-shirt at Quality Feed or delivered to your door thanks to MyChickenDiaries:

Have a wonderful weekend!

Hens for Houston

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– Give BARC your feedback NOW

Posted by cjkrebs on February 3, 2013

We need your input NOW to share with BARC by TUESDAY!

Late last week we met with BARC to flesh out the language of the new ordinance. We need your feedback on the direction the ordinance is taking…

If you are not on the mailing list JOIN by filling out the form or emailing hensforhouston@gmail.com

If you are on the list, you may get the message tomorrow… PLEASE RESPOND THEN.




BY TUESDAY 10 PM (Takes 30 seconds)

THANK YOU and HAPPY SUPER BOWL!!! — Hens for Houston

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– Mayor Parker supports Hens!

Posted by cjkrebs on January 15, 2013

Folks, we’ll be on Channel 13 tonight as they cover our activities during public session today.


Following our 3 min presentation, council commented for 20+ minutes on the topic. Mayor Annise Parker said she’d cast her vote in support of urban hens, and we have favorable reception from a number of other officials.

We will be meeting with BARC next week to discuss their draft proposal… we hope that we can find common ground and it can move on to other stakeholder groups for review, and be in front of Council for discussion again by March!

A big thanks to all of our volunteers and supporters who have been integral in getting us to where we are today! Thank you!

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– Houston Chronicle endorses Hens

Posted by cjkrebs on January 12, 2013

Read the article on the chron.com website!

The Houston Chronicle today published an editorial supporting urban chickens!


We greatly appreciate the support of the Chronicle as we move one step closer to realizing our goal, and join the ranks of other Texas metropolitan areas that allow chickens.

H4H will be in public session next Tuesday to speak directly about our proposal, which can also be downloaded as a pdf:

1) Eliminate the distance constraint which requires coops and chickens to observe a certain setback from neighboring residences. According to Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC), the vast majority of chicken complaints fall under the general animal ordinances regarding noise, sanitation, and roaming-at-large. Violations of only the distance requirement do not generate complaints.  Bellaire and San Antonio are two other Texas cities which successfully regulate chickens with just the general animal ordinance, without stipulating a setback.

2) Protect the rights of neighbors by punishing violations of the chicken ordinance to the same degree as violations by cats and dogs. It is important to respect the rights of those who wish to own chickens, and those who do not. The ordiance must be structured to dissuade disturbances to neighbors from chickens, just as there are structures to dissuade disturbances from other animals.

3) Recognize chicken waste as a valuable fertilizer. The current ordinance effectively prohibits the composting of chicken waste, a high-value organic fertilizer sold at garden stores across Houston. In comparision, the high levels of pathogens in cat and dog waste make it unfit for fertilizer.

Don’t forget to share the petition with your friends!


Read the article on the chron.com website!

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-Next mtg 2/9, 2-4 pm & public session 1/15

Posted by cjkrebs on January 9, 2013

Hens for Houston was on hiatus for the winter holidays, but we’re back and refreshed for 2013.

Upcoming: We’ll be at the public session of Houston City Council on Tuesday 1/15 to speak briefly (~5 min) and directly to city council about the importance of allowing chickens. This is the first of what will be regular appearances by our group at city council. The meeting will open at 1:30, public speaking begins at 2pm and ends at 5pm. If you’d like to take the afternoon to join us, we’ll be at COUNCIL CHAMBER – SECOND FLOOR – CITY HALL. 901 BAGBY – HOUSTON, TEXAS.

Also: Our next group meeting will be Sunday, February 9, from 2-4pm in the Medical Center/Rice University area. Join our mailing list, and we’ll send specific location details soon. We will be giving updates on the ordinance change, the public session results, and organizing events.

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Upcoming events

Posted by cjkrebs on September 19, 2012

Come volunteer with us; contact hensforhouston@gmail.com for details!

Saturday Sept 29, 10-4pm. Hens for Houston will be volunteering with My Chicken Diaries for the BIG Event, celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouts. Because we too “B”elieve “I”n “G”irls!

We will have a table, petitions, T-shirts and the company of the one and only Chickadoo Sue and her real-life feathered friends… it will be a blast!

If you’re in the scouts, look for our booth with My Chicken Diaries! Hooray for empowered women!

Saturday Oct. 6, 10-3 pm. Buchanan’s Fall Festival. Join us for fall weather, native plants and fun! There will be lots of kid friendly events and live music.

Saturday Oct 27, 2-5 pm.  Neighborhood Fall Festival @ Westpark & Hwy 6. Come meet and talk to Houstonians about urban chickens!


TBA October evening… A screening of the light-hearted documentary, MAD CITY CHICKEN at Rice University’s Green Film Festival. Fun for the whole family!

Thanks to Rice University Environmental Club for helping organize the event!

Stay tuned for more details!


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Distance setbacks don’t reduce complaints

Posted by cjkrebs on August 21, 2012


Yet another reason chickens should be exempt from Houston’s arbitrary 100 ft setback from neighboring houses!

The data from the nearest cities shows that the setback distance has no impact on the number of complaints received by the city.

By shifting our focus from the setback red herring, we can work toward an ordinance that address the real reasons for complaints: noise, sanitation, and loose pets.

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Posted by cjkrebs on August 9, 2012

NOW is the time to contact City Council and the Mayor and express your support for Hens for Houston!

Call or send an email to the council member of your district, all of the at-large council members, and the mayor’s office.

Feel free to write a personalized account of why you think the city ordinance should be changed, why chicken keeping is important to you, and all the many advantages of keeping chickens to individuals, families, and neighborhoods.  Browse the site for lots of ideas.

However, if you don’t have the time, below is a form letter which you can modify as much or as little as you want, add the council member’s name, sign your name and send it on.

We’ve attached contact information for all of these folks or you can find it at http://houstontx.gov/council/.

The council keeps track of the number of emails it receives about a given topic.

The subject line must say Hens for Houston!

Everyone should contact ALL of these members:

Your city representative will be at:

districtk@houstontx.gov, districtj@houstontx.gov, districth@houstontx.gov, districtg@houstontx.gov, districti@houstontx.gov, districta@houstontx.gov, districtb@houstontx.gov, districtc@houstontx.gov, districtd@houstontx.gov, districte@houstontx.gov, districtf@houstontx.gov

So let’s get ourselves noticed and see how fast we can get this ordinance changed!



Subject Line (do not change): Hens for Houston

Dear Council Member,

I am writing to you today to voice my support for Hens for Houston’s proposed changes to the city of Houston’s chicken ordinance.  Currently, chicken coops must be kept at least 100 feet from a neighbor’s residence, effectively outlawing the raising of hens for many city residents.  Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and even Bellaire all have more chicken-friendly ordinances than we do.  Why has Houston been left behind?

Small flocks of backyard hens are quiet and clean when properly cared for (like all pets!).  They provide healthy and delicious eggs that are far superior to factory farmed eggs.  Locally sourced food greatly reduces your carbon footprint; what’s more local than your backyard?  Chickens consume many types of table and garden scraps, thus reducing landfill waste.  They produce high-quality, nitrogen rich fertilizer for the garden.  And they eat bugs!  What’s not to love?

Hens for Houston proposes that any change to the existing ordinance include the following:

1) Eliminate the distance constraint which requires coops and chickens to observe an arbitrary setback from neighboring residences.

2) Protect the rights of neighbors by punishing violations of the chicken ordinance to the same degree as violations by other pets.

3) Recognize chicken waste as a valuable fertilizer.

More information about chickens and the proposed ordinance can be found at: http://hensforhouston.com

This is a very important issue for me, which I hope that as my representative you will support as we move forward to update the ordinance!

Thank you for your time and consideration,



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-Houston Urban Gardeners & Super Neighborhood 22

Posted by cjkrebs on July 15, 2012

Thanks to Super Neighborhood 22 and Houston Urban Gardeners for giving Hens for Houston the floor on Monday June 9.   The constructive feedback helps us further refine a sensible new ordinance for Houston!

Houston Urban Gardeners: 

The purpose of HUG is to fully support Houstonians growing their own food and eating more fresh local produce.

Learn more at: http://www.houstonurbangardeners.org/

Super Neighborhood 22:

Super Neighborhood 22, is a recognized council of civic clubs and community groups within a twelve mile range which includes Washington Avenue and Memorial Park in Houston, Texas USA. The council serves as a forum where residents and stakeholders can discuss issues impacting their super neighborhood, reach a consensus on projects and develop a super neighborhood action plan (SNAP) for community improvements.

Learn more at: http://www.sn22.org/

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