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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got this in the RPN. Personally, I do not consider pigeons livestock or poultry unless they are being raised for consumption. Even then I wouldn't see them as livestock/poultry, but by definition, in that case they would be.



Boulder County questions whether pigeons are pets or poultry

By Laura Snider

Gunbarrel family's racing pigeons hang in the balance

Jim Williams and his 6-year-old daughter have a hobby they love to share together: racing pigeons.

Williams works to train the birds, which can fly hundreds of miles on a race day to return to their loft in the family's backyard on Carter Trail in Gunbarrel. Brianna works more on naming the thumb-sized baby birds and on picking out which birds should be bred together, an annual Valentine's Day ritual in the Williams house.

"It keeps me and my daughter busy," Williams said Tuesday. "She and I have been doing this for years at this property."

On Sept. 1, the Boulder County Board of Adjustment will wrestle with whether the dozens of racing pigeons Williams owns should be categorized as livestock or pets. The answer will determine whether the father-daughter pair can keep their birds or if the prized pigeons have to be ousted to meet zoning regulations.

The question of how to categorize pigeons landed in the Boulder County Land Use Department's lap in March, when some of Williams' neighbors complained that the "stench and mess associated with holding a large number of pigeons captive is untenable for nearby homeowners."

In a letter to the county, the neighbors argued that pigeons aren't pets, which are the only type of animals allowed in the area's zoning designation of suburban residential. Instead, neighbors argued the pigeons should be categorized as livestock, which is not allowed in suburban residential zones.

In May, the Land Use Department told neighbors that the pigeons do qualify as pets, according to the department's interpretation of county codes. And while some types of "pets," as defined by code, are limited in numbers depending on the zoning district, there are no limits on the numbers of "small birds" that a homeowner may keep.

Neighbors have since appealed the department's interpretation, and the Board of Adjustment will make a final decision on the categorization of pigeons on Sept. 1. In the appeal, neighbor Bruce Hanna argues that the pigeons are a health risk, since the birds are known to carry a number of diseases, and that Colorado state law is on his side.

"The county, I think, really didn't do their homework," Hanna said. "They didn't read the state law, and the state laws are very specific that pigeons are poultry and poultry are not allowed in suburban residential zones."

Hanna's appeal refers to rules created by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to outline how the state's Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act should be enforced. Those rules state that "for the purpose of PACFA, pigeons shall be considered livestock, specifically, poultry."

But Dale Case, director of the county's Land Use Department, said the rules for the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act do not determine the county's definitions of what a pet is or is not.

"It doesn't have any direct legal bearing on us," he said. "When we interpret our code, we look at our land use code first and use the definitions that are within it. Where there are gray areas, we look outside our code for common definitions."

Case said Boulder County Public Health has also been out to see the pigeon loft and found no problems.

In September, the Land Use Department will argue to the Board of Adjustment that the interpretation of pigeons as pets should stand, Case said. The board's decision will be final, but board members could recommend that the county consider changing or refining the rules around pigeons in the future, perhaps adding a cap to the number of birds allowed.

Williams, who has lived on Carter Trail for a decade, said some of the neighbors' concerns may be based on misinformation and a tendency to equate pedigreed racing pigeons with the feral pigeons often found in city squares.

"I'm not a big fan of wild pigeons either," Williams said. "These birds are all vaccinated and medicated. These are very well cared-for animals."

In response to the upcoming Board of Adjustment meeting, Williams has sent information on racing pigeons to his neighbors and invited anyone who wants to learn more to visit his pigeon loft, which on Tuesday afternoon appeared neat and tidy and had no strong odor.

And while more than 30 neighbors signed a petition against allowing the pigeons to stay, Williams said there are plenty of others who have expressed their support for his hobby.

Nadia Repenning, who lives two doors down, is one of them.

"We are not bothered by them. I hardly ever see them," she said. "I know that the owner is really an expert in birds, so I know he's taking good care of them."
 

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Let us know how it turns out.
 

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Consider them Racing Pigeons/ Pets. People just dont understand and assume. The treatment these birds get. Some lofts are cleaner then some resturants. Just another way to waste tax payers money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree. I find it really sad that they would want to take the pigeons away from a 6 year old who obviously loves what she and her dad do. And I seriously doubt they are hurting anything, so I can't see why 30 people would sign it! :(
 

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Don't know about name but if ' stench & mess ' mentioned at start is true no matter what there called neighbors shouldt have to put up with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I bet they exaggerated with that. Healthy pigeons don't smell, and racing pigeons shouldn't be leaving any mess that the neighbors would have to worry about. People tend to get quite upset when they park their cars under trees/other perching spots and find droppings all over their cars. And having a person with a bunch of pigeons on the block would be a perfect place to complain, even though the mess was from wild birds. My dad went through that problem with his birds when he was younger. Turns out a crow was the culprit. :rolleyes:
 

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Don't know about name but if ' stench & mess ' mentioned at start is true no matter what there called neighbors shouldt have to put up with this.
This is from the orignal post

"In response to the upcoming Board of Adjustment meeting, Williams has sent information on racing pigeons to his neighbors and invited anyone who wants to learn more to visit his pigeon loft, which on Tuesday afternoon appeared neat and tidy and had no strong odor"

I had the same thing happen to me where neighbors who don't like the pigeons complain to the town about them. They make up lies to make the pigeons seam like they are causing problem. Last year I had a new neighbor call the town the county and the ASPCA and I had all them over here checking my lofts every few days. When it should have been all good after the first time they came and everything was clean. The first guy that came form the ASPCA made a big deal because there was freash poop on the floor. Which was redic because I cleaned the coops less then an hour b4 he showed up. He came back a bunch of times always knit picking then he finally brought his supervisor who actually had pigeons and he told the other guy to leave us alone. That our birds were the healthiest birds he's ever seen and our coops were some of the cleanest he's seen. He told the other guy that the coops are never gonna be spotless. I'm glad that supervisor came because that guy that came the first time and kept coming back was out of his mind. The town and the county pretty much left us alone after that supervisor told them our coops and birds were good.
 

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I bet they exaggerated with that. Healthy pigeons don't smell, and racing pigeons shouldn't be leaving any mess that the neighbors would have to worry about. People tend to get quite upset when they park their cars under trees/other perching spots and find droppings all over their cars. And having a person with a bunch of pigeons on the block would be a perfect place to complain, even though the mess was from wild birds. My dad went through that problem with his birds when he was younger. Turns out a crow was the culprit. :rolleyes:

I love when a neighbor complains that my birds pooped on thier car. I told them when you actually see them let me know. Then one day she came over and was like they are sitting on the wire over my car pooping right now. So I went out to look and they were a bunch of starlings. Another time with another neighbor. They said my pigeons made a nest on thier air conditioner so I went to check it out. It was a pair or wild doves.
 

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Even better is my back neighbor. They feed seagulls bread every day and most of the time they have 10 to 20 huge seagulls sitting up on their roof waiting to eat. Then they put out their clothes on their clothesline and the seagulls crap all over them and they try to blame the pigeons. The same ppl complained to me that my birds landed on their roof and was ruining thier shingles. A few of my young birds did land up there the first few times I let them out because they didn't know how to land on the coop yet. But it's carzy to complain about 2 pigeons when you have 20 seagulls up there everyday.
 

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Keep in mind I am lucky. I have posted on how lucky I am previously. But let me suggest that the attitude of "anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot" is MORE damaging to our reputations than 30 people signing a petition. Coolpigeon makes a great point, but we need to provide education in a non-confrontational manner. Pigeon0446 shows they type of calm response that we all need to adapt. We should assume that everyone who complains is just a future fancier waiting to discover the pleasure of our birds.

If we take an approach of "here are the facts, please come look for yourself" we all win.
 

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Having pigeons is like owning a cat. As far as im concerned my cat's poop is more smelly. And my pigeons come home when I call em. Apparently cat feces is very harmful for pregnant women as well.
 

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With most Normal people---when they point a finger at someone--they have 3 on the SAME hand pointing BACK at them.
Just the way I see things.
 

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Common sense would tell you Pigeons are not Livestock Poultry..The vaccinations these birds are given make them not suitable for human consumption. These birds would get you sick if you try and eat them..so in my mind that rules them out as a (food source) or as livestock.
 

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I had a problem in the County I live in. I had a note posted on my door about I was not zoned for Foul/Poultry. Luckily their are no ordinances for Pigeons as Pigeons are members of the Rock Dove Family. It took all of 2 minutes at a County Commision meeting to explain this(a letter from our University vet school) that Pigeons were not Poultry. I hate to see articles like this but for everyone that keeps a clean and neat appearing loft there are folks out there that ruin it for some of the others. Trying to work out the problems with a neighbor will go a long way in keeping your birds. Joe
 

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I had a problem in the County I live in. I had a note posted on my door about I was not zoned for Foul/Poultry. Luckily their are no ordinances for Pigeons as Pigeons are members of the Rock Dove Family. It took all of 2 minutes at a County Commision meeting to explain this(a letter from our University vet school) that Pigeons were not Poultry. I hate to see articles like this but for everyone that keeps a clean and neat appearing loft there are folks out there that ruin it for some of the others. Trying to work out the problems with a neighbor will go a long way in keeping your birds. Joe
Do you think you could link that article?
 
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