The Backyard Chicken Movement

11 Dec

a tame hen being held being held in the U.K.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s no profound insight in this article.  There’s not even the pretense of a profound insight.  It’s just a little article to illustrate a possibly practical application of some of the theories I explore on this blog.



I just read an article entitled “The Backyard Chicken Movement” which describes:  1) the growing American movement to raise our own chickens for eggs and fryers in own own backyards; and 2) the growing resistance to “residential chickens” from local governments.

When I saw the article’s title, I thought it was probably about restricting the average American’s ability to raise his own food.  I expected to read how the government wants us dependent on government for our food, so they won’t let us grow (or store) our own.  So I was hoping to find some evidence to support the “man or other animals” theme that is prominent in my thinking.

I was mistaken.  The article explains that local governments’ attempts to restrict raising backyard chickens had virtually nothing to do with food, but was, instead, based on zoning regulations.

The article describes one confrontation between a would-be chicken-wrangler and his city:

“The city council was quick to state that it was a land use matter and, as such, falls within their purview. It’s all about zoning, you see, and it’s not about how you live, but where you live. It’s all about proper consideration and planning. It’s about rules and regulations, and lawful ordinance. It’s about monitoring and control, enforcement, and penalty. I don’t think the entire sordid show is about chickens at all.

“Typically, an ordinance relating to keeping poultry will determine how many hens you can have, and where and how you must keep them. The birds must be contained and quiet, the coops must be secure. The installation of electric fencing can be required. One must mitigate for noxious odor, and control predators. The birds cannot be allowed to roam free and spread disease, or attract a wandering skunk. Above all, the noisy and offensive rooster is not allowed. They might disturb the neighbors, and it is simply too much for the controlling mind of the clerk. On and on it goes.”

In fact, the zoning regulations make a lot of sense.  It may be nostalgic to hear the rooster crow at daybreak when you’re down on the farm, but not so many people in suburban and urban communities want to be awakened each day at dawn.  More, keeping chickens in your backyard will attract predators.  The concerns about noxious odors are real. It’s not unreasonable that my right to raise chickens should be balanced against my neighbors’ rights to sleep past dawn.

But if I were adamant about enforcing my right to raise chickens in my backyard, and if the primary obstacle to doing so were the local community’s zoning regulations, I would make it my business to determine the venue in which those zoning regulations applied.

Those who read this blog from time to time probably know that I subscribe to the hypothesis that the governments of the States of the Union (“The State”) have been largely abandoned and supplanted by the administrative agencies of a U.S. territory (“this state”).  If the hypothesis were true, and if you could establish that you, your activities and your home are within the venue of “The State,” you should have access to an almost infinitely greater collection of rights than you do if you (unwittingly) consent to the presumption that you are acting, living, residing “in this state” (a territory like TX, OK, NY, etc.).

This hypothesis is unproven, but it has “walked like a duck” (not a chicken) for over ten years.

So, if government sent me a notice that they were trying to shut down my chicken ranch based on zoning regulations, my first response would be a letter that exercised my “right of inquiry” to discover if their zoning regulations applied within the borders of “The State of Oregon” (“The State” of the Union) or “in this state” (a U.S. territory of OR, STATE OF OREGON, Oregon, etc.).  If the government could be made to admit that their regulations applied “in this state” and if I could prove that my chickens were all situated within “The State,” I think the government might leave me alone.

Once the government is questioned about whether the “zone’s” venue is within The State or “in this state” (territory), I don’t give a damn if they answer or how they answer.

I.e., if they refuse to answer, my research indicates that they thereby deny me sufficient notice and thus deny me “procedural due process”.  If they deny me procedural due process by failing to answer my questions, they lose standing to charge me and the court loses jurisdiction (I think).

On the other other hand, if the government answers my inquiry concerning venue, I can imagine only two possible answers:  1) they admit the “zone” is located within the borders of “The State” (“The State of Oregon,” for example); or 2) they admit that their “zone” is located “in this state”–a fictional territory to which I am subject only if I consent.

So, if the government admits that their “zone” is within the borders of “The State of Oregon,” I’m good to go because I have access to my unalienable Rights and all the other rights specified in the Bill of Rights of The Constitution of The State of Oregon”.  More, if the people working for government within “The State” aren’t being paid with gold and silver coin (as per Article 1 Section 10 Clause 1 of The Constitution of the United States), either they are unconstitutional, or their employer is unconstitutional–and therefore, who the’ hell they are they?  What is the lawful basis of their purported authority over me?

On the other hand, if the government admits that its “zone” is located “in this state” (an administrative territory), I’m delighted because I will inform them that all of my chickens come home to roost within The State of the Union and therefore are not subject to the zoning regulations of “this state”.

I could be wrong, but so far as I can see, the question about venue is a “heads I win, tails gov-co loses” proposition.  In fact, it almost certainly can’t be as simple as I make it sound.  Nevertheless, to me, it still sounds pretty simple.  Once I raise the question about venue, the government is almost certain to be unable to answer.

Therefore, in essence, if I were facing a zoning question, my first response would be, “OK–where, exactly, is your ‘zone’?  What is the venue of your “zone”?


Posted by on December 11, 2012 in "The State" vs. "this state", Notice, Venue


Tags: , ,

18 responses to “The Backyard Chicken Movement

  1. Jim

    December 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    You will find your land has been labeled a particular parcel with regard to this definition, (C)(1) This state includes the land and water within its boundaries and the air space above that land and water, with respect to which this state has either exclusive or concurrent legislative jurisdiction.

  2. Anon4fun

    December 11, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I agree that pushing questions of venue, and thus forcing awkward “the State” vs. “this state” questions into play, is the way to go.

    >>More, if the people working for government within “The State” aren’t being paid with gold and silver coin (as per Article 1 Section 10 Clause 1 of The Constitution of the United States), either they are unconstitutional, or their employer is unconstitutional …<<

    There is another possibility, at least in theory: people working for the State aren't being paid at all. FRNs do not "pay" a debt, but rather "discharge" it. I read that somewhere.

    • Adask

      December 11, 2012 at 3:19 PM

      That’s a pretty astute hypothesis. Do you suppose that part of the Federal Reserve Note riddle includes the government’s presumption that FRNs aren’t payments? But, if they’re not at least presumed to be payments, what are they?

      • palani

        December 11, 2012 at 4:40 PM

        I wouldn’t venture into believing more than what congress told us they are … 12 USC 411 … for the purpose of making advances to Federal reserve banks through the Federal reserve agents as hereinafter set forth and for no other purpose.

      • Anon4fun

        December 11, 2012 at 7:45 PM

        “No State shall… make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts…”

        Debt. A sum of money due by certain and express agreement. A specified sum of money owing to one person from another, including not only obligation of debtor to pay but right of creditor to receive and enforce payment. (Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th ed.)

        If FRNs are not money, an obligation to pay them is not a debt. Part of the solution to the riddle could be that government considers FRNs a method of payment, but not a method of payment of debt. So the Constitutional would not be violated when a State uses them, because no debt is paid.

        My speculation is that a trade settled in FRNs is a type of barter, like paying for something with coconuts or seashells as opposed to money.

      • Flatwood

        December 16, 2012 at 2:39 AM

        Re:December 11, 2012 at 3:19 PM

        A good “mental compentency hearing” question?

    • Flatwood

      December 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      @ > FRNs do not “pay” a debt, but rather “discharge” it.

      If you “loan” me 10 frns & I “GIVE” back 10 frns 2 U, what is the difference in whether I “paid” you back or discharged the “obligation?” IF you “loan” me 10 frns, do I “owe” you anything back? I think so. What do you think?

      • Anon4fun

        December 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        You did pay back what you owed, but what you owed was not a debt. Debts are only denominated in money. FRNs are not money (apparently).

        If you did have a debt, and then used FRNs to make it go away, you did not “pay” the debt. You only “discharged” it, because, by definition, the debt could not have been denominated in the FRNs you used to make it go away.

    • Flatwood

      December 18, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Thank you Anon. Still, I can “exchange/trade,etc.” frns for anything I need, i.e.,e.g., food, clothing & shelter. This is all most people care about anyway.

  3. Jim on Oregon

    December 12, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    What the government does not own (and it does not “own” much–if anything!), it cannot control. It is called territorial jurisdiction. This matter of apparent “zoning” regulation falls in the same legal theory as property taxation…what it does not own, it cannot tax.

    Alfred, your recent radio-show guest was Paul J. Hansen (, and Paul is a student of Dr. Eduardo Rivera. Paul has successfully put Rivera’s teachings to the test.

    Your readers should be interested in checking out this site for practical application of the remedy. If gov-co cannot EVIDENCE the required territorial jurisdiction upon inquiry, they go away.

  4. mike

    December 12, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Isn’t “this state” in disquise as “the state”?

  5. 1st trustee

    December 14, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Talking about “the state” vs “the State” is valid point with lots of case law to back it up (read: co-operative federalism). However, without looking at all the invisible contracts (read: invisible contracts) that ties one into “zoning” the arguments becomes mute very quickly. With such maxims as “ignorance of the law is no excuse…” and maxims that cover the acceptance of benefits e.g. running water, power, sewage, etc., one is subject to zoning. Also, within the constitution is does state that you can’t trespass on others rights/liberties, which include fowl smells (pun intended) and not being awoken to nostalgic (for some) sounds of roosters at the crack ass of dawn.

    So the trick is how to accomplish food sovereignty (the subject at hand) with living within close proximity to others. Finding out how to properly accomplishing a land patent may help accomplish overcome the zoning, however, you still have the issue of how one’s backyard micro farm trespasses on others rights. Thus, we have the complication and very delicate balance of freedoms and liberties in a modern city where animals are no longer common place.

    • Adask

      December 14, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      I’m thinking that food sovereignty may require that we devise little muzzles for the roosters so they can’t crow in the morning. Or maybe Monsanto could devise a genetically altered chicken that doesn’t have vocal cords, but learns to communicate by braille.

      • 1st trustee

        December 16, 2012 at 9:31 AM

        LOL! Braille is what’s needed. That could solve the problem. Having chickens in one’s backyard is definitely doable but it requires one to think outside the box and to build relationships. I would say it’s quite easy. It takes learning how to have better relationships and having the community (or immediate neighbors) as a whole benefit. There are no rules really when it comes to people or at minimum, they are flexible to those who know how to flex them. It’s really as simple as being a neighbor is the traditional way.

        To a stranger, chickens are an annoyance, however, to a friend or close associate, chickens are a crazy idea that is being tried. The former will be generally passive aggressively opposed via the zoning committee randomly showing up; issuing citations and demanding the coup shut down. The ladder results in free organic eggs for all your neighbors, some hush hush yolk.

        Build a real community (or a small click neighbors) and have them stand behind you i.e. not rat on you.

  6. Flatwood

    December 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    To, Palani
    Re: 12 USC 411. It also says: “They shall be redeemed in lawful money ……..”
    What does lawful money as described in 12 USC 411 mean in layman terms?

  7. Flatwood

    December 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    This is no joke. Is anyone aware of the “Hu-man-z movement?” It’s real !! Part ape & part human.

  8. Flatwood

    December 27, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Gov-co has gone to drug sniffing dogs because the chickens have come home to roost, & have become chicken movement movers, by & far outnumbering the freedom lovers, WHY? once again the chickens have come home to roost. WHY, Because, we are no longer a “Christian Nation.”

  9. Debra Bryant

    April 13, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    I love reading the information on the site! I’m not as educated as all that post in this blog but, I can tell you that after a work ijury left me with little income, I refinanced my mortgage with HUD. The first year my payment was reduced to $225.00 a month, and lower each year for the next two. When December payment came due of the third year, I received a notice that the entire balance was due, according to my contract.
    In disbelief, I began making phone calls. I was eithered put on hold, dropped from the call or was transfered to a recording that indicated the office was closed for the holidays.
    I recieved the next notice rather quickly that informed of intent to foreclose unless payment in full was remitted immediately.
    I had no options at that point, so off I went to the library. I can’t even remember the name of the book or the author, but it was a book written on how to prevent foreclosure.
    The entire book was detailing the constitution and what was established by the Federal Reserve of New York, as legal tender in the United States and the intrinsic value of money..

    In a nutshell, I legally could repay the debt with like kind of money. Providing, I did not receive any actual cash, which I did not. Since the entity that loaned me the money, was a federally owned institution and did not have the money to loan me, but instead created the money, then I could remit payment in full using a Fractional Reserve Check that I personally created.
    I did exactly as the book instructed, as i had nothing more to lose than I was already losing.
    I sent in the payment in full and received a notice back that there were no funds in that account as it was not held in any financial institution. To which I replied that there was not any funds in the institution that originally loaned me the money and according to the Constitution of the United States I could repay in like kind of money.
    I heard nothing else but quietly they recorded the reconveyance to my property in Tulare County California. Document ID: 1994-0054898.

    Sounds crazy but you can verify a deed recorded in my name at the above city in 1990 and a reconveyance recorded in 1994. I hardly had the 300,000 to repay the loan within 4 years.


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