Humane Society encourages responsible animal ownership

On April 5, 2017, State Representative Tom Brinkman, (R-Cincinnati), and 20 co-sponsors introduced House Bill 175, nicknamed the “Barnyard Bill”. The bill would lift regulations on homeowners to allow small barnyard animals on residential property throughout the State of Ohio.
This bill sidesteps zoning regulations of cities and villages by amending the Ohio Revised Code. Under the provisions of the introduced bill, one chicken (or “similar fowl”) or rabbit (or “similar small animal”) would be allowed for every .05 acres of land. One goat would be allowed for every .3 acres of land.
These “units” of livestock are minimums, (local governments can allow more). Any livestock that creates a nuisance, including roosters, would be prohibited. The structure housing the animals would have to be “solidly constructed”, of adequate size, and would have to be comfortable and sanitary for the animals. Structures housing the animals would be required to be at least 10 feet from neighboring property lines.
The Humane Society of Adams County (HSAC) is made up of a diverse group of animal-loving supporters, many of which live within village limits and would enjoy adding small livestock to their families. HSAC recognizes the potential positive outcomes of the passage of the Barnyard Bill, such as being able to raise chickens for their eggs or goats for their milk.
Giving village youth an outlet for their interests in the form of raising small livestock for 4-H could be one more tool in the fight against drugs in our community; and taking back control over our own food is very empowering.
At the other end of the equation are the potential negative consequences of people owning animals about whose care they have little knowledge. For example, goats and chickens require vaccinations and routine deworming just like dogs and cats, but the type of medicine used on livestock must be safe for both the animal and the people who consume the meat, eggs, or milk later on.
Chicken manure is high in nutrients, which is great for home gardens, but adding straight chicken manure to crops is caustic to plants. The waste must be mixed with soil and composted first. Chickens require special minerals and grit to aid in digestion and healthy egg production. Goats are susceptible to several contagious diseases such as Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis, Caseous Lymphadenitis, and even Pink Eye. Feeding a goat an unbalanced diet can result in deadly urinary blockages due to mineral stones.
There are plenty of other “quirks” to caring for the various types of small livestock that would be allowable if House Bill 175 is signed into law.
HSAC encourages anyone interested in adding any animal to their lives to do thorough research and to talk with expertsbeforeacquiring the animals. The Adams County Public Libraries have bountiful collections of livestock husbandry books and coop design ideas.
When well-meaning individuals use a trial-and-error approach to caring for animals, it is always the animals that suffer. Getting the facts first will prevent many problems later on.
For more information about House Bill 175, please visit To voice your support or opposition about HB 175, please contact our Adams County Representative Terry Johnson at (614) 466-6989. For more information about the Humane Society of Adams County, please visit or call (937) 544-8585.