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Adventures in Urban Homesteading

How to Get an FPA License

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Animal Care and Control is currently issuing provisional FPA licenses. These licenses allow FPA owners to legally keep their animals while the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) finalizes the fee and some rules and regulations. Once the fee has been set, then FPA license-holders will be billed. (The fee will likely be around $20-$25.) Also, FPA license-holders will need to comply with any future rules and regulations for FPA care that are adopted by DEH.

Your FPA license will be good for up to 8 females chickens/ducks and up to 2 dwarf dairy goats (plus offspring up to 6 months). You do not need to renew your license for as long as you live at your address, and you do not need to pay any additional fees beyond the initial cost of the license. If you go from 6 chickens to 8 chickens you do not need to renew your license; if you start with 6 chickens and then add 2 dwarf goats you do not need to renew your license. However, you do need to renew your license if you move within Denver.  (If you want more/different animals than 8 female fowl and 2 dwarf goats, you need to go through a different process.)

To receive an FPA license, just go to the Animal Care & Control office to fill out a form:

1241 West Bayaud Ave.
Denver, CO  80223

It may be unsettling to some future FPA owners to get a license before DEH has finalized its rules and regulations, because there’s no way to know for sure what the rules and regulations will be. The rules will likely focus on what constitutes an “adequate” shelter for the animals, since the term is not described within the ordinance itself. There may be other rules and regulations that DEH develops that address issues besides shelters.

It is expected that DEH will finalize their FPA rules and regulations in August 2011. In the meantime, animal owners who wish to go ahead with their FPA license should follow common-sense guidelines to be sure that the shelters they’re providing for their animals are safe and adequate for the animals’ health and well-being. You can find information on constructing animal shelters in the following books:

  • Backyard Chickens for Dummies by Kimberly Willis
  • Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow
  • Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks by Dave Holderread
  • Storey’s Guide to Raising Goats by Jerry Belanger

You can also ask questions about animal shelters on these websites:

Here are some additional guidelines that can be used to help determine whether animal shelters are adequate:

Fowl

The function of both a nighttime enclosure and a daytime shelter can be served by one single structure. However, if one structure is serving both purposes, then it must meet all of the requirements listed below.

Nighttime Enclosure
Nighttime enclosure must be predator-proof. In order to be predator-proof, the enclosure must have 4 solid walls and a solid roof. The door must be able to close securely. The floor of the enclosure may either be: 1) solid wood, concrete, or other impermeable material; 2) securely attached hardware cloth or chicken wire, which forms a barrier to prevent predators from digging into the enclosure; or 3) permeable ground, with chicken wire or hardware cloth buried at least 12 inches around the perimeter of the enclosure, to prevent predators from digging in. Nighttime enclosure should be large enough for the fowl to rest comfortably and walk around each other. Nighttime enclosure must provide protection from precipitation and wind.

Daytime Shelter
Daytime shelter must have at least 3 solid walls and a solid roof. It must be large enough for the fowl to scratch, peck, walk freely, and spread their wings. Daytime shelter must provide protection from precipitation, wind, and sun.

Dwarf Goats

Note: Depending on the location within the City & County of Denver, dwarf goats may be at risk from large mammal predators. In those cases, dwarf goat owners may opt to make their shelter predator-proof (see requirements for predator-proof shelter, above). However, since large mammal predators are not an issue in every part of Denver, this is considered a best practice and not a rule or regulation.

Shelter
Shelter must have at least 3 solid walls and a solid roof. It must be large enough for the dwarf goats to move around freely without coming into contact with another goat. Shelter must provide protection from precipitation, wind, and sun.

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