Houston Livestock Rules

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Pigs, swine and pot-bellied pigs are not welcome in Houston.
Pigs, swine and pot-bellied pigs are not welcome in Houston. (Image: pig image by david hughes from Fotolia.com)

Houston, Texas, is the fourth largest city in the United States. Like countless other cities, Houston has established specific rules for owning pets, livestock and wildlife. Animal-related matters for the city's 596.11-square-mile area fall under the auspices of the City of Houston Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC).

Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care 3200 Carr Houston, TX 77026 713-229-7300 houstontx.gov/barc/FAQ-english.html

Hogs, Pigs, Swine and Goats

According to BARC rules and regulations, hogs, pigs, pot-bellied pigs and swine are not allowed within city limits. There are no exceptions. Goats used for any other reason than to provide milk are also forbidden. Goats used strictly to provide milk must be covered by an official milk-goat permit, which can be obtained from BARC.

Goats raised for milk production are the only goats allowed in Houston.
Goats raised for milk production are the only goats allowed in Houston. (Image: goat. pygmy goat image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com)

Fowl, Rabbits and Guinea Pigs

Fowl, including chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, peafowl, rabbits and guinea pigs, cannot be housed or kept within 100 feet of a residence, school, restaurant, church or any places that might be used for human habitation. To raise or keep these animals on properties that do meet the distance requirements, owners must abide by some strict rules: No more than 30 fowl, or any combination of 40 fowl, rabbits or guinea pigs, can be kept; and the minimum lot size for these animals must be 65 feet by 125 feet. Each animal must be allotted at least 203 square feet.

If you are raising any of these animals for commercial purposes, they must be properly contained and cannot run free. Pens, hutches or other enclosures must be contained within a building. These structures must be disinfected and cleaned on a daily basis and limed every other day. You must provide containers to collect droppings; these containers must be safe from rain and flies. You'll need to empty the dropping containers once weekly.

Animals must be housed in accordance with BARC regulations.
Animals must be housed in accordance with BARC regulations. (Image: chickens image by Jeroen de Haan from Fotolia.com)

Hooved Stock

In keeping with BARC rules and regulations for small livestock, horses, donkeys, cattle and mules must be kept at least 100 feet from any property where humans do or can reside. Once those requirements have been met, 5,000 square feet of space must be allotted for each individual animal that is housed in an uncovered enclosure. An additional 2,500 square feet must be added to the space for each additional animal you'll need to house. You'll also need to provide rain- and fly-proof receptacles to hold manure. You must empty these receptacles at least once a week.

Cattle includes cows, steer, calves and bulls.
Cattle includes cows, steer, calves and bulls. (Image: cow. cow in farm/field image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com)

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