Earlier this month, a Gilroy Patch reader posed this question on the Boards:
I was just reading that we can now have chickens in our backyards, but what about small goats?
Here's what I found out.
Livestock is, generally, banned in the city limits. Here's the city ordinance:
4.20 Swine, bees, chickens, roosters, peafowl, ostriches and other “Ratitae,” and livestock prohibited except in agricultural zones.
(a) It is unlawful for any person to keep, maintain or permit to be maintained bees, swine, llamas, roosters, chickens, pigeons, turkeys, pea fowl, water fowl, ostriches and other “Ratitae,” or livestock on any premises within the city that have not been zoned for agricultural use, except as otherwise provided in section 4.23. The term “swine” as used herein does not include pot-bellied pigs harbored in strict accordance with restrictions related to noise or sanitation as provided in this chapter.There are a few exceptions, namely if you're land is zoned for agriculture use you can, obviously, have livestock.
City ordinances also make exception for "small animals." Here's what's on the books:
...“small animal” is defined as chickens, pigeons, turkeys, pea fowl, water fowl, and other “Ratitae” with a mature height less than twenty-four (24) inches, and rabbits. Small animals, as defined in this section, do not include dogs and cats, which are regulated in Article IV of this chapter.
You can have up to six "small animals," which is why chickens are now allowed in city limits. I suppose if you can find goats that never get taller than 2 feet, you might be able to keep them as yard pets. But even pygmy goats push that 24-inch rule.
More questions? For specific or detailed information regarding animal control for the City of Gilroy, call (408) 846-0338.