November 17, 2010

I'm Getting Chickens!

I recently decided (definitively) that I am going to get chickens this spring. I’ve wanted chickens for over a year, but I have been hesitating for a number of reasons. 

Firstly, I wasn’t sure if I wanted any more hobbies to distract me from gardening. 

Secondly, it was unclear for quite some time if it was legal in my municipality to own chickens within the city limits. As it stands now, people can legally raise chickens in the city, but this could change in the future. Our local municipal code does not specifically outlaw the keeping of chickens. However, I was informed by a city clerk that anything not specifically mentioned in the municode is illegal (doesn’t make much sense to me). After much confusion, I eventually found out that our city defers to a new county ordinance on backyard poultry. City residents may only keep 5 chickens, none of which can be roosters. The birds have to be confined (not loose and terrorizing the neighborhood) and the housing of the chickens has to be 10 feet from any property line and 40 feet from any dwelling. It also mentions some common sense stuff about food storage and vermin prevention. It also says you can't slaughter your chickens (although I'm not sure how the city would keep tabs on that). I guess meat birds are out of the question.

Since I’ve consistently wanted chickens for a whole year now, I decided that I’m finally going to do it. I will be getting 5 laying hens of different breeds (that will lay brown and blue eggs). If all goes as planned I hope to pick up my chicks at a local hatchery sometime in February.
My partially finished outdoor chicken run.

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