Can I raise chickens in my area?

Discussion in 'Sponsored Content, Contests, and Giveaways' started by Monica S, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Monica S

    Monica S BYC Content and Advertising Specialist

    Nov 30, 2012
    Fresh eggs each day may be a practical option, depending on your city ordinances.


    Backyard chickens are becoming one of today’s hottest pets. Big names including Julia Roberts, Lady Gaga, Oprah – and most recently a contestant on The Bachelor – have helped terms like #chickenenthusiast trend, bringing fame to the ‘pets with benefits’ category.

    [​IMG]But backyard birds are not just for celebrities. Today’s estimates show that more than 1 million U.S. families enjoy the fresh, wholesome eggs and undeniable companionship of backyard chickens.

    These benefits are just for families who live in the country, right? Surprisingly not. Gordon Ballam, Ph.D., a flock nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition, says that backyard chickens can make excellent additions to a family – no matter where you live.

    “We’re seeing an explosion of backyard chickens in both urban and rural areas,” he says. “We have flock customers on all ends of the spectrum, including families with free-range birds in South Dakota and those with small flocks of chickens in Austin, Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago. With the right management and care, backyard chickens can do well almost anywhere.”

    When considering raising backyard chickens, first determine if they are allowed in your area. Many townships, villages and cities have embraced the benefits of backyard flocks; however, chicken keeping is not yet permitted everywhere.

    To determine if a backyard flock is accepted in your area, follow these steps:

    1. Connect with your local government.

    “To be certain chickens are permitted or if possible restrictions appear in your area, contact your local government officials,” Ballam recommends.

    Begin the discussion by calling a member of your local planning board, county clerk or animal control representative. Contact information for the correct person can typically be located on your city’s website.

    2. Ask the right questions.

    Some cities have rules about the size of your flock, coop building or amount of acreage needed per animal.

    Ballam recommends asking:
    • How many birds are allowed?
    • Are both hens and roosters acceptable?
    • Are there rules on where the coop can be built?
    • What do I need from my neighbors before starting?
    • Do I need a permit to raise chickens and/or build a coop?
    • Who can I contact if I have to unexpectedly part ways with my chickens?

    3. Secure a copy of the local ordinances.

    To be certain your new members of your family can stay in your family, Ballam encourages securing a copy of the local ordinances and keeping it on file.

    4. If chickens are not allowed, empower change.

    If chickens are not zoned for by your local government, change is possible by amending local laws. Depending on your area, you may need to fill out various paperwork and attend a local government meeting.

    “In this case, the best bet is to be prepared,” says Ballam. “Join forces with other flock enthusiasts in your area to outline the benefits of raising birds and a plan for raising chickens. Oftentimes, showing community support and the benefits are key drivers in adding chickens to a community.”

    Many urban communities have a local meet-up or chat groups dedicated to raising backyard chickens. You can find one in your area with a simple online search.

    5. Visit with your neighbors.

    Once you have the go-ahead to get started, visit your neighbors and share your plans with them.

    “It’s always best to share plans in advance and to work together on the project,” Ballam advises. “Describe the benefits, quiet nature and community opportunities of raising chickens. Your neighbors will likely be excited about visiting their new community members.”

    6. Design your flock.

    Your family should now be ready for one of the most exciting parts of the process: designing the flock.

    “There are hundreds of breeds to choose from,” Ballam says. “Determine if you wish to have chickens for eggs, meat or show. Explore the breeds’ personalities, amount of space they need and if they are right for your climate. Then, pick up supplies and start small with a flock of 4 to 6 chicks. Your local Purina retailer is a good resource to help you get started.”


    Learn about upcoming Purina Chick Days events and sign-up for tips and coupons by visiting or connect with Purina Poultry on Facebook or Pinterest.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    Nicely done. Will be a resource to answer questions often posted by new members.
  3. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    x2 on sunflour's comments. Good information to pass along!
  4. Peep_Show

    Peep_Show Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 14, 2010
    Corrales, NM
    Keep in mind that even if you're in a chicken-friendly locale, if you live in a community governed by CC&R's there may be further restrictions/prohibitions on poultry keeping. Consult your HOA's Board to make sure you're not in violation.
  5. Fabian562

    Fabian562 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2016
    I'm knew [​IMG]
  6. 5 Bird Bob

    5 Bird Bob Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 26, 2015
    Where are you located. Private property? Those chix gonna get BIGer!
  7. Fabian562

    Fabian562 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2016
    Norwalk ca, my backyard is big and they are growing.
  8. Fabian562

    Fabian562 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2016
  9. Carlena

    Carlena Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 23, 2016

    Oh My Goodness, they are Cute!!!!
    And I believe we got the same chicken coop, was yours a kit?

  10. Fabian562

    Fabian562 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2016
    Yes it was.

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