Charlotte, NC calling


9 Years
Jun 4, 2010
Charlotte, NC
Stopping in to say hello from NC. I just got the OK from hubby to keep a few chickens, so I'm here reading and reading and learning. Also trying to navigate the city code permit process. It may not be likely to find another Charlottean here, but if one does stumble across this thread, please PM me with any tips on dealing with the permit/inspection process. <--- One of the down sides of living in the city limits, but I am glad to know it is possible, just want to jump thru all the right hoops, although, I have heard of some people "flying under the radar." Hmmmm....

Anyway, I've been interested in keeping laying hens for a while, but didn't think hubby would go for it. To my surprise, when I mentioned it he was totally on board. If I had known, I would have brought up the topic much sooner.

I grew up in the sticks of central Louisiana and we had chickens when I was a kid (and ducks, and pigs). Collecting those eggs is a fond childhood memory of mine. I also remember watching in awe as little chicks pecked their way out of their shells in the incubator my father had set up in our dining room. I now have a 3 year old son of my own and would love for him to be able to experience a bit of that. I feel like we have the best of both worlds here where we live, in the city of Charlotte where I can walk to Starbucks and my favorite sushi bar, but fortunate to be sitting on 2 acres of land where I still have deer come up to my back deck. While it's not exactly country living, it's a far cry from the little 0.20 acre lot we moved from. So I want to take advantage of the space we have.

What I would love to do is set up a small incubator and hatch some chicks to raise. I only want to keep about 4-6 laying hens, but would love for my son to see the whole egg turning into chicks thing.... ok, I want to see it too, relive my childhood a little. So our task right now is to learn. And to build. I'll be trying to figure out how to incubate/hatch, raise chicks in a brooder, then move them to a coop. It will be a lot of work and I'm so thankful to have such a wonderful husband who is willing to build what we need so our family can do this.

Is it ridiculous for me to invest in an incubator and brooder, when all I ultimately want is a few laying hens?

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! So glad someone turned me on to this site. I have already learned a ton from you folks just by reading thru some of the threads here.
from Ohio.
from Washington....So far in all of my research, city and county codes are different everywhere. Try and find out your counties planning committee and code department, because as far as I am aware if you are in an unincorporated part of your city it could have different rules than the actual city your address is in. Just call your city and ask who controls your area for county planning. I hope I helped, I am only giving info on what I know for my own state.
Oh, you and your little one will have such fun! We've had such fun with our hens. They grew up to be great pets and layers too! We live in the county but I still looked up the code to be sure I was O.K. I found it under "land use" zoning. Was a little surprised to find out I could have up to 20 hens (no rooster) without getting a ag permit. Luckily we were smart enough to have foreseen problems that a rooster may cause and didn't get one. With two acres you should be fine with a little flock! Best of luck!
Thanks for the warm welcome! I can't wait to get started, but we have a lot of work to do first. I checked the city ordinances that apply to where we live and they are pretty clear. I can have 20 per acre (more than I will want). Coop must allow 4 sqft per bird and be 22 feet from any buildings and 25 feet from any property line. It's all pretty reasonable I think. But I have to apply for a permit and have an inspection of the coop once it is built. I also must submit the names/addresses/phone of 5 close neighbors (including anyone whose property adjoins mine) that the city will contact to make sure my neighbors won't have a problem with it....before approval. It sucks that I have to have the coop built and inspected before they will issue the permit. So it's a gamble in that I have to spend all the money getting everything ready *before* I find out if I can legally do it or not. There is always a chance that they could deny it for some reason... what if a neighbor that I think is OK with it changes their mind, etc. That's why I was hoping to find someone local on here. I understand the code, but figured someone that's been there/done that might have some tips to make the whole process go successfully. I do not consider myself a country girl by any means. I love the conveniences and activities of living in the city, but times like this make me envy the people that live out in the sticks who don't have to worry about all this. Thanks again for the warm welcome!
Go over and meet your neighbors first before you apply for any permit you may need. Tell them what you plan to do. Ask them what concerns they may have. I bet you'll find most of them won't even care if you have chickens or not. And you might get one or two that might say something about they don't want to hear a rooster crowing at 5am.

Be sure to browse through the coop designs on this site. There are an awful lot of them and you'll be sure to get the wheels turning as to how you want to build your coop.
Oh yeah, the PR campaign has begun with baked goodies and invitations to play in our pool.
I will definitely ask for their thoughts and opinions before submitting their names to the city. I figured I would even give them a couple of recent, positive, local news articles that have been written about urban chicken keepers when the right time comes and possibly a sketch of our coop plans (when we decide how we want to do it). But I figured the baked goodies might be a good ice breaker. We really only have 1 neighbor with adjoining property at the moment. There are a total of 5 small lots touching our property at different places, but 4 are vacant/undeveloped, 1 of those belongs to yours truly.
And then there is also a vacant foreclosed home on one side of us. So really only 1 actual live neighbor touching our property at the moment. But I'm venturing out across the street and down the street just to get to know everyone and get a feel for how chicken friendly they might be before deciding who to include on my list to the city.
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