How much land is really needed for chickens?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by GwenM, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. GwenM

    GwenM Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2013
    Lehigh County, PA
    I live in Lower Macungie township, PA, Currently law states if you have (1) acre you are allowed (4) chickens.... Well we have almost 4.5 acres and we are being told we are only allowed (4) chickens total. So my question is how much land does a chicken really need? We are planning on going to the township building and see if we can appeal this law. An appeal will cost a minimum of $500 and I am trying to find as much information as possible to build our case. At the back of our property, there are townhouses, and the coop and chickens wouldn't be anywhere close to those houses. Our house is an 1830 stone farmhouse with one of the largest barns (90x30) in the area. The original property was a 500 acre potato farm. And we have spoken with former owners who remembered having a chicken coop that was 100 ft long, and chickens being everywhere...Maybe grandfather laws? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
     
  2. Firekin1

    Firekin1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oddly enough I have over 40 birds and they stay on about half an acre. They have much much more room than that if they choose (2 acres of lawn, 54 acres of field) but they stay in the same area of my lawn, which I also might add is still full of grass and not a bald or dead patch to be seen. So I would say 4 chickens to an acre is way WAY more room than they actually need.
     
  3. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2013
    NJ
    A chicken needs 8 square feet minimum in a run space wise. IF you intend to free range, you can fit 50 on an acre. If you intend to use all your acreage for chickens, that would mean you could keep at least 225 chickens.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  4. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)
    wow.

    the size of the house lots for some users on this website..

    is it really backyard chickens ? since 4.5 acres .. that's not really a yard [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm in phoenix Arizona with a house lot size of 6000- 7000 sq ft-- we are allowed 5 chickens (max) NO rooster

    as for space per chicken.

    I'm also new but i got various numbers from various people

    the extension from a university in Iowa stated that at least 1.5-2 sq ft per bird for the coop and 4-10 sq ft for the run, but there are those who said those dimensions are too small.

    If you have space and the budget for it go for as much space as possible.

    some said 4 sq ft per bird for the coop and 10+ sq ft for the run etc..
     
  5. Firekin1

    Firekin1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 sq ft per bird in my coops, and about 6-8 sq ft of run space per bird, but they're only in the run if there's some sort of threat in the area like predators or someones dog managed to get loose. Where I live theres farm land, but many municipalities surrounding us allow 20 birds per acre...an acre is a huge space for just 4 birds...perhaps they're concerned if people have too many they'll become a nuisance to neighboring properties? They claim 4 laying hens are suffice to feed a family of 4, in my case I just like chickens..so I feed my family and my neighbors as well, keeps me in good standing if one of my birds stray for bugs on their property...luckily I have awesome people around me and they aren't bothered by them and actually enjoy seeing the different types I have..lol
     
  6. dolcib

    dolcib Just Hatched

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    Jun 5, 2016
    Hi Gwen...I'm from Bethlehem. We live on 512 and have just an acre. Bethlehem has many illegal chickens keepers...when I spoke with the animal control officer he told me that the"city has bigger fish to fry, then backyard chickens and as long as no one complains, they don't care." We have 4 hens currently and a very large fenced run within a 6 foot privacy fence. However, you can get around most ordinances if you fall under the "historic farm clause," which it sounds as if your property would qualify. Given the size of your property, I think you would be fine with as many hens as you wish. Just as an aside, several neighbors keep chickens and one is a judge! Best wishes!
     

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