Information and sources to support 10 or more chickens?


9 Years
Apr 20, 2011
Hi Everyone,

Working with Gainesville, Fl City Planning Department on increasing the number of legal chickens from (2) to ............?

I started the process almost a year ago but we're still in the developing stages due to the city attorney delaying a decision on who should handle the code change. So far, almost all City Planning & Commission members involved have been interested, amused & supportive of allowing a "more reasonable" number of chickens. The city planning manager, who is the only member so far expressing concerns about the smell, drafted an initial proposal to raise the number of allowable hens to 4-6 depending on lot size. I believe he is basing this number soley from a report he found that compared average numbers of chickens allowed in other city codes.

My thoughts are that these numbers (3,4,6) usually seemed to be used 1)because that's the number another city is using or 2)because they have calculated a hypothetical number of chickens that will produce "adequate" eggs for a single family (not taking into account whether that family only eats scrambled eggs vs. baking with eggs and the breed of chickens and their egg productivity).

I am looking for information or articles that contain information about reasonable numbers of chickens kept on small lots. Or if there are other threads already covering this topic I would love a link to them. Thanks!

Here is a quote from the report. I don't have permission to attach documents here.

"The evaluation of 25 different chicken ordinances showed a wide spectrum of choices
that municipalities have made in the regulating of chickens. Looking at the number of
chickens permitted, for example, cities ranged anywhere from 2 chickens to unlimited
chickens. Only allowing for 2 chickens may not be an ideal choice, as they are social
creatures and if one were to become ill an die, only one chicken would be left. Two
chickens also do not produce enough eggs for a larger sized family. On the other hand,
allowing for unlimited chickens may mean increased nuisance enforcement, or allowing
for that many chickens may be met with increased public opposition. Often the average
allowances found (not the most extremes) are the best choices of an example regulation
for other cities to look to when considering the formation of their own chicken ordinance.
In the case of the cities evaluated, the most common allowance was 4 to 6 birds, which
can provide enough eggs for a family and does not highly increase the potential for
nuisances. It also allows for a more sustained population if a bird becomes ill and dies."


8 Years
Jun 7, 2011
Taylors, SC
There was a link posted in this section just a few days ago. It linked to a study of chicken ordinances in many cities in the United States. It was done by a group at UC Davis, as I recall. It covered many aspects of having chickens in the city. The researchers even formulated a model chicken ordinance.

I thought that I had saved it, but I cannot find it. You might look in older posts in this section to find it.

It seemed to me that many of the restrictions were arbitrary and capricious, based upon who knows what. Surely many of these laws are written by the unknowing.

There was a move here to implement an ordinance, but the final decision was that there were so few problems with chickens that it was not worth the time and resources to do so.

One of the few, good, political decisions in recent years.


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