Urban Chickens: Keeping Chickens In The City

Raising chickens in the city isn't as hard as you might think, and urban chickens are becoming popular everywhere.

More and more people are realizing that it's a good idea to have control over their egg supply, and that chickens are surprisingly affectionate, intelligent creatures.

They make great pets, and the eggs are a wonderful bonus. If you've been dreaming of some chickens of your own, but you never thought it was possible in the city, you're in for a big surprise.

Let's take a look at raising chickens in the city, what it entails, and how it's different from raising country chickens.

The first thing you need to do is find out whether or not chickens are permitted where you live. Many cities and suburbs still prohibit any animal considered to be livestock, but a surprising number of them are lightening up when it comes to chickens.

Even in places where urban chickens are okay, however, you'll still need to deal with regulations on how many you can keep and how they can be housed. For instance, in the city of Madison, Wisconsin, you can have up to four hens per household, but no roosters.

This kind of regulation on raising chickens in the city is pretty common, and for a pretty good reason. Hens are much quieter than roosters, which feel compelled to greet the sun every morning.

Your neighbors might not be happy about this kind of situation, so it's polite to stick to hens if you don't live far out in the country - even when there are no rules against them. Contrary to popular belief, hens will lay just fine without the presence of a rooster.

Before You Buy

Before buying chickens, make sure that you've gotten in contact with anyone who might cause problems over your urban chickens. Even if it's legal to raise chickens in the city where you are, your neighbors and even some local officials may not know that. 

You'll get a much better reception if it's clear that you've taken other people's concerns into account and you're following the rules. These rules may dictate how large and what kind of chicken coop you can build on your property, so make sure you know them early.

Before buying chickens, make sure that you've gotten in contact with anyone who might cause problems over your urban chickens. Even if it's legal to raise chickens in the city where you are, your neighbors and even some local officials may not know that.

You'll get a much better reception if it's clear that you've taken other people's concerns into account and you're following the rules. These rules may dictate how large and what kind of chicken coop you can build on your property, so make sure you know them early.Urban chickens will provide you with a source of fertilizer for your compost pile, backyard pest control, fresh eggs on a regular basis (and you'll know what went into them) as well as loving and surprisingly friendly pets.

They're a lot of fun to keep, and don't require a huge amount of care. You'll need to provide a roomy, comfortable coop that will keep them warm and dry, even in the winter, food and water, and access to room to run around.

For those of us who are concerned about our chickens' safety in the city, a chicken tractor (like a playpen for your birds) is a great choice. It lets them weed the lawn and enjoy themselves without having free run of the neighborhood.

So what if raising chickens in the city appeals to you and don't have a lawn? It's uncommon, but some people have managed to keep chickens effectively in apartments, especially Bantam breeds. After all, if you can do it with a parrot, why not with chickens?

This requires making sure that your landlord is aware of your pets and choosing a cage that's easy to clean and offers plenty of space. There are commercial models available that will work well if you don't want to build one on your own. Many people in this situation choose fancy or unusual breeds for their urban chickens - that way it's clear that you have pets, and neighbors aren't worried about your starting up a farm in their complex.

As people grow more and more concerned about losing touch with the world around them, raising chickens in the city becomes more popular. Urban chickens are easy, rewarding, and a great way to get back to your roots, plus the eggs are delicious!

If you've always wanted a few chickens, now's the time to get them. Find out if your area will allow you to keep them, and bring the subject up if regulations don't allow urban chickens.

You'd be surprised at how many cities are willing to change. Urban chickens are a great new trend for a lot of good reasons. Find out more about these fascinating birds today.


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