Keeping chickens in the city
Did you know that you can keep chickens in the city? It’s true – you can have your own slice of farm life right in your backyard. There are a few special considerations when caring for chickens in an urban setting, but with a solid strategy and quality flock essentials, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh eggs and the unique experience of owning chickens.
Most states in the US don’t have laws that apply to chicken keeping. However, individual towns, cities, counties, and homeowners associations (HOA) are responsible for sanctions regarding the ownership of chickens. Laws about keeping chickens are available to citizens of governing authorities. Contact your town or city’s zoning office to obtain the most recent rules and regulations for keeping chickens. If your home is subject to an HOA, be sure to contact the leaders to see if they have additional requirements or restrictions in addition to city ordinances. In places that allow chickens, most restrictions (if any) will likely apply to: roosters, number of chickens per backyard flock, and chicken coop placement or size.
Do you have enough time to raise chickens?
After you’ve gotten permission or verified there are no restrictions for having chickens in your backyard, it’s time to make a plan! First and foremost, you’ll need to evaluate how much time you have to dedicate to a backyard flock. Will you be home daily to collect eggs and check in on your chickens? Do you travel a lot? Would someone be willing to tend to your flock in your absence?
As far as pets go, chickens are relatively low-maintenance. Chickens don’t require daily interaction from their humans like other pets, but they do need basic provisions. If they have a secure chicken coop and run, their food can be left out and refilled as needed, along with their water. An easy-to-clean chicken coop is a huge time-saver when it comes to refreshing your hens’ home. Chicken coops in the city should be cleaned daily to minimize the presence of odors and insects.
Laying hens should have their eggs collected daily if possible to prevent attracting nest-thieving predators. When collecting eggs, take the time to do a brief check-in with your hens to make sure everyone is healthy and happy. Inspecting your hens’ eggs can also give you a good idea of their overall health.
You’ll need to have a reliable chicken-sitter for when you go out of town. Most people from the city would love the opportunity to care for chickens, but may be unfamiliar with hens. Provide detailed instructions and allow ample time for your chicken-sitter to come by and watch how you tend to your flock before leaving.
Consideration for neighbors
Once you’ve determined how and where you can house your hens, and decided that the time commitment fits with your lifestyle, it’s time to prepare your backyard for your flock. Do you want a mobile chicken coop that can be repositioned, or the more permanent placement of a coop with a walk in run chicken run?
Keep in mind that while chickens themselves have little to no odor to the human nose, their droppings do. Be considerate when choosing the location of your chickens’ coop – toward both yourself and your neighbors. Daily coop cleanings will cut down on smells and the presence of flies, but you should place your hens’ house an appropriate distance from human dwellings.
Most hens won’t make much noise, but they can stir up a ruckus when something is amiss in their surroundings, or when they have laid an egg. The majority of chicken sounds and their meanings are quiet daily interactions with each other and their surroundings. However, some hens are capable of making noises that may come across as other-worldly to your neighbors, so it’s a good idea to explain your new backyard inhabitants to them ahead of time! And, even if you’re not restricted from owning roosters, be aware that they crow at all hours – not just at dawn. In fact, many roosters will crow in the middle of the night. If you’re in close proximity to neighboring houses, it’s best to forgo owning a rooster.
Urban settings are not immune to the presence of predators that have a taste for chickens. While most backyards in the city won’t experience larger predator attacks, there are still several animals that may try to infiltrate your chickens’ coop or run. Urban predators include:
- Neighborhood cats or dogs
The Eglu Cube Chicken Coop is a predator-resistant option for backyard flock keepers. The unique coop door mechanism makes it difficult for animals to pry open during the night, and the locking egg access and rear doors help keep unwanted visitors out.
An Omlet Walk In Chicken Run provides safety measures from the ground up. Anti-dig skirting comes standard on all Omlet chicken runs to help prevent tunneling in from the outside, and mesh roof panels keep aerial predators at bay.
If your space doesn’t allow for a walk in run, an automatic chicken coop door can be installed on your Eglu Cube or other chicken coop to ensure your hens are tucked away safely each night. Not only can you automate your chickens’ schedule with the Autodoor, but you can add an additional layer of security between your flock and potential threats. The Autodoor opens horizontally on a spiraling metal mechanism, making it extremely difficult for animals to pry open.
Noise of the city
Your chickens may be temporarily upset by the noises created by traffic or pedestrians. Since chickens are adaptable, they’ll grow accustomed to the noise over time, but if possible position your chickens’ coop behind a good sound barrier. This could be your home, a privacy fence, or another solid structure.
If you’re introducing farm-raised hens to an urban setting, the transition may be more stressful than chicks raised in your environment. Consider placing chicken run covers on the sides of your flock’s run to give them a reprieve from visual stimulation while they process the noises of their new surroundings.
How Omlet can support city chicken keeping
Chickens are happy just about anywhere, but at Omlet, we want them to be able to foster their natural behaviors no matter where they live. All of our chicken products are designed to enrich your flock’s environment – no matter how big or small. Chicken peck toys, the Freestanding Chicken Perch and Chicken Swing are just some of the products we’ve invented to keep your hens healthy and happy in their home. With a chicken coop and run to fit any size backyard, you’ll find that our expertly designed products will ensure success when keeping chickens in the city.
This entry was posted in Chickens