Just because you live in the city doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy a taste of the country life. Raising chickens can help you do just that, but it does come with some problems. Fussy neighbors, lack of space, and city ordinances are all things that you will have to contend with if you plan on raising chickens in the city. To help you navigate through the mess, here are some tips for raising chickens in the city:
Check your city ordinance
First thing’s first—if you want to raise chickens, you have to make sure it’s legal. Most major cities allow backyard chickens (you can even raise them in New York City), but not all, so double-check your city ordinance to ensure that you can start raising a flock.
No roosters allowed
While chickens may be allowed in most U.S. cities, roosters are not. This is because city lawmakers want to cut down on unnecessary noise and prevent the occurrence of cockfighting within city limits. This won’t be a problem when you start raising chickens, but once you start hatching your own chicks, you’ll run into the issue where you have a 50% chance of hatching roosters. You have three ways to handle this: buy sexed chicks, re-home your rooster, or contact a local butcher shop.
Talk to your neighbors
Before you go ahead and start building your chicken coop, check in with your neighbors first to make sure they’re ok with you raising chickens. Listen to their concerns and try to take steps to alleviate any reservations they may have. And be sure to always share your eggs with your neighbors! It’ll not only keep them on your good side, but it’s also just a nice thing to do.
Build a strong fence
Frankly speaking, chickens don’t understand how land ownership works, and since you’ll have limited free ranging space for them, they might try hopping over the fence into your neighbor’s yard. To prevent this, build a good, strong fence and then check to see that there isn’t anything they can use to jump over or slide under the fence.
Don’t forget about predators
Many mistakenly believe that since they live in the city, they don’t have to worry about predators. This is far from the truth. While there are less predators to deal with, you still have cats, raccoons, and skunks, to name a few. Ensure you’re well prepared for these predators by reading over our predator blog posts.
While raising chickens in the city isn’t easy, it’s certainly possible with enough dedication and commitment. If you need more help on raising urban chickens, feel free to contact us over at Chickens for Backyards. Or, if you’d like to get started on raising chickens, check out our shop to get started.