Many of us dream of having fresh eggs and meat. That is why so many people are drawn to caring for their own flock. You might be thinking that the only way to achieve this dream yourself is to move to the country. By what if we told you that you could raise chickens in almost any location? No matter if you are a city slicker or a country family. You can have fresh eggs daily too. Today we are going to tell you are our tips for raising chickens in the city.
Checking The Local Laws
Before you get too far on this endeavor, you will want to check the laws. Most counties have ordinances to raise chickens in city limits. You will find some cities have regulations about the size of the flock you can keep.
They might also have rules about how large of a yard you need to house these hens. And let’s not forget laws about the distance of your coop to the fence line.
If you don’t check these laws before getting started, it could cost you big. All it takes is a neighbor to complain, and your hens get taken away, and you get a hefty fine. Not to mention the money wasted getting started only to be shut down.
Look For A Vet
Next on your to-do list is to check for a local avian vet. Most cities will have a chicken vet nearby, but if you live in more urban areas, it can be a hard find. You don’t want to drive over an hour away in emergency cases.
Keeping a trusted and well-respected vet near to home saves time and lives. If you can’t find an avian vet close by, it probably isn’t feasible to keep chickens.
Check Your Space
When you start to raise chickens in the city, you need to check your yard space. Most city laws already have ordinances about this. But it’s also a good idea to measure your yard that you have room for a coop and run.
Backyard chickens need 2-3 sqft per hen in the coop and 8-10 sqft per hen in the run. Knowing what size of a coop and run you have space for can also help you determine your flock size.
But that isn’t the only thing you should measure for. You should also be courteous and examine your yard from the neighbor’s point of view. Don’t place your coop close to the neighbor’s house or gardens.
You don’t want to bother the neighbors with your chicken’s noise. And you also don’t want to have an accident where your chicken ruins a garden. Using the measurements and city laws as a guide, you can effortlessly determine where you raise chickens in the city.
Keep Smaller Flocks
Going off the previous tip, keeping small flocks is the best way to manage in cities. Raising chickens for eggs in the city doesn’t require a lot. Each hen that you have will produce about 4-5 eggs a week. That means a flock of 4 hens will give you 16-24 eggs weekly.
That’s plenty for most families, and you might even have extra. And four hens is perfect because all of your hens will have company. And if a chick doesn’t make it, you still have three more.
Smaller flocks are cheaper, quieter, and need less space. That makes them perfect for urban owners. Even if your city doesn’t have ordinances going smaller will always be better. Now the hard part is to keep a sound mind not to go crazy buying all the chickens. And trust us, that’s the hardest part.
Don’t Get Roosters
Raising chickens in the city backyard is a delicate system. And you don’t want to ruin it by adding a roo to your flock. Roosters are illegal to have in most cities, and for a good reason. They are loud and instigate more than they should. And since you don’t need a rooster to have eggs, they don’t serve much of a purpose for the city keeper. Not to mention your neighbors won’t appreciate the constant crowing.
Choose Quieter Breeds
Many urban owners fear that their hens will, at some point, annoy the neighbors. While most people don’t keep roosters, hens can be just as loud. With the squawking and sorting out their pecking order, you might become paranoid yourself. To combat this, you might choose to get quieter breeds.
Breeds such as the Barred Plymouth Rock, Orpington, Brahma, and Cochin are quieter. All of these breeds are sweet-natured and don’t tend to fight often. Your neighbors will hardly notice these hens.
Talk To The Neighbors
Now that you have all of these things situated, it’s time to talk to the neighbors. You don’t want to go any further without talking to everyone you share a fence with. Let them know more about chickens and how you care for them. Once they know about your plans and how you will ensure their property will be protected, your neighbors will be more accepting.
And if they still seem hesitant, maybe you could get on their right side later! Chicken manure is high in nitrates that plants love. If your neighbor has a beloved garden or vegetable patch, you could promise that your hens go to work for them. And of course, you could always give the neighbors the occasional fresh egg basket.
As long as you inform them of your plans and listen to their concerns, you will have much better luck. If they have concerns about anything, you can help calm their worries. And this relationship will also keep neighbors from reporting you.
Most people think the benefits of raising chicken in the city is that there are no predators. While you won’t find a wolf in the town, there are other predators.
You still have to worry about raccoons, rats, possums, hawks, and stray pets. Stray dogs and cats are the number one cause of concern for the city chicken owner. The first thing to know from our tips for raising chickens in the city is not to let your guard down.
You still need to predator-proof your chicken run and coop. Double-check that nothing could easily dig under the fence and pose a threat to your hens. Easy points of access are usually vents, windows, coop doors, and through tiny holes in the floorboard. Covering all of these places with hardware cloth is the best way to protect your flock.
Can you raise chickens in the city while free-ranging? It’s not the best idea for all-day chicken keeping. But there are so many benefits to free-ranging your hens that you don’t want to rule it out completely.
The best way to compromise this is to plant a chicken garden in your run. Your hens will love the assortment of foods and herbs that you grow there, and it will attract bugs as well. And if you want to give your chickens a little extra freedom, you can let them out occasionally.
Most people who free-range in the city only do so for an hour a day. And they never let their chickens out of their sight. Keeping close tabs on them will prevent them from hopping the fence and getting into your neighbor’s yard. They will enjoy the freedom, and you will love the added richness to the eggs.
The best advice in our list of tips for raising chickens for eggs in the city is to keep it clean. In case you didn’t know, chickens can have a very distinct smell. You might not mind it outside, but your neighbors might.
Not to mention that if you don’t clean well enough in tight spaces, the smell could start lingering in the house as well. Even if you have a great relationship with your neighbors, they might not tolerate the smell. Clean coops make happy people all around.
And our final tip on tips to raising chickens in the city is about fertilizer. As mentioned before, chicken poop is a fantastic natural fertilizer. And since you will be cleaning often, you will have a bountiful supply.
You could use the fertilizer in your own gardens. Or you could give it as a peace offering for a neighbors garden. But something most people don’t think about is compost sharing.
On apps like ShareWaste, you can give composters your manure to make the perfect blend of fertilizer. Or you could head to your local farmers market to see if any vendors could use it. Some people are even willing to pay for this hot commodity.
In any case, it’s much easier to go these routes than to just toss it. You will fill your cans quickly on cleaning days and won’t have room for anything else.
What Do You Think?
Raising chickens in the city backyard can be challenging. But with our tips for raising chickens in the city, you will do just fine. Fresh eggs daily are right around the corner. And what a lovely day that will be.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!