How to raise chickens in the suburbs: Chickens in the suburbs, or backyard chickens, are becoming an increasingly common sight. Since 2009, chicken orders from a live-poultry supplier in Ohio doubled and were almost all delivered to suburb or even cities. When you keep your own chickens, you have access to fresh eggs that you can eat or sell. Raising as few as two chickens or as many as 14 is surprisingly easy and affordable, once you have a good idea of what you’re doing.
Is it legal to own Chickens?
Laws about owning chickens in the suburbs differ from city to city, so before you get all excited and put in an order, you’ll need to do a little investigating. It’s important to remember, too, that even if chickens are legal, most cities don’t allow roosters, because they’re loud. The only reason you would need a rooster if you want to breed more chickens; you don’t need a rooster for eggs. To find out if chickens are legal, visit the Municipal Code Corporation website, Municode. In terms of talking to your neighbors about your chickens, offer to give them eggs and explain that hens without a rooster are generally very docile and quiet.
Once you’ve resolved all the legal issues and it’s time to get your yard ready for your chickens, there are lots of places online to find cool coop designs. Keep in mind that chickens need nesting boxes, roosts, and access to fresh water at all times. In general, the only legal requirement for chicken coops is that they have to be away from the house (10 feet or so) and you need to keep your lawn and coop clean. To keep your chickens happy, research how much space hens need, what kinds of feed are best, and what veterinarians in your area treat chickens. If your neighborhood has a lot of dogs or problems with coyotes or foxes, be sure to consider security measures like high fences so your chickens don’t get carried off.
It seems a lot of work, but the reward of having healthy fresh organic eggs for your breakfast is really worth it!