Keeping chickens in an urban setting can be difficult. We’ll show you how to get started keeping chickens in the city, despite the fact that you’ll have to deal with predators, nosy neighbors, and the law.
Back in the day, chickens were only found scratching and pecking in the countryside. Thank goodness, that’s not the case any longer!
There has been a worldwide increase in the prevalence of backyard chickens in recent years. We couldn’t be happier about the recent surge in interest in chickens as a viable agricultural option.
There are some special difficulties associated with raising chickens in an urban setting. There are benefits and drawbacks to dealing with snooty neighbors, corrupt authorities, and dangerous criminals in urban areas. Chickens are hard work, but we think they’re worth it.
You may also want to read about the best chicken coop.
Urban Free-Ranging, chickens in the city
Having more freedom can be both liberating and stressful. These chickens have a lot less room to roam than they would in the country. Therefore, there will be fewer edible plants and insects for them to consume. They will repeatedly visit the same areas, eventually turning your grassy lawn into a mudpit and eating your favorite shrubs to the ground.
They also never, ever, ever stop pooping. Yards and gardens benefit from an occasional dose of manure, but constant deluges of feces attract flies and attract unwanted pests.
A fortunate side effect of their confined living quarters is that they are simple to monitor. It’s simple to keep track of chickens and obvious if there’s a problem.
When we first started letting our chickens run free in the city, one of the biggest problems we ran into was their insatiable curiosity about what was beyond the fence. As a result of their ingenuity and tenacity, you may have to repeatedly jump the fence to bring the strays back. Make sure to use a good chicken wire.
We take several measures to address the problems associated with urban free-roaming. To begin, the birds are only allowed to spend a limited amount of time outside each day. They can enjoy a relaxing dust bath and explore the yard in search of tasty treats. It prevents them from launching a full-scale attack on our backyard.
We’ve got a solid fence surrounding the yard and plan to fortify any vulnerable spots we find. The hens will find places to hide under the fence and will use any nearby rubble as a springboard to get over the fence. Keeping a close eye on them as they roam free will reveal any issues with the fencing.
What about roosters?
Roosters are not permitted in urban flocks in the vast majority of the United States and Canada. The purpose of this regulation is to lessen the likelihood that roosters will be kept for the purpose of fighting and to reduce the amount of noise they produce. Chickens in the city are fine, roosters aren’t.
It’s true that roosters can be a royal pain in the rear, but they can also be great additions to the flock. The rooster does an excellent job of keeping the other chickens safe from harm. They are also stunning creatures that add visual appeal to any flock.
The ban on keeping roosters in the city makes it all the more difficult to figure out what to do if you inadvertently acquire one. If you hatch your own chicks, you can expect at least half of them to be roosters. Even if you buy sexed chicks from a hatchery, there is still a chance of mistakes being made.
If you discover a rooster among your hens, he will need to be relocated or cooked.
Does the City Permit Chicken-Keeping?
Many U.S. cities and suburbs have made it illegal to keep chickens as pets or for food. Chickens in the city aren’t always welcome.
Understand the risks involved if you decide to raise chickens illegally and ignore the law. One of our friends had chickens in their yard and had to find them a new home the same day the police showed up. If you break the law in another city, you may have to pay a hefty fine.
Limits on the size of flocks are also commonplace in urban areas. Most municipalities have a limit of 25 birds per flock, though some allow for only a few. Limits like these exist to reduce nuisances like noise and odor that could otherwise cause problems in the area.
Furthermore, there is simply not enough space for numerous chickens in urban areas. Chickens are more likely to get sick from stress and disease when they are crowded into small spaces. To find a flock size that fits your needs while staying within the city limits, it’s best to do some research.
Plus, a backyard flock probably needs a coop and fencing to stay within the city limits. Unannounced and prearranged inspections of these are possible. If your procedure doesn’t conform to standards. They can fine you or force you to find a new home for your flock.
Chickens are generally peaceful pets, with the occasional noisy exception. Chickens in the city make a lot of noise.
Roosters have been temporarily housed here on multiple occasions. For a short period of time, I was terrified whenever I heard a crow in the yard, expecting the next sound to be someone pounding on my door. There is a good reason why roosters are outlawed in most urban areas.
Hens, too, have the potential to get rowdy. Have you ever heard ten happy hens singing at once what has become known as “the egg song”? It has the power to rouse even the most heavy sleepers!
The city isn’t the quietest place to live due to the constant clamor of traffic, the volume of music played, and the constant honking of horns. Except if you have a particularly cranky neighbor, the clucking of a flock of chickens is likely to be lost in the background noise. and this leads me to my final point.
One’s chicken-mixed neighbors can either be wonderful and helpful, or annoying and hostile. In spite of the fact that it’s enjoyable to teach your neighbors about poultry and share eggs with them, not everyone will be enthusiastic about your plans. If you don’t have a permit to keep chickens in the city, having neighbors who are against the idea can be a nightmare. Keeping chickens in the city isn’t always a good idea.
Get ahead of the problem by consulting your neighbors before deciding to raise chickens in your backyard. Put in the effort to address their inquiries and worries. Instead of sneaking the little chickens into your backyard and waiting for the backlash, it’s better to be up front with the neighbors.
Introduce the birds to your neighbors when they’re still cute and cuddly little chicks if you have a good relationship with them. Even the hardest of hearts has a hard time saying “no” to a tiny, furry baby. When your birds reach maturity, you can show off your amazing flock by giving away eggs to the neighbors.