What information can you give me on developing city ordinances for poultry?
G.F.FloridaAnswer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA with your request for information on urban poultry. In planning to try and change your city’s ordinances in regards to poultry, it may be helpful to look at other urban poultry groups who have succeeded in changing their city’s laws. Some of these groups include Mad City Chickens in Madison, WI, City Chickens in Seattle, WA, and Urban Chickens in Albuquerque, NM. The Urban Chickens website has a helpful section that shows the chicken related laws in many large U.S. cities. Patricia Foreman, author of “City Chicks”, a book about keeping urban chickens notes that 3 hens will supply enough eggs for a family of 4. “City Chicks” discusses many benefits of keeping backyard poultry and the author’s struggle in attempting to change the laws in her city with regards to poultry keeping. Welfare standards limit stocking densities to 1 layer/1.5 square feet (Humane Farm Animal Care). The stocking densities for meat birds are usually figured by weight, and the welfare standard limits 6lbs/1 square foot (Humane Farm Animal Care). A 6lb chicken is typically a broiler at 8 weeks or so. Although usually small-scale producers provide more space than this, and Patricia Foreman suggests 1 chicken/6-10 square feet. You may be able to find “City Chicks” at your local library or they can order it through interlibrary loan at no cost.