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curious C
#1 Posted : Wednesday, November 12, 2008 10:01:50 PM
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chickens are pretty easy to keep. we have a tiny city lot in fairbanks alaska (yes, it's cold in winter) and i've been keeping layers for years.
the coop and nest boxes are in the (unheated) garage and the pen is next to the garage. they can go out thru a small hole. i use a red heat lamp and heated water dish in winter and throw in about a bale of straw to help keep them warm. i scrape out all the old straw in spring.

after experimenting, i've found the larger birds do better here. i've got 5 auracana and barred rock now, and more eggs than we can use in summer.
they do lay in winter with enough light, but the problem is getting the eggs before they freeze and explode since i dont go check to see if they've laid every ten minutes. (which is about how long it take an egg to freeze and pop).

a neighbor has a B&B and in summer she gives them her kitchen scraps and grabs a dozen now and then.

the first year i had ten, and killed them when it got cold. i've found it's not too bad to overwinter them because they do live and lay for a good while.
we have a small car, but the trunk is big enough to haul home a bag of feed, scratch and a bale of straw.
the only real problems we've had was neighborhood cats and foxes trying to get in. we've been very lucky no dogs have found the birds in all these years. i used really cheap plastic mesh to make their pen and it does crack and break in the cold sometimes or when a cat tries to slink in.
a chook has escaped now and then, and they're kinda a pain to catch, but if you kinda herd it back toward the pen they'll usually dart right in. they like to be feeling safe in their area.
overall i'd rate the experience high on the satisfaction to effort ratio.
i spend about 2 min a day on them, and the twice a year clean out isnt too bad. and the eggs are truly beyond compare. i just wont eat store bought eggs anymore.
if you find you're not able to raise your own hens, you might try the local feed store. they often sell fresh eggs raised by people who live just outside town.
#2 Posted : Sunday, April 12, 2009 10:31:15 PM
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Just read the article to take the movement to Ohio and I'd like to ask for any info on fighting the system and taking the movement to Kansas City, MO! We have the same inner city laws (no livestock within 150ft) and that includes the animal owners home! I can't have chickens within 150ft of my own house, let alone my neighbors! I have been so ecsatic about the possibility since I read an article here about a year ago and when i researched my local laws and discovered the restriction I kind of gave up hope... I'd love to be able to raise chickens in my backyard!/WorkArea/threadeddisc/emoticons/happy.png

#3 Posted : Friday, April 24, 2009 7:49:41 PM
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How about ducks in the backyard.  I now have 8 week old ducks in my backyard in town.  They are awesome!  And they will provide eggs in just a few months.  Talk about personality!  I am lucky that in my town they just ruled it OK to have poultry in the backyard, with a few easy rules, of course.


Dan Burney
#4 Posted : Wednesday, August 18, 2010 12:28:32 PM
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Hello all! Good Day

We are in the process of starting a free range organic egg farm, I am in the information gathering stage now. We have 36 acres, 3 large barns, Two large hay sheds, several other large building's, two ponds, We are fenced all the way around and cross fenced.

How many chickens per acre are reccomended? Does anyone know?

Also when I go after a buyer should I seek public sales, or should I go after commercial or both.

THank you so much for the time.



Carmen Ortiz
#5 Posted : Wednesday, June 22, 2011 2:10:19 PM
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Our city council approved up to 4 chickens. Short lived victory. The town mayor vetoed it right away. She is very closed minded into turning this city into the cleanest and prettiest in the state. She's delusional beliving she will bring in more tourists by forcing everyone to have perfect lawns. (Does anyone want to spend money looking at lawns? Really?) Now the council is thinking of allowing just ONE girl to have chickens in her yard until she graduates from high school. ????? I lose sleep over what she will try to do to my Certified Wildlife Habitat yard.
#6 Posted : Wednesday, June 22, 2011 7:47:39 PM
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I love this forum.. I don't have my chickens in my backyard (although in Los Osos, CA there are more and more) but I do have them at my "ranch" two hours away. I'm up there every 5 days or so to check on my cattle (miniature and Dexters) collect eggs and take care of things. My chickens are amazing...they survive well with feed and automatic waterers and give me plenty of beautiful eggs---(this summer I will try to find a neighbor to collect for me when I'm gone because of the heat). I LOVE chickens and have two "Chatty Kathy 1 and Chatty Kathy 2" (named after my little sister) that follow me everywhere.

Would love to have chickens in Los Osos but have no yard....

Wherever I end up I will always have chickens.


Great Falls
#7 Posted : Thursday, June 23, 2011 6:39:43 PM
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Here in Great Falls, Montana we lost the ability to keep chickens back in 2007.  Most didn't even know we lost out.  The mayor at the time did a simple addition to the livestock line in the ordinance.  She added poultry.  It was around the same time that the animal ordinance was overhauled.  No discussion was held about chickens only about the amount of cats or dogs you could have.  I guess it was posted on the proper bulletin boards and in the legals of the newspaper.  But who reads the legals or knows about what bulletin board at city hall?  So in the meantime people continued with their chicken raising.  A couple here in Great Falls even went to the city to ask if you could keep chickens and were told you could.   They were also given a copy of the ordinance, which happened to be the old version I guess.  Even the city workers didn't know chickens were outlawed!  So in time this couple ended up in a dispute with a neighbor (he didn't like their solar panels or the locking mailbox that the post office installed after the same couple had identity theft from someone stealing their mail) and he found out that chickens were illegal and turned them in.

So we formed a group called CLUC, Citizens for the Legalization of Chickens.  We collected over 500 signatures.  We had overwhelming support at all the public hearings on the subject, some city commission meetings lasting into the night because so many came to support an urban chicken ordinance.  We held weekly meetings for quite a while.  Even launched a website.  After fighting this for over a year now, and after numerous long and drawn out decisions by the commission, the chicken ordinance was voted down by a 3 to 2 vote.  We had hope they would at least put it on the referendum for the fall election as it would have only cost $50 to add it.  But they said "no" to that too.

My sister-in-law who has lived in downtown Seattle in a condo can't believe that her neighbors can have chickens and goats in their yard and yet we here in Montana can't.  My daughter goes to college in Missoula, Montana and anyone there can have chickens as well.  Our parks here have ducks and geese owned by the city and yet citizens can't keep chickens.  It's been very frustrating.

You can read more of the story at our website: www.cluc.org 

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Hope others have better luck than we did.  Looking forward to the fall elections.  Hopefully we can put the run on the commission.

Troy Griepentrog
#8 Posted : Thursday, June 23, 2011 6:39:43 PM
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We’ve started this forum for you to discuss keeping chickens in your back yard. Because some areas still don’t allow raising chickens, here’s an opportunity for you to change that by sharing your own experience from fighting the legal system to finding other chicken fans in your area. Discuss below with questions, concerns or advice about legalizing or keeping chickens in towns and cities.

For regulations in your area, check out our 2003 survey of 20 different cities. To read more about raising chickens in the city or suburbs, check out How to Raise Chickens in Your Back Yard or Incredible Homestead Chickens.

Whether you have questions or experience with the poultry police, you may want to start a new topic for your specific area to help keep discussions relevant to local circumstances.

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