photo: J. Novak
I had always said that once we moved out of the city, my first purchase would be a chicken coop. But now I might not have to wait until I live in the country for my very own farm fresh eggs because my native Columbia, S.C. is moving closer and closer to allowing chicken coops within city limits. And the trend is catching on--New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, and Durham all allow the backyard birds. Could your city be next?Columbia, S.C. is moving to vote on a city ordinance that will permit chickens in the backyard to provide the owner with farm fresh eggs. Proponents say that chickens make no more noise than a leaf blower or a lawn mower and that it will provide outdoor-starved children with a dose of nature therapy.
The ordinance says the following according to the State Newspaper:
Roosters are banned.
Up to four hens are permitted.
Coops must conform to a certain size per chicken. - Coops must be at least 25 feet from any property line.
Owners must clean up chicken droppings "regularly" and put it in a "fly-proof container."
Coops are prohibited in front or side yards.
Chickens can't be raised for commercial use.
Chickens must be confined to premises.
Chicken owners must pay a $100 annual inspection fee.
Chickens may not be slaughtered on the property.
Once people taste a home-grown egg I am confident that they will never again be able to go back to the mass produced, tasteless variety. The flavor is so completely different that most people become converts on first taste. And for Columbia, S.C. residents that have been quietly living outside the law with chickens illegally living in the backyard, such an ordinance would bring a sigh of relief.
City council will vote on the ordinance at a later meeting not yet scheduled.
If you're considering, urban chickens as they are so aptly named, Urban Chicken can fill you in on all the ordinances in your neck of the woods.