Friday, December 4, 2009

Backyard chickens coming to the city?

I've heard a little bit about this before, but some folks in the city are attempting to legalize keeping chickens in the yard. Right now it's illegal, but councilmember Tommy Wells is proposing a bill to allow it.

However, you can't just go out and buy a farm: roosters would be illegal because they're noisy, you'd have to get 80% of households within 100 feet to agree to let you have them, and if one neighbor objects, no dice. In addition, the chickens must be in enclosures and those must be kept clean.

The DC Food For All blog has a personal story about people with chickens in Capitol Hill, which they enjoy and say aren't noisy and don't smell.

What do you think? Nice extension to urban farming, or terrible nuisance?

Photo by transguyjay


  1. if roosters arn't allowed... why put a picture of one up....

    What a cock

  2. If you can't have a rooster, Will you get any eggs?
    Sound like target practice for the kids.
    Oh, did I say that!

  3. According to the food blog, you'll still get eggs without a rooster

  4. A rooster isn't necessary. 100% of store bought eggs are unfertilized.

  5. Small correction: chickens are NOT illegal in the District of Columbia. However, the rules for having them are so restrictive that it's virtually impossible. Currently, chickens must be less than 50 feet from the nearest habitable building, you need to get 100 percent approval from your neighbors, and you must obtain a permit. Tommy Wells would make keeping chickens only somewhat easier.

  6. I got a friend on capitol hill with some hens. It's no big deal. They don't make noise except a cluck here and there and they stay in a small area. The biggest problem she's had is with raccoons....


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