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Question

Urban Chicken Retirement

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Alan Rosen
Alan Rosen asked

Our City is researching the possibility of allowing urban chickens. However, one of the most difficult problems I have seen with other programs is what to do with hens when they “retire.” Hens stop laying eggs as often or sometimes totally after 2 – 3 years. Many ordinances do not allow the sale of hens from backyard stock. They also do not allow butchering of the hens. Some owners indicate they would donate their hens after they are no longer productive, but egg farmers do not want or need hens that do not produce.
Some cities that have had a program in place for a couple of years have seen an increase in “feral” chickens roaming the streets as people discard their unproductive chickens so they can buy younger, more productive hens.
Has anyone come up with an innovative way to “discard” of those hens that are no longer productive if people want to continue to have egg laying hens as opposed to pets> Some chickens can live as long as dogs or cats.


Answers

 
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Robert Carty

While not a direct answer, there are some policy examples included in an earlier question about ordinances. The issue may be addressed in some of these: http://bit.ly/29rxDZ0. If nothing else, there are some leads for members in these responses who may have more updated information.

Alan Rosen

Alan Rosen

Thanks Rob. I'll look through these.

 
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Timothy McLean

Alan, if your Council is dead set on allowing urban chickens, one measure you might consider is only permitting chickens in certain zoning districts, and do it by special use permit. Also not a direct answer, but it can help keep numbers lower.

Alan Rosen

Alan Rosen

We're still in the investigatory phase. I have seen similar measures in other cities on the limitation (number of total permits, number of chickens per yard, etc.)

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