This is a guest post from Kim Hollingshead (email@example.com) with Touchstone Title & Escrow located in Brentwood, TN:
Environmentally and food conscious people are growing their own vegetable gardens and raising their own animals as a way to control their food source. Not only are people shopping more and more at Whole Foods and other organic food suppliers, some people have taken matters into their own hands.
These people aren’t farmers per se, but they are honing in on a trade that has long since been reserved for vast acreage on the outskirts of town. Now they are bringing the farm to the city by raising chickens in an urban environment.
They claim urban chickens produce great tasting free range eggs that are, of course, completely organic. In January, Nashville got on board with the movement when it enacted a law that permits its citizens to raise hens in their back yard.
If you or someone you know is interested in raising urban chickens in Nashville, there are a few things you need to know:
1. Check with your homeowner’s association. If the HOA has restrictions that prohibit urban chicken farming in your neighborhood, then you cannot raise them. Period.
2. File for a permit with the Health Department. Permits must be renewed annually and the cost is roughly $25 per year.
3. You must follow the urban chicken farming rules:
- No roosters. They are loud and wake up with the sun. No one wants to hear the cock crow that early in the city limits.
- Hens must be kept in a coop that has a roof and fence. Check with the city’s Codes Department for more requirements about coop construction. For better access a gate is recommended; make sure you contact a gate repair company if you ever have any problems with it.
- Feed must kept in a weather-resistant container with a metal lid to keep out rodents.
- There are strict rules for the maintenance of waste and compost. check with the Department of Health for a list of guidelines.
- Keep it clean. No odors. No slaughtering. No breeding.
- The number of hens you can keep is limited depending on the size of your yard.
The next big thing in urban farming… goats?