Many urban farmers are turning to raising chickens as a way of improving their health and the health of their urban farm. Eggs from well maintained backyard chickens are healthier and better tasting. They contain significantly more Vitamins A and E, beta carotene and omega-3 fatty acids than factory-farmed eggs. Backyard chickens act as natural pest control by eating insects and their droppings are rich in nitrogen. The droppings are a great source of nitrogen for your compost bin.
Many cities allow residents to have chickens in their backyards. It is pretty easy to care for them during the warm months, but what do you do with them during winter?
There are so many chickens in Utah cities, KSL TV did this report to help people learn to take care of them during the cold months. Below are exceprts.
Chickens can actually suffer frostbite — particularly those breeds with large single combs on their heads like leghorns or barred rocks. These breeds are popular with commercial growers because of their excellent egg production.
Breeds with rose combs like wyandottes, or pea combs like ameraucanas or brahmas are less likely to experience frostbite. Some sources say that coating combs with petroleum jelly during cold weather can help protect against frostbite.
The most important consideration in keeping chickens warm and healthy in cold weather is adequate shelter. The shelter need not be heated or insulated, but it should be dry and have adequate circulation. An airtight shelter can become too humid, which can lead to frostbite. Dry bedding like straw, hay or wood shavings can help insulate chickens from the cold, but it must be replaced regularly with clean bedding.
Chickens that forage for much of their food during warmer months need additional supplemental food during the winter.
Read the complete KSL report.
The Salt Lake City ordinance authorizing the keeping of chickens in residential districts is available through this link http://www.slcgov.com/slcgreen/pdf/Chickens_ORDINANCE.pdf.
Salt Lake City has relaxed its ordinances related to chicken coops and raising backyard chickens. Listed below are quick facts provided by the city. The full article can be read at http://www.slcgov.com/slcgreen/food/birdsandthebees.htm.
Permit must be obtained from Salt Lake County Animal Services, $5 per animal to be renewed annually (Maximum of $40 annually). Permits must be acquired through Salt Lake County Animal Services.
Conditions for Residential Chickens:
Maximum of 15 Chickens and no roosters
Chickens must be kept in secure, enclosed area
Coop must have minimum of two (2) square feet per Chicken; six (6) square feet per Chicken if not allowed out of coop
Chickens must be kept in rear yard at least twenty-five (25) feet from dwelling on adjacent lot
Coops must be neat and sanitary
Chicken feed must be stored in rodent and predator resistant containers
Contact Pam Thompson at 801-559-1122 or 801-559-1100.
Permit must be obtained from Salt Lake County Animal Services, $5 per animal to be renewed annually (Maximum of $40 annually).
Permits must be acquired through Salt Lake County Animal Services.