Paul, this is slightly off the Missoula only topic, but this is a phenomenon taking place all over the country. New York City is now allowing hens within its limits.
Our town, which at one time was rural, had passed legislation which I recently learned of to allow up to two hens only on property up to two acres. Ten or more acres, 10 chickens and one rooster. More than that requires a permit. It appears they are leraning the benefits of farm animals.
I wonder how my 1/4 acre plot in a 250 house development neighbors would react to me having a couple of hens.
How are your chickens doing this time of year? Does anybody have any tips or advice for caring for chickens in the winter time. I have seen some chickens with frost bite scars on their combs and waffles. Ouch! And, I see a lot of people using heat lamps to help deal with the cold. I've heard that this can affect their sleep/rest, but this is just me assuming. any thoughts or advice from chicken owners?
For chickens in the wintertime, we've added some insulation to their coop, while assuring there is adequate ventilation through the lid that opens from the top. I hear a tightly insulated coop does not allow the ammonia and other natural gases to build up inside the coop. I've done the heat light sparingly for the coldest nights (and days) When it dips below tens degrees or when I notice the chickens aren't coming out of of the coop because of the cold, wind, or snow. I make sure to have at least one area in the yard that is covered for them to dust bathe that is clear from snow and also a place where they can eat and drink where it is dry. For feed, they get some grains, layer pellets, some scratch, kitchen compost. I think the layer pellets are 15-20% protein which keeps the chickens energized.. In the winter, the egg production seems to slow down a bit, but it seems to make sense that the chickens are using more of their energy to stay warm than to produce eggs. Like Jen from the last post, I am presuming that this is the case. I don't know any of this to be true beyond my own experience. Oh yeah, and make sure to visit your chickens when you pass through the yard or when you can. They like the human interaction and I've heard that is one element that helps with egg production and general well-being. They are not just egg layers, they are our jurassic pets.
So, even if you have a small yard you can have two hens in Missoula? That is good to know, as I was thinking of trying that next spring.
I live in Lolo, does anyone know what the rules are there? Would they be the same as in Missoula (as it is Missoula county) for rainsing chickens? If my landlord allows it, I would like to have a couple hens for eggs and turn my shed into a chicken coup (or part of the shed if only two chickens.
If you are in Missoula, you can actually have 6 hens. There are some other regs such as: no roosters, providing a safe protective space from predators, there is a required setback distance away from neighboring properties, space per chicken, and a few other items found online here about the city ordinance: ftp://ftp.ci.missoula.mt.us/Documents/Ordinance/3366.pdf
This applies to Missoula, so I am unsure about Lolo, but as a previous post noted, chickens are being allowed in many urban spaces across the country.
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