WUFT News

Backyard Hens, Chicken Coops on the Rise in Gainesville

By on May 1st, 2014

Garden shops are seeing an increase in chicken coop and hen sales since a change in Gainesville’s chicken ordinance raised the limit on backyard hens from two to 10 in November 2013.

Based on how many chickens have already been sold this year at the Alachua County Feed & Seed store, manager Wade Rogers expects to sell 4,000 chickens up from the average sale of 3,300 chickens per year. For the first time, the Lowe’s on 13th Street has already sold out of its chicken wire twice this year.

“That’s probably 30 more coops that have been built this year,” said Ben Tucker, a live nursery specialist at Lowe’s.

Tucker also teaches a backyard gardening class. He usually only hosts it once or twice in the spring because there isn’t a high demand for it, but this season he’s taught it 10 times. He said he’s noticed an increased interest from college students. He said the demand correlates with the trend for more organic food from that demographic.

“What gets them is the taste of the eggs,” Tucker said. “Comparing store-bought eggs to these eggs is like comparing water to peppers.”

Rogers said his store has a lot of repeat clients, but the regulars want more chickens now that the law permits it. He also made some speculations about the new interest.

“The reason new people are coming is because now it’s actually worth their while,” he said. “You can’t hardly do anything with two or three chickens but six can make enough eggs to feed a family.”

Gainesville resident Mary Dewey keeps nine hens at her house in the Mile Run neighborhood off NW 53rd Avenue.

“I had ten but I lost one. It died,” she said.

Almost four years ago, she began raising the birds for eggs and now sells a dozen eggs for $1.50.

“I love my girls,” she said.

Before the ordinance passed without controversy, she kept some chickens at another coop in a garden across town. She had difficulty getting the property up to building code standards, so she could never get electricity to that location. Out of frustration, in October 2013 she started keeping all of the chickens in her backyard illegally. However, because the ordinance was already in motion, the city granted her an exemption and allowed her to keep all of the backyard hens.

Diona Mata, who lives with her family in a residential area near 39th Avenue and 13th Street, began raising chickens when her children, ages 7, 9, 12 and 15, won them in a raffle at the Clay County Fair one year ago.

“We live in the city, but it’s like our own little farm in the backyard,” she said. “The kids are always excited about getting eggs in the morning. It’s been an educational experience for all four of them.”


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • River City Chicks

    Yay for Gainesville!

  • Oscar Mysterious

    Democratic processes can be expanded by increasing the number of eligible voters or expanding the scope of issues determined by them.

  • Al Bumen

    Since civilization’s institutions, such as liberty, can be hard to understand, it is not surprising that some get the itch to attack them.

  • Sam Sung

    Those collectivist demands that cloak the anti-social passion of envy behind a label of “social justice” have become a threat to liberty.

 

More Stories in Local

IMG_8377

Chicken House Fire Kills 24,000 Chicks

Chickens die in a chicken house fire at Saavedra Farms on Wednesday night.


featured

Gainesville Family First To Win The Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship

The Garrity family is the first family to receive the Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship from the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. The scholarship is valued at $1,500 and was created for families to engage in recreational and cultural activities for free.


Gabrielle Steinberg, 22 months old, digs in the soil and pots a baby plant. The activity was part of the Kids Area crafting section of the festival.

Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival Flourishes Over the Weekend

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens hosted the 24th annual Spring Garden Festival over the weekend. The festival flourished with thousands of attendees including, families, horticulturalists and garden appreciators who enjoyed the first days of the spring at the garden.


IMG_0565

Bryant House To Become Historic Resource Center

The Historic Ocala Preservation Society purchased the 120-year-old Bryant House in August 2013 with the goal of turning it into a resource center for historic research. After restoring the exterior and first floor of the Bryant House, the society is taking steps to transform the front parlor and hope to have the room open by summer.


The new location of Alachua County Fire Station #25 is now in a community in hopes that they can respond to calls quicker. The Hawthorne station is three miles west of its old location, said Bill Northcutt, Alachua County fire rescue chief.

Hawthorne Community Welcomes Fire Station’s Return

Hawthorne residents say they once again feel part of a community with the reopening of Alachua County Fire Rescue Station #25. After closing in 2009 for economic reasons, the redesigned station will bring security and potentially lower insurance rates to the surrounding area.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments