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

Lester Poole, 94, is one of more than 170 residents at Ocala Health and Rehabilitation Center. The center as been steadily losing volunteers over the past year.

Lack of Volunteers Leave Elderly Looking for Conversation

Lester Poole has stories he may never get to tell. The 94-year-old served in the United States Coast Guard from 1939 to 1947, during which he traveled the globe and went wherever the tide took him. “South Africa. Brazil,” he [...]


Participants partake in a “color throw” following the race -  everyone in the audience tossed their color packets into the air at once. The result was a cloud of color that rose above the crowd, growing larger after the next color throw was conducted.

Kaleidoscope Tour’s Color Run Comes To Gainesville

The Kaleidoscope Tour visited Gainesville on Saturday for the 2014 edition of the Color Run. Nicknamed “The Happiest 5K On The Planet,” the run drew hundreds of participants.


Marion County Loses Bid For Veterans Nursing Home

Florida’s seventh nursing home for military veterans will be built in western Port St. Lucie. Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve $17 million in funding for the 120-bed facility, which will cost an [...]


Twins Jada and Jaelyn Weems spend their birthday holding signs during the vigil. They live close to Ocala Place Apartments, where some of the shootings have occurred.

Ocala Community Members Unite at Prayer Vigil

Ocala religious leaders and the Ocala Police Department organized a community prayer vigil to promote an end to the recent violence in the community. Four drive-by-shootings have left three injured since early September.


Julia Minors had minor renovations, including a new paint job, done on her home Sept. 11. Minors was one of the Gainesville residents to receive free paint and low-cost renovations through the Partnership for Paint.

Gainesville Partnership Gives New Life to Old Homes

Gainesville’s Community Redevelopment Agency has partnered with Alachua Habitat for Humanity to create the Partnership for Paint program, which helps Gainesville residents update their homes through painting and repairs, for a reduced out-of-pocket fee.


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments