Raising Chickens in Baltimore: Is It for You?
This informative article from Earth 911 asks some key questions to see if chicken keeping is for you.
You must obtain a permit from Animal Control (410-396-4698)
The coop must be movable and cannot be within 25 feet of any residence
Only four hens per coop – no roosters
When I got my chickens, I did it completely backwards. Here is the order o’ biz if you live in Baltimore City: 1) build your coop 2) have it inspected…then…3) get your chickens. This is not completely clear when you call the City, but I’m told the coop needs to be approved sans chickens. I already had chickens in my coop when it was inspected. I was nervous about it…I’m such a rule follower! It seemed fine…no big drama. The Animal Control officer could not have been nicer.
Once you have built your coop, figured out a routine and have your permit…you’re good. Chickens are excellent low-maintenance pets that give you something amazing in return for your love and care – those precious eggs. They are not, however, leave-for-a-long-weekend pets. They need to be checked on daily – fresh food and water are both key. You’ll need to clean out the coop no less than once a week – otherwise, you might have a smelly coop and NO ONE likes a smelly coop.
I’ve started consulting a bit for city peeps interested in keeping chickens. If you need advice, direction, an objective opinion, email me and I’d be happy to help for a very minimal fee. I can help with advice on things like working with the City, coop design, supplies, egg laying, dealing with predators, etc. My chickens bring me so much joy. They are chatty, friendly and very smart. And, now six months in, they are laying gorgeous, delicious, fresh eggs.
My friends are referring to me as the Chicken Lady now. I love my girls.
p.s. Consider a backyard composter – your chickens will poop a LOT and that stuff makes the best fertilizer ever! Also…giving your chickens vegetable and other food scraps from your kitchen creates delicious eggs for you to eat.