The Real Deal Miami

Clay County may allow up to 4 hens per home

Proposed chicken-keeping ordinance draws fire from some homeowner associations

September 20, 2015 10:00AM

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Proposal allows 4 chickens per home.

Proposal allows four hens per home, no roosters.

The Clay County Commission is considering a proposal giving conditional approval to residents of unincorporated areas to keep as many as four chickens at single-family home.

But several homeowner associations in Clay County, located in northeast Florida,  county, objected to the ordinance, which would allow chicken coops in residential community developments.

“People who bought into those neighborhoods know those animals cannot be allowed in the neighborhoods,” developer John O’Conner told the Florida Times-Union.

“The bigger thing we see is chickens getting loose and some dog attacking them, or some kid being out in the backyard and a dog jumps over the fence to attack a chicken,” O’Conner said.

Under the proposed ordinance, residents would be required to get a county permit to keep so-called backyard chickens, as many as four hens, but no roosters, for personal use only.

Breeding or selling chickens, eggs or feces for fertilizer at single-family homes would be prohibited. The proposed ordinance also would require putting chickens in a fenced area during the day and in an enclosed structure at night.

The issue in Clay County is part of a national trend toward keeping chickens in urban locations, including Jacksonville. Supporters say hens provide fresh eggs, among other benefits. [Florida Times-Union] — Mike Seemuth