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Bill To Allow Backyard Chicken Coops Heading To Jacksonville City Council

Kevin Meerschaert

A bill that would allow hens to be raised in the backyards of single family dwellings is being introduced to the Jacksonville City Council Tuesday night.

The move to allow urban chicken farming has been spreading across the country. Under the bill, only a few hens would be allowed per acre and roosters would not be authorized.

Chickens are currently only allowed in rural and agricultural areas in Jacksonville.

One of the key people who have been pushing for the change is Laureen Trad, who founded then organization Hens in Jax about two and a half years ago. She has hens at her home and at her garden center on San Jose Blvd.

She says the fresh eggs supplied by backyard hens are more fresh and more nutritious that the ones found in the grocery store.

Trad says its also cost effective. A coop can be built with recycled materials and hens only cost about $5 each to purchase. The average hens about one egg a day. 

Under the legislation, the coops would be only be allowed in the backyard of single family dwellings and the owners are responsible for maintaining the coops and preventing the chickens from escaping.

The bill would likely be voted on in August.


Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.