Raising Chickens in Baltimore: Is It for You?

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So, you have a friend with chickens. You think…neat! Fresh eggs! I wanna do that! Before you order that super shwank coop you saw on Pinterest, check out some advice from someone who’s recently jumped into city chicken keeping.

This informative article from Earth 911 asks some key questions to see if chicken keeping is for you

If you live in Charm City, here is an article from Baltimore Magazine – it gives the basic info about Baltimore’s chicken keeping rules and regs. Here are the basics:

The biggies:
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.

 

Amy Langrehr

Amy Langrehr

Amy Langrehr is the blogger and Instagrammer behind Charm City Cook.She writes about food, drink, cooking and more in her hometown of Baltimore.
Amy Langrehr


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3 COMMENTS

  1. Are there any chicken co-ops in the city?

    I’ve been talking about having city chickens for years, but I am not sure if I will ever be in a place that meets the 25 feet regulation. A co-op or similar would help many people get into the world of chickens.

  2. sam – what a great idea. i have lots of city friends with smaller spaces. i’m hoping to form some sort of group of b’more city chicken keepers, so maybe a co-op could come out of that. we’ll see…stay tuned…

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