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Old 01-06-2009, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Burke, VA
269 posts, read 641,103 times
Reputation: 83
Default Urban Chickens in NOVA?

Okay, I'm in the process of viewing homes in West Springfield and will probably make an offer by end of month. My top choice is in a nice established neighborhood and there is no HOA thankfully. My question: Are homeowners allowed to keep egg-laying hens in their backyard, because I can't find any ordiances against it or any information at all regarding whether this is legal or not?

I'm originally from Arkansas and like doing "hobby farm" stuff, and I plan to have a vegatable garden and a compost pile on what is a standard quarter-acre lot. Having a few (3-5) chickens would be wonderful for the yard and for having organic eggs for my family. Please share any information that you have, thank you!
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:13 AM
 
1,221 posts, read 4,067,327 times
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Here is the answer to your question. Only allowed if you have 2 acres or more, which I'm almost sure means "no" to homes in West Springfield.

Zoning Requirements FAQs - Fairfax County, Virginia
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Burke, VA
269 posts, read 641,103 times
Reputation: 83
Oh, I see. Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:13 PM
 
66 posts, read 173,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skapov View Post
Oh, I see. Thanks!
If you ever want to petition the county to allow ownership of 'domestic fowl' for lots smaller than 2 acres, I'd be happy to sign! I've fancied owning a few chickens for the same reasons you mentioned (aid in the garden, fresh eggs) but we're not moving.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Burke, VA
269 posts, read 641,103 times
Reputation: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by greeniebean View Post
If you ever want to petition the county to allow ownership of 'domestic fowl' for lots smaller than 2 acres, I'd be happy to sign! I've fancied owning a few chickens for the same reasons you mentioned (aid in the garden, fresh eggs) but we're not moving.
I am definitely going to investigate and try to find a way to have the rules changed, because urban chickens are a growing trend around the country and really, a few hens cause no more fuss than your standard dog or cat. There's a lot on my plate at the moment, as we're in the process of buying a home in Fairfax County, but once I get settled I really hope to pursue some sort of avenue and get those zoning guidelines changed.

Thanks for your support!
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
5,317 posts, read 8,704,973 times
Reputation: 3503
Question: if you have chickens for eggs, wouldn't you need a rooster also? That would likely involve early morning rousing of all in ear shot?
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:38 PM
 
5,205 posts, read 4,779,841 times
Reputation: 5749
I've seen a house with a rooster statue in the front yard. But no, sadly, no live chickens or roosters anywhere in West Springfield - the neighbors would have a cow.....
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:42 PM
 
Location: DC Metro/NoVA
1,708 posts, read 3,551,742 times
Reputation: 742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingo13 View Post
Question: if you have chickens for eggs, wouldn't you need a rooster also? That would likely involve early morning rousing of all in ear shot?
As a homeowner, I'd be really angry about the noise. Also, won't the chicken attract unwanted wild animals, like raccoons. coyotes and stuff you don't want in a residential neighborhood? I would not like that either...
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Burke, VA
269 posts, read 641,103 times
Reputation: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingo13 View Post
Question: if you have chickens for eggs, wouldn't you need a rooster also? That would likely involve early morning rousing of all in ear shot?

No, a Rooster is not required to get eggs! A hen will produce an egg a day (just as women produce an egg a month) in the hope that it will be fertilized. Of course the point is to get edible eggs, not future baby chicks, so I would not be in need of a rooster.

Now as far as attracting raccoons/foxes/etc., yes it is true that predators may pay your home a visit, but this is why it's suggested to build a chicken coop (they don't look as bad as you may be thinking, see the below link) to keep the chickens safe at night. The set-up is a lot like keeping rabbits, and now I'm wondering if Fairfax County has a prohibition against RABBITS since everything is so strict.

www.backyardchickens.com/chicken-coop-small.html
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
5,317 posts, read 8,704,973 times
Reputation: 3503
I did NOT know that - I assumed a male was needed (I'm restraining myself from any jokes here
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