Urban farming is booming in Gilbert, Arizona. Driven by the Millennial generation, this age old standard of growing your own fruits and vegetables, combined with raising chickens to provide daily fresh eggs is more than just a passing trend. Younger, and even current generations, are becoming increasingly aware of the health hazards due to commercial pesticides used on crops and Genetically Modified Organisms(GMO's), which is any food product that has been altered at the gene level.
To combat the escalation of potentially contaminated foods individuals and families are taking it upon themselves to put their hands back in the ground and take personal responsibility for providing organically grown crops and harvest eggs from ethically raised chickens. Not only is this teaching an entire new generation a skill once in danger of becoming extinct but it's also going a long way in trimming waistlines and budgets.
The real question now becomes how many chickens are residents of Gilbert, Arizona allowed to keep? There are multiple zoning laws that apply to the keeping and tending of
fowl at your property in Gilbert. The first zoning law to cite is on the County level. According to Chapter 6, Article 601.2 of the Maricopa County Zoning Ordinance laws, a single-family residence with a minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet up to 35,000 square feet is allowed the keeping of up to Five(5) chicken hens.
On a more area specific level, there are two sections of laws that can be referred to when determining the allowance of chickens and fowl if you own a property in Gilbert, Arizona. The municipal codes of the Town of Gilbert Chapter 6, Article III, Sections 6-126 through 6-128, define livestock both large and small, fowl, exotic animals, minimum lot sizes, sanitation requirements and further restrictions. The Land Development Code Section 2.107 then lists the specific numbers of these types of animals that are allowed per lot.
In reference to the above Town of Gilbert codes regarding chickens, the Town of Gilbert allows the following:
1. Rodents and Fowl
a. On each lot that is at least 6,000 square feet and less than 8,000 square feet in area, any combination of rodents and fowl not to exceed 5 total animals is permitted.
b. On each lot that is at least 8,000 square feet and less than 10,000 square feet in area, any combination of up to 10 rodents and fowl is permitted.
c. On each lot that is at least 10,000 square feet and less than 20,000 square feet in area, any combination of up to 25 rodents and fowl is permitted. For each additional 10,000 square feet of lot area, an additional 12 rodents or fowl are permitted.
d. Aviaries shall be located within the building envelope or the rear one-half of the lot. If located within the rear one-half of the lot, the aviary shall be a minimum of 5 feet from any property line.
e. One (1) rooster over four months in age shall be permitted for each 20,000 square feet of lot area with the exception of those kept for “Crop and Animal Raising, Commercial”, provided that the rooster is controlled or contained in such a manner to comply with Municipal Code Chapter 6, Section 6.2 (Noisy Animals).
Regardless of the zoning laws in Maricopa County or the Town of Gilbert, each individual Home Owner's Association(HOA) can also have their own restrictions listed in the CC&R's for every subdivision. If your neighborhood is governed by a Home Owner's Association you'll need to refer to their guidelines to verify if they differ from County and Town laws. If there are conflicting allowances, the most strict guidelines take precedence.
Owning and maintaining chickens isn't just about following the laws as it pertains to the number allowed. There are also extensive sanitation requirements, fencing and enclosure
requirements, and noise ordinances that must be adhered to. Being environmentally responsible by supplying yourself or your family with fresh eggs each day doesn't erase the burden of being a good neighbor. Be mindful of your surroundings and talk to your neighbors about the possibilities of your urban farming goals. Perhaps you could even be a subdivision inspiration and motivate others to join in on the fun.
If you do decide that raising chickens is right for you, just how many eggs can you expect to harvest each day? According to national farming statistics, if you have young hens (between 6 months and 2 years), it’s bright outside, and your chickens are living a relatively stress-free life, you should expect about 2 eggs per day from a coop of 3 hens or you can simply take the number of hens you plan to purchase & multiply them by .75. This formula will give you the average # of eggs you can expect to get per day.
Whether you or someone you know is ready to tackle the task of keeping and tending chickens you must heed and obey the laws and ordinances in place for the safety of you and your fowl friends.
There are some neighborhoods and subdivisions in Gilbert, Arizona in which raising chickens may be a better environment. Let the real estate experts at Zion Realty help you. We are a locally owned real estate brokerage right here in Gilbert and can educate you on the benefits of each community. Contact us today at ZionRealtyAZ.com!