Hens in Jacksonville!!

Jacksonville City Council Gives Homeowners Something to Cluck About!

 

Lauren Trad, founder of HensInJax.com

Lauren Trad, founder of HensInJax.com

Thanks to the grassroots effort led by HensInJax.com founder Lauren Trad fresh eggs may be coming to a backyard near you! On November 19th Mayor Alvin Brown signed Ordinance 2013-415 into law allowing for the ownership of up to 5 backyard hens in Jacksonville. Hens have been illegal in Jacksonville residential neighborhoods since the consolidation of the city government in 1968. In spite of the ban, there have been hundreds of illegal chicken coops all across Jacksonville. That you likely have never seen one is testament to the fact that backyard hens are very compatible with urban living. Most every major city in American allows for backyard hens. Jennifer Harper of JC Harper Realty, Inc shares how the Harper Hens came to live in her back yard.

Houston Harper Tends His Hens!

Houston Harper Tends His Hens!

“Two  years ago, I took my kids to the tractor store during Easter time and they were selling the baby hens. My daughter Tyler who was 11 and my son Houston who was 6  loved them and wanted us to bring them home.  I knew nothing about chickens- but had heard a little about how popular backyard chickens were becoming, so needless to say, I went home and did some research and asked my husband if he will build me a chicken coup.” Research from the University of Florida presented to City Council prior to their Nov  13th vote to approve hens in Jacksonville affirmed that with proper care hens pose no disease risk, physical danger or noise problems.

Tyler Harper Holding Her Hens!

Tyler Harper Holding Her Hens!

Jennifer’s story continues. “I showed him cute ones online and he decided he would try to build  our coop.  It took him about two weeks to do it.  I found the chickens I thought were pretty and would lay good eggs and also be “pet friendly” . The Chickens ordered were called White Cochins.  The  Farm I ordered them from told me there expectant delivery date was in 6 weeks.  That was good, because when they are only a day old you have to take many precautions and we also had to also build another smaller coup for the chicks until they got older and could go outside.”

Mother to the hens, Jennifer Harper!

Mother to the hens, Jennifer Harper!

“The chicks came in exactly the day the Farm said they would.  I had to go pick them up from the post office.  You could hear them chirping in the box… They were so little and cute.  My kids loved them.   We kept them in the garage in a smaller coup that my husband  built   to  accommodate them until they were old enough to go the outside coup.”

The Harper's Hen House

The Harper’s Hen House

“The hens are 2  years old now and doing great!!!!!!!!!!!! We get about three to four eggs a day!  They are also very friendly and will come to you when you call them.”

 

 

 

For more information on backyard hens contact the Duval County Agricultural Extension at 904-255-7450. There are 2000 friends of hens and a coop full of local information at HensInJax.com And for a near cult-like guru level of heritage hen knowledge there’s Jeff Fagan of Watson Realty.

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