If you are a Pinellas County resident who dreams of tending to your very own flock of backyard chickens, you’re in luck. Before you dive into the wonderful world of backyard chicken ownership, make sure you clearly understand the county ordinance, along with the specific regulations of your community. Doing your homework when it comes to chicken care is just as important as following the rules.
Backyard chickens require a serious commitment. However, the joy of interacting with these friendly and curious animals, the sense of pride and accomplishment received from taking good care of them, and, of course, the fresh eggs are well worth the effort.
Backyard Chickens in Pinellas County
People residing in single family homes in certain zoned areas are allowed up to 4 backyard chickens. The covered coop must not be situated within 100 feet of neighbors (without their approval) and the coop and runways need to be clean at all times. Chickens should also be protected from wandering and from predators with appropriate fencing.
As with most ordinances, there are plenty of details that need to be attended to before you bring your flock home to roost, and we highly recommend that you review the rules and regulations thoroughly.
Chicken Care 101
- Nutrition – A balanced diet is important for all animals. Provide your chickens with a high quality, life stage appropriate, commercial chicken feed, along with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep them thriving. A supplemental source of calcium, such as limestone, is also important.
- Housing – Your chicken coop should be adequately ventilated, as well as insulated, to keep the temperature comfortable and prevent the onset of respiratory illness. Straw bedding helps, but should be replaced regularly. Chickens should be provided with nesting boxes in which to lay eggs, as well as an elevated roost to perch on at night.
- Safety – Keeping backyard chickens safe from predators, such as raccoons, opossums, and dogs, is a must. The coop should have four solid walls, and eating, resting, and foraging activities should take place in a fully fenced enclosure that is buried deep enough to prevent burrowing predators from getting in.
- Veterinary care – Illness or injury can strike a chicken as easily as any other animal. Bayshore Animal Hospital and Avian Practice has experience will a wide variety of bird species, and are committed to helping you take the best possible care of your chickens. We offer intestinal parasite testing and deworming, and can help keep your flock healthy and producing!
Chickens are so much more than a source of fresh eggs! Time spent with your chickens will reveal their personalities and many interesting habits and quirks. We look forward to hearing more about your pets the next time you are in to see us at Bayshore Animal Hospital and Avian Practice.