Posts Tagged ‘chicken permit’

The City of Richmond has just passed new regulations/ordinances making it officially permissable to have up to 4 hens on a residential property. IF you get a permit, which costs 60 dollars every year.

For comparison, a yearly license for a dog is 10 dollars every year. So it costs 15 dollars per chicken (if you get the maximum of 4, more per chicken if you get fewer: $20 each for 3, $30 each for 2, and $60 each for 1). How does that even make sense?

Not to mention that it would seem that the idea of having chickens is about food access and local food and social justice. But if you have to pay an arbitrary 60 dollar permit fee to the City just to have only 4 hens, it is going to be hard for folks to even break even on having hens once food and coop costs are calculated in. For instance, an average cost for a dozen eggs according to the bureau of labor statistics,  is $1.93. So a $1.93 divided by 12 is roughly 16 cents per egg. $60 dollars (the permit cost) divided by 16 cents is 375. For the cost of a yearly chicken permit one could store buy 375 eggs, basically an egg a day. So you’d have to have an output of 375 eggs from your 4 hens each year to make chickens cost efficient in Richmond given the current permit and regulations. Then factor in the cost of time/materials for a coop, and the feed, and you’ve really got something unaffordable.

This seems like the new chicken rules are just some greenwashing yuppie victory than one which will largely help folks who need access to affordable, local, fresh food.

Many people who wanted to have chickens before these regulations were passed, simply did have chickens. Now it is likely or at least possible that there will be more enforcement against people without a permit. The current state of the chicken regulations in Richmond is great for hobbyists and folks for whom having your own chickens is suddenly trendy. Basically, for anyone whom can afford to take a loss on the fun of having chicken pets.

This seems to complicate matters for folks trying to get affordable, local food- especially folks living in food deserts etc. The fee is too high, and the folks who might most benefit from being allowed to have chickens are having that benefit taken away through the permit fees.

The new regulations require a minimum of 3 square feet per hen. For animal cruelty prevention reasons, this makes sense. Maybe the City of Richmond should also require that any and all eggs or products containing eggs that are sold in the City of Richmond are laid by hens who have at least 3 square feet of space in their coops.

You can read the regulations for yourself below.

Here are links to info from Richmond Animal Control on the issue.

Part 1:

Part 2:

(We know that there are plenty of nice, well meaning people in Richmond who are genuinely excited about now being able to have chickens as pets and/or for the benefit of eggs. To you we say, don’t settle for this. Don’t settle for a 15 dollar a hen fee. If you can afford it, doesn’t mean you should have to. Don’t let the passing of this regulation be the end of your participation in the fight for food access, food justice, and local food in Richmond)