Keeping a flock of backyard chickens in San Diego is easy, so long as you follow the law, communicate with your neighbors, and properly protect, house, feed, and care for them. Here's how!
Chickens are a wonderful gateway drug to livestock care and maintenance. While not as efficient feed-to-meat-ratio as rabbits or guinea pigs, they do offer something more: eggs. And not just eggs, but their omnivorous appetites devour kitchen scraps, their excrement is an excellent plant food (which is actually pee+poop in one shot, hence why it's known to burn plants when applied fresh), can control some insect and weed pressures (but will also annihilate other plants, so watch out), and can provide meat and feathers if your dietary preferences lean that way. Since January 2012, the City of San Diego has relaxed decades-old laws regarding chicken ownership for single-family residences. You can dive into the current municipal code regarding chickens here, but we've distilled the important parts for your convenience.
Starting at §42.0708, the following municipal codes apply to potential chicken moms and dads:
In order to determine your setback requirements, you'll need to find out your property's official zoning. Once you find yours, then you get the joy of digging through this municipal code §131.0443: Setback Requirements in Residential Zones to determine your Front, Sides, and Rear setbacks (as set in §131.0431 Development Regulations Table of Residential Zones). Or, call the Development Services Department’s information line at (619) 446-5000, provide your address and request the name of your zone and the zoning setback information.
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