If you’re thinking about raising chickens, ducks or any other livestock on your property, check out the rulebook first.
Raising backyard chickens or ducks for eggs is gaining popularity — especially as consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of their food purchases.
Here’s the good news: The city of Charlotte allows its residents to keep livestock. However, they must first apply for a permit. The annual fee to keep livestock is $40, and permits must be renewed each year.
Before the permit is issued, a city official will come inspect your property and ensure that coops or shelters are large enough.
For coops, there must be at least four feet for each fowl or rabbit. They’ll also make sure the coop or shelter is at least 25 feet from any property line, and that the animals won’t disturb your neighbors. (This is important because the code states that all fowl or rabbits must be confined to coops or hutches at all times).
While chickens and ducks are probably the most commonly-owned livestock, Charlotteans are also permitted to have pigeons and cloven-hoofed animals (think cattle, goats and sheep).
The property must have at least a quarter acre of land per goat or sheep.
Larger animals, such as cows or horses, require at least two acres of land each. Shelters for larger livestock must also be kept at least 75 feet from any property line.
If you are keeping livestock for meat purposes, the code states that any slaughtering of livestock should be done in a humane and sanitary manner, and can’t be done in an open area that’s visible to the public.
Remember that a permit can be revoked if the city finds that any of the rules have been violated. And even though the city allows you to keep livestock, you should also check with your homeowners’ association, as many don’t allow them.