Noise - Roosters will not be permitted and are not needed to produce eggs. Laying hens make some soft noise when laying an egg, but are basically silent at all other times. From sundown to sunup, because chickens can’t see in the dark, they lay quietly in their coop.
Odors– Much like a cat litter box, the laying hen’s coop does need cleaning from time to time.Unlike cat’s, a hens waste is a great source of fertilizer for lawns and garden beds. The slaughtering of chickens is expressly prohibited unless at a USDA approved facility.
Disease – Chickens carry far fewer diseases than cats or dogs. As to “bird flu”, there has never been human infection in the US and the spread in Asia, Africa and Europe is largely due to the unsanitary and tight quarters seen more often in CAFOs.
Attraction of predators – Raccoons are the most common predators to chickens and they exist in Jacksonville currently, usually feeding off the plates of outdoor cats and dogs, as well as the trash created and left out by humans. Laying hens, when secured in proper coop at night, are safe from these nocturnal creatures.
Key Elements from Proposed Draft Hen Legislation
As an accessory use to a permitted single family dwelling.A maximum of 6 hens – no roosters. Enclosing structure required, screened from street view, and consistent with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Services Publication. Chickens are not raised for consumption. Sale of eggs is already regulated and enforced by the State Department of Agriculture.
Benefits of Urban Goats
Health - Raw milk has nothing added, no hormones or antibiotics. Lactos intolerance is not an issue. No GMO's. Higher in many vitamins and nutrients. Can help reduce allergies.
Safety- Dairy operations are filthy and rely on pasteurization to kill microbes that might kill you. Did you know that conventional milk contains high levels of blood, pus, and feces? One third of pasteurized milk is contaminated with dangerous enzymes. If you are getting milk from your goat in your back yard then you know exactly where it came from, how it was handled, and what the animal ate that produced it.
Education and Knowledge – Kids have firsthand knowledge of where their food comes from. Since they are home raised, we know that the milk produced is antibiotic and hormone free.
Environmentally sensitive – milk from your own goat in the backyard instead of hundreds or thousands of miles away saves fuel costs and harmful effects of large scale industrial dairy farming
Natural weed control – contrary to popular belief, goats are browsers, not grazers. They will happily munch on any cut shrubbery or weeds or spent garden goods that you want to give them. No more waiting for COJ to pick up those shrubs you trimmed - your goat will eat it and turn it in to milk.
Domesticated Pet - goats make wonderful pets. They are extremely smart and funny and playful. They are herd animals and will bond to their people very easily.
Some Misconceptions About Urban Goat Keeping
Noise - Goats are prey animals and make no noise at night. During the day, most goats make less noise than your neighbors barking dog. Goats are herd animals so having only one isn't an option or you will get a loud and lonely goat. For small scale purposes, 2-3 goats is adequate for them to entertain themselves.
Odor - Goat poop is small like rabbit droppings. Much like a cat litter box, the goat shed does need cleaning from time to time and unlike cat’s, a goats's waste is a great source of fertilizer for lawns and garden beds, much like hen waste. Again, we aren't talking about a herd of goats - SCALE IS EVERYTHING
Lots of Land is Necessary - this is truly a misconception, especially when we are talking about 2-3 goats. In most countries where goat keeping is more normal, a small pen and some adequate fencing with a shed for cover from the weather is all that is necessary - very similar to what a dog needs. Goats can eat mostly hay and shrubbery clippings that you feed them along with small amounts of oats and grains when they are milking.
Everyone is going to get one and they will be everywhere! - This is most certainly not true. Goats are ruminants and require special attention. Also, to keep the goat milking the doe must be bred, so the owner has to be dedicated to finding a stud and selling the babies. This is more trouble than most are willing to do. But for those who are willing to put in the time and effort, misconceptions shouldn't be allowed to hold them back
Key Elements to Proposed Draft Goat Legislation
2-3 goats per household with a restrictions (numbers, lot size, ets). No uncastrated males permitted
Enclosing structure required, not visble from street view. Goats are not raised for meat consumption or milk sale.