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Galt to consider allowing residents to raise chickens

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Posted: Monday, July 2, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 11:00 am, Wed Jan 30, 2013.

Egg-laying chickens can provide affordable and natural food. They're also easy to care for and fun, according to those who raise them.

Now Galt City Councilman Mark Crews wants Galtonians to be allowed to have them.

A draft ordinance will be discussed at Tuesday's City Council meeting at the request of Crews.

"Because of interest in sustainability, a lot of people are keeping chickens for fresh eggs," said Cherie Sintes-Glover, a self-proclaimed poultry enthusiast who runs a Lodi-based consulting group called Chickens For Eggs.

The proposal will have to go back through the Planning Commission for approval since it includes land zoning changes. It would likely be on an agenda in August.

If approved, Galtonians would be allowed to keep up to four egg-laying chickens in pens, coops or other enclosures at least 20 feet from any nearby residence. Roosters would not be allowed.

Lodi city ordinance allows up to three hens so long as their eggs are used primarily for home consumption and not for commercial purposes.

It has been on the books since at least 1979.

Sacramento founded its chicken ordinance last fall, but requires a permit for keeping poultry. Galt decided such a practice was unnecessary due to the city's small size and density.

Sintes-Glover said the allure of raising egg-laying hens has grown with the downturn of the economy and people looking to save money by activities such as growing their own food.

Those concerned with what commercial chickens eat and how they're bred also are also attracted to raising their own because they know what goes into producing their eggs, she added.

"People are realizing they're compact and easy to take care of," Sintes-Glover said. "But people really need to get the buy in from their neighbors because that can be a problem."

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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