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Do it yourself: Starting a backyard farm

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Earlier this year, the city of San Diego amended the municipal code to allow residents of single-family homes to raise and keep chickens, goats and even bees on their property. Here is a quick guide of what’s permitted:

*Most homes in San Diego can have five chickens if the coop is in the backyard and at least five feet away from side property lines and 13 feet from the rear property line (called a “zone setback”). The exact number of chickens allowed depends on the address and zone setback for each property. The city’s Development Services Department can provide this information: 619-446-5000.

*The coop has to be large enough to allow the chickens to move freely. Roosters are not allowed. One hen will lay about 300 eggs per year.

*City residents who want access to fresh goat milk and cheese can have two miniature goats in their yard (in a secured area), that are dehorned and neutered.

*Two goats can provide half a gallon of milk a day. Most people that are allergic to cow’s milk and cheese are able to consume dairy products from goats.

*Those interested in beekeeping can have an apiary at their home. Regulations for beekeeping have stricter zone setbacks, and the number of hives allowed are determined by the property’s address. The city’s Development Services Department can provide this information: 619-446-5000.

*Beekeeping actually reduces the number of aggressive bees within the hive area, and can provide around 25 pounds of honey a season.

For more info visit sdfoodpolicy.org.

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