April, the broody hen, sits in an antique nest box. She puffs up her beautiful coat of light and dark brown feathers. It’s a warm summer afternoon, and the Brahma feels a natural instinct to incubate an egg to hatch. She’s moody and doesn’t appreciate visitors at the moment.
“It’s OK, April,” her owner Hillary Summers says to comfort her. Summers picks her up, strokes her and sets her down outside the nest box. April is surprisingly calm, considering that some hens in her condition can peck when disturbed. But Summers has had April since she was a chick, and April knows she’s safe with Summers who also has 15 other chickens in her backyard chicken coop in Tarrytown.
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For more information about local backyard chickens, check out the following websites.
Austin Backyard Poultry Meetup Group — meetup.com/AustinBackyardPoultry.
Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour — austincooptour.org
Chickens in the city
Check your local laws before getting chickens. In Austin, chicken coops have to be 50 feet from your neighbor’s house if you have two or more chickens. Make sure to comply with the noise ordinance and consult with your homeowner’s association for additional rules. For more information about urban livestock rules, view Title 3 of the Austin City Code.