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So you want a flock of chickens?

Raising chickens can be an amazing experience for your whole family! The eggs are delicious, but the decision to raise chickens is not without work–but you know this already! 

Before choosing to get chickens you will want to consider some of the following questions: 

  • Why are you raising them? Are you interested in eggs, meat or pleasure?
  • Where are you going to put them? You will certainly need a coop of some sort. There are many different varieties and costs involved with having the right home for your chickens. 
  • Do you have time to spend with them? They need time and attention. When the snow is deep are you prepared to make sure they have fresh water, food and are warm enough?
  • Who will care for them when you are not around? Who will take care of them if you go on vacation? 
  • Will you eat all the eggs they produce? If you are raising your chickens for eggs if you have more than you need will you give them away? Sell them? How will you do this? 
  • Are you allowed to have chickens? In Boulder County you are allowed to raise chickens, but there are limits on the number. 

These questions might seem frivolous, but there have been many folks who didn’t realize how much work and time was involved in taking care of chickens and so you want to go into this endeavor with your eyes wide open!

Once you have asked yourself these questions and have decided that yes, you can and want to do this, your next move is to do your research. I think the folks at The Happy Chicken Coop are an excellent resource! 

Happy chicken raising!

 

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Farmers markets are thriving in Boulder County!

Farmers markets are thriving in Boulder County! At least once a week throughout the summer [and in some cases into the fall], you can find farmers’ bounties on full display and in market places in our communities. These are special days when residents look forward to purchasing straight from farmers and skipping the grocery stores. In a time when farmers markets seem to be declining in popularity, Boulder area farmers markets are thriving and have seen a consistent growth year over year.

Boulder County farmers market are each unique and reflect each local community. Though you can always find in season produce and fruits, you will also find artists, live music, prepared foods, alcohol and much more. Here is a handy list of where you can find your local Boulder County farmers markets [or check out one in another community, just for fun!]:

2019 Boulder County Farmers Markets

COMMUNITY DAY/HOURS LOCATION ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Longmont Wednesday/5-8p On 5th [between Main & Coffman] June–September

Real Farmers Market

Longmont Saturday/8a-1p 9595 Nelson Road, Longmont April–November

Boulder County Farmers Market

Boulder Wednesday/4-8p 13th & Canyon Blvd, Boulder June–September

Boulder County Farmers Market

Boulder Saturday/8a-2p 13th & Canyon Blvd, Boulder April–November

Boulder County Farmers Market

Erie Thursday/5-8p Briggs St [between Wells & Moffatt] May–September

Real Farmers Market

Louisville Saturday/9a-1p 824 Front Street, Louisville May–October

Real Farmers Market

Lafayette Thursday/4-8p 400 Block E. Simpson June–September

Boulder County Farmers Market

There are two main organizations behind the strong farmers’ markets in Boulder County: Boulder County Farmers Market and Real Farmer’s Market. They both run amazing farmers markets and I am so glad to see each one keeping rural Boulder County thriving!

What do you like most about your local farmers market?

 

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Making sense of raising farm animals on your Boulder County property!

Interested in raising animals on your property? The number and type of animals you can keep on land in Boulder County depends on a few factors: Land Use Designation and Type of Animals you want to keep. It can be a little tricky to make sure you are in compliance, but here are some guidelines to help you out.

Zoning: The first thing you need to consider is zoning. What is your property zoned for and what does this zoning allow? The different zoning districts in Boulder County allow a specific number of animals units per acre. Here is a reference for the zoning districts and the animal units/acre.

Zoning District Limits Table

Zone Animal Units Per Acre
A = Agricultural 4
F = Forestry 2
RR = Rural Residential 2
ER = Estate Residential 2
SR = Suburban Residential 0
MF = Multifamily 0
LI = Light Industrial 4
GI = General industrial 4
MI = Mountain Industrial 2

 

Animal Types: The second thing you need to consider is what type of animals you want to have on your property. The interesting thing is different animals count as different numbers of units. Pay attention to this detail!

Animal Units Table

Animal Type Animal Per Animal Unit
Cattle, Buffalo, & Other Livestock 1
Horse, Mule, Donkey 1
Horse (34 inches or less at withers) 5
Swine, Ostrich 5
Goat, Sheep, Llama 5
Poultry 50
Mink and other similar fur-bearing animals 50

 

So how do you determine the number and type of animals you can have on your property? You need to use a calculation based on the animal unit ratios to figure out how many animals of any specific type are allowed on your land. Here is an example from Boulder County:

“If a property owner has 10 acres of land zoned Agricultural (A), they would be allowed a total of 40 animal units on this parcel. This means they could keep 8 horses, 24 head of cattle, 400 chickens, and still be within allowed limitations of the zoning regulations.”[1]

In the example above: 8 horses = 8 animal units, 24 cattle = 24 animal units, and 400 chickens = 8 animal units. Even though this agricultural zoned land would have 432 animals living there, they only have 40 animal units.

Read more on this topic: Keeping Animal in Boulder County

[1]https://assets.bouldercounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/p29-keeping-animals-in-boulder-county.pdf

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Rural Boulder County Real Estate Definitions

Dreaming of owning property in Boulder County? I get it! I love living in rural Boulder County surrounded by land, animals and lots of space for my whole family to roam. Whether you are looking for a hobby farm, a farm, a ranch or just space for an awesome garden, I can help you navagate the real estate landscape of rural Boulder County! Here are some helpful definitions and resources:

Farmette/Hobby Farm. This is a small residential farm run by an owner who earns income from a source other than the farm. It is sometimes known as a yokelet or a farmlet. Farmette owners are typically city workers who want to own rural land without operating a full farm. A farmette often includes a large vegetable garden, the occasional barn, tractor, and even farm or domestic animals, such as goats and cats. Farmetters usually rely on their tractor to plow or snow blow their driveways during the winter. Farmettes are usually 50 acres (200,000 m2) max. They can have a small hog pen, a few chickens in a chicken coop or a kennel house for dogs.

It is also considered a farm when crops and plants can be planted on it.  Yes, plants can be planted on 2-3 acres, but this makes it a large garden. In the U.S., a high proportion of farms might be classed as hobby farms. [1]

Farm. This is an area of land devoted primarily to the practice of producing and managing food (produce, grains, or livestock), fibres and, increasingly, fuel. It is the basic production facility in food production. Farms may be owned and operated by a single individual, family, community, corporation or a company. It is also considered a farm when crops and plants can be planted on it.  Yes, plants can be planted on 2-3 acres, but this makes it a large garden.

So, when searching for property, make sure you a clear about whether or not you are just looking for rural property with a few acres, or if you are actually searching for a farm or farmette with numerous acres.  It makes a big difference. [2]

Ranch. Defined an area of land, including various structures, given primarily to the practice of ranching, the practice of raising grazing livestock such as cattle or sheep for meat or wool. The word most often applies to livestock-raising operations in Mexico, the Western United States and Western Canada, though there are ranches in other areas. [3]

Gentleman farmer.  This is referring to a landowner who has a farm (gentleman’s farm) as part of his estate and who farms mainly for pleasure rather than for profit or sustenance. The estate can vary from under ten to hundreds or even thousands of acres, and may produce any number of types of grains, poultry or other livestock.. The gentleman farmer can employ labourers and farm managers. The chief source of income for the gentleman farmer was derived not from any income that the landed property may generate. He invariably had his own private income, worked as a professional, owned a large business elsewhere, or some combination of the three. [4]

Boulder County Rural Property Resources:

__________

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobby_farm
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farm
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranch
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentleman_farmer