I live in San Rafael and have been raising chickens for over 4 years. Not only do I wake up to delicious, highly nutritious eggs each morning, but I also get chicken poop that’s very rich in nitrogen and great for my garden. Chickens are also good weeders. They eat lots of bugs (especially ticks), and raising them is a wonderful way to teach children about suburban gardening. We’re all trying to re-localize our food sources and backyard chickens are an excellent place to start.
Here’s the trick though…each municipality in Marin has a different set of rules. Mill Valley will allow up to 12 chickens depending on your lot size and how close the coop is to your neighbor’s property line. Tiburon has a $1500 permit fee and just recently the Corte Madera Planning Commission asked for a revision of a 1994 ordinance to make it easier for residents to house backyard chickens.
Chickens have been raised in Marin throughout the county’s history, this past September, Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Novato hosted its first annual Chicken Coop tour. Visitors toured some of Marin’s swankest avian homes, learned about the art of backyard chicken keeping, the finer points of coop construction, and the rewards of chicken ownership.