This is from Roots and Sprouts, a Belmont newletter:
You may be surprised to learn it is legal to
keep chickens in Belmont and that a number
of families around town have welcomed
chickens to their backyards. It is quite possible
chickens are already living in a backyard
near you, where they are happily clucking
away and delivering breakfast daily to their
owners in return for chicken feed, insects, and
weeds. While there may be many reasons to
become a chicken owner and raise these colorful
pets in your Belmont backyard, here are
a few to consider.
Chickens lay eggs. This is the most delicious
benefit. Hens do not need a rooster to enable
or encourage them to produce eggs; however,
the eggs would be infertile and cannot
hatch. There is no difference in appearance
or flavor between fertile or infertile eggs.
The eggs that your hens lay will not only be
fresher and tastier than commercial eggs, but
they will also be healthier.
Chickens are inexpensive to keep. They eat
chicken feed and leftovers, and they leave you
eggs in return. Collecting eggs for chicken
feed is not a bad bargain.
Chickens require little space. A general rule of
thumb for determining space in a chicken
coop for a backyard flock is at least four
square feet of space per hen and at least 10
square feet of space in an outdoor run. That
means that the space that chickens need
can easily be found within the average-sized
It is easy to care for chickens. It takes only a
few minutes each day to feed chickens and
collect the eggs. Coop bedding does not
need to be changed very frequently and is a
valuable addition to a compost pile.
In addition to these reasons to consider keeping
some backyard hens, you may also enjoy
connecting with other Belmont chicken owners
for further information through a Yahoo
web group. Group members will be happy
to talk about their chickens at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BelmontChicken/
The Town of Belmont does require an inspection
and a permit from the Belmont Health
Department to keep hens.