Dallas Hen Sales Not Ready to Fly the Coop

Dallas nursery, zoning commission will meet again next week about monthly chicken sales

A Dallas nursery has to wait a little longer to find out if it can host monthly sales by a chicken breeder.

Dozens of Dallas residents are becoming urban chicken farmers so they can have fresh eggs straight from their back yards. But because no one sells live chickens within the city limits, they usually have to travel to outlying farms or buy chicks online.

However, buying online can be a gamble, because farmers can't tell chicks' gender at that age, and it is illegal to own roosters in Dallas.

North Haven Gardens is hoping to be the first garden center within the city limits to have sales of live chickens, but a meeting with the city zoning commission ended with no resolution to the issue.

City planners were unclear if chicken breeders were allowed to sell hens in the city, and the zoning department nixed the idea because it didn't want North Haven to expand its business practices.

But the nursery argues that urban chicken farming goes hand-in-hand with its organic gardening business.

Leslie Halleck, the nursery's general manager, said the zoning commission seemed receptive to the idea of urban chicken farming at Tuesday's meeting, but didn't know much about it.

Halleck said she promised to provide the commission with more information.

The two groups will meet again next week in hopes of finding a resolution.

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