Raising backyard chickens is a trend that has gained momentum nationwide, and San Diego is no exception. With our city’s favorable climate and a community that values sustainability, it’s no wonder why more and more San Diegans are choosing to raise their own chickens. In this blog, we’ll share the best places to buy chickens for sale in San Diego County.
Where to Buy Chickens in San Diego?
You have a few options when buying chickens in San Diego County (including baby chicks). Local farms and feed stores often sell chickens, and it’s worth exploring these options first. Not only does this support local businesses, but it also allows you to see the chickens in person before buying them.
Hatcheries are another option. While most are not located directly in San Diego, many deliver to the area. When buying from a hatchery, you can often choose from a wider variety of breeds.
Hawthorne Country Store
When you’re ready to bring your backyard flock to life, there’s no better place to visit than the Hawthorne Country Store in San Diego. This family-owned feed and homestead supply store is a one-stop-shop for all your chicken-keeping needs.
The Hawthorne Country Store sells various products across numerous departments, such as pets, wildlife, exotic animals, livestock, equine & tack, apparel, gifts & decor, live animals, seeds & soil, beekeeping, canning, and cheesemaking. This range of products ensures you’ll find everything you need to care for your chickens, from feed to coops to health supplies.
One of the most exciting offerings at the Hawthorne Country Store is their selection of baby chicks, which they regularly have available. These chicks are all vaccinated for Marek’s disease, an important step in ensuring the health of your flock.
For your convenience, the Hawthorne Country Store has three locations in the San Diego area: Fallbrook, Escondido, and Santee. Each location has its own unique charm and dedicated team ready to assist you with your chicken-keeping journey.
Here are the store addresses and contact numbers:
- Fallbrook – 215 W Fallbrook St., Fallbrook, CA 92028. Phone: (760) 728-1150
- Escondido – 675 W Grand Ave., Escondido, CA 92025. Phone: (760) 746-7816
- Santee – 10845 Woodside Ave., Santee, CA 92071. Phone: (619) 312-0650.
The stores are open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Sundays from 10:00 a.m.
You can use the store’s pick-up option if you’re in a rush or prefer minimal contact. Call ahead, and the friendly staff will have your order ready when you arrive. They can even bring your order out to your vehicle to ensure a safe and convenient shopping experience.
For larger orders or if you’re unable to make it to the store, Hawthorne Country Store also offers delivery services seven days a week, with most pet feed and product deliveries being free.
Whether you’re a seasoned chicken keeper or just starting your flock, Hawthorne Country Store is committed to providing quality products and excellent customer service. Contact them today and start your chicken-keeping adventure in San Diego!
Rock Hill Farm
Ramona, CA – 949-473-6021 – Focusing on Cream Legbars, Buff Orpington and Rhode Island Reds. Also Phoenix, Wyandottes, Olive Eggers, Dominiques, and White Chinese Geese.
The Serama Farm
Murrieta, CA – 951-314-4633 – Facebook
Murphy’s Flock of Misfits
Apple Valley, CA – Instagram
BZ Quail Farm
San Diego, CA – 512-630-7251
Burrough Valley Chicks
Tollhouse CA – 559-246-8830 – Facebook
The Compound Zoo
S-G Family Homestead
Why Raise Chickens in San Diego?
San Diego’s climate is almost perfect for raising chickens. Our mild winters and warm summers make it an ideal environment for most chicken breeds. But, the benefits of raising chickens extend beyond the favorable climate.
Chickens can provide fresh eggs, an organic source of compost, and natural pest control. Plus, they can be a fun and educational project for families, fostering a sense of responsibility and an understanding of where our food comes from. Local regulations in San Diego are generally favorable for backyard chickens, but check your local zoning and HOA rules to be sure.
Rules and Regulations for Keeping San Diego Chickens.
In response to the growing popularity of backyard chickens, the City of San Diego revised its Municipal Code in January 2012 to permit residents of single-family homes, community gardens, and retail farms to keep and maintain chickens. These specific regulations can be found in Section 42.0709 of the San Diego Municipal Code, available for download in Chapter 04, Article 02, Division 07, Animals and Poultry.
The number of chickens you are permitted to keep on your property hinges on the proximity of the chicken coop to your property lines, also known as a zoning setback. In general, most single-family homes within San Diego’s city limits can maintain up to five chickens, granted that the chicken coop is positioned in the backyard, 5 feet from the side property lines, and 13 feet from the rear property line.
For detailed information regarding the zoning setback for your property, you can visit the Zoning Map application and input your address. This will provide you with the zone name for your property. By clicking on the “More Info” link, you will be directed to a page to view the regulations applicable to your zone. When viewing these regulations, refer to the Development Regulations Table for your zone and look under “Setback Requirements.”
Alternatively, you can contact the City’s Development Services Department at 619-446-5000. By providing your address, you can request the name of your zone and obtain the relevant zoning setback information. Someone will return your call and supply you with the necessary information.
Essential Guidelines for Keeping Chickens in San Diego.
- Roosters Are Prohibited – To minimize noise and disruption to neighbors, roosters are not allowed in urban areas of San Diego. It’s essential to verify the gender of your chickens before purchasing to ensure compliance.
- Chicken Coop Placement and Quantity – The number of chickens you’re allowed to keep is directly related to the location of your coop:
- Up to five chickens – If your coop is situated outside all required property line setbacks, you can keep up to five chickens. This generally means placing your coop in the rear yard, away from property boundaries.
- Up to 15 chickens – If you have more space and can place your coop 15 feet away from all property lines and outside of all required setbacks (whichever distance is greater), you’re allowed up to 15 chickens.
- Up to 25 chickens – If you’re fortunate to have a large property where chickens can be kept at least 50 feet away from any residential buildings, you can maintain up to 25 chickens.
- Required Chicken Coop Specifications – Your chicken coop must be built to protect your chickens from predators. It should be easy to clean for hygiene purposes, have good ventilation for the chickens’ health, and provide sufficient space to move freely. Coop design and size are vital considerations when starting your backyard chicken project.
- Outdoor Enclosure Requirements – An outdoor enclosure is required in addition to the coop. This should also be designed to deter predators and be easy to clean. It needs to be fenced to prevent chickens from leaving your property. Importantly, each chicken should have at least 10 square feet of space in the enclosure to forage and move comfortably.
What Kind of Chickens to Buy?
Choosing the right breed of chicken depends on what you’re looking for. If it’s egg production you’re after, consider breeds like the Rhode Island Red, Sussex, or Plymouth Rock. These are known for being prolific layers.
The Polish or Silkie might be a good choice if you’re looking for a more ornamental chicken. For those seeking a great all-around breed—friendly, good layers, and hardy—Orpingtons or Australorps are often recommended.
Remember, while San Diego’s climate is generally favorable for chickens, some breeds fare better in the heat than others. Make sure to consider this when choosing your chickens.
Caring for Your Chickens
Caring for chickens involves more than just feeding them. Chickens need a safe and comfortable coop to roost in at night and a secure area to range during the day. They require a balanced diet, clean water, and regular health checks.
In San Diego, predators like coyotes and raccoons can pose a threat, so securing your chickens is crucial. In warmer months, chickens need shade and extra water to stay cool.
Raising chickens in San Diego can be a rewarding experience. Whether you’re after fresh eggs, a source of organic compost, or just the joy of raising these fascinating creatures, San Diego is a great place to start your backyard chicken journey. Happy chicken raising!