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Lizzy733

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Surprisingly in Decatur Ga a lot of livestock is legal within city limits but potbelly pigs are the only pig breed legally kept. Miniature horses and donkeys as well as emus and goats are legal. Even roosters and guineas are allowed here
Would that include Kunes? I see them sometimes included as 'miniatures' though some lines can get pretty big and they can be used for meat (but they're my dogs, so won't be doing this myself). I have friends down the road with a pair of massive sows. Hoping my boys stay around knee height personally since they're not for the pot.
 

Lizzy733

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I’m currently in Decatur ga and I personally don’t want to have to move too far away from the city!
Goats could be a productive dairy source though consider how much you actually need before picking a breed - excess could just go to sop your pig feed if you do end up with some piglets. They also need your fencing to be fort knox. Adults will be marginally easier to contain than kids.

With talk of goats and pigs, I'd go electric for peace of mind. My little kune boys squeeze under the posts and battens all the time at the moment. Fortunately, they do stay on the property for the most part, but they really do go where they want if they have a mind to. I think a little bit bigger and either the fences will suit them or they'll start snapping wires.

I want goats as well, so will eventually be electrifying some paddocks.

What is your management plan for them? Will you be breeding to butcher for meat at any point? We've decided to tackle kills and butchery ourselves here. You really need a gameplan for hanging meat and discarding offal too. Guts can take up a lot of space in a pit and being in the city, I'm sure there's all sorts of critters that'd like to get into your discard.
 

Blackgold05

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Would that include Kunes? I see them sometimes included as 'miniatures' though some lines can get pretty big and they can be used for meat (but they're my dogs, so won't be doing this myself). I have friends down the road with a pair of massive sows. Hoping my boys stay around knee height personally since they're not for the pot.
I think I could get away with keeping KKs especially if they were crossed with PBs. its just illegal to have any large hogs or commercial pigs that could cause major damage to a lawn or yard. But literally almost everything else under the sun is legal to keep including cows, camels and llamas
 

Blackgold05

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Goats could be a productive dairy source though consider how much you actually need before picking a breed - excess could just go to sop your pig feed if you do end up with some piglets. They also need your fencing to be fort knox. Adults will be marginally easier to contain than kids.

With talk of goats and pigs, I'd go electric for peace of mind. My little kune boys squeeze under the posts and battens all the time at the moment. Fortunately, they do stay on the property for the most part, but they really do go where they want if they have a mind to. I think a little bit bigger and either the fences will suit them or they'll start snapping wires.

I want goats as well, so will eventually be electrifying some paddocks.

What is your management plan for them? Will you be breeding to butcher for meat at any point? We've decided to tackle kills and butchery ourselves here. You really need a gameplan for hanging meat and discarding offal too. Guts can take up a lot of space in a pit and being in the city, I'm sure there's all sorts of critters that'd like to get into your discard.
The stock I raise will definitely be pets as inner city backyard slaughter is outlawed on any non-fowl animals. i do plant to go the electric fencing route as well. Having several barn style sheds could be used as proper shelter
 

Ridgetop

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First, let's get some info from you.

You are in Decatur GA.
You have a 5 acre property.
Are you alone, or married with a supportive spouse, have children old enough to help with chores?
What is your zoning?
Are you handy with tools or a quick learner?
What do you want to do with your animals? Are they pets, food source, meat, egg, dairy, etc.
Do you have any experience with animals (not necessary but reading up on the species and requirements is essential)
Are you friendly with your neighbors?
Do others in the neighborhood keep livestock?
IS THE PROPERTY PROPERLY FENCED TO KEEP OUT PREDATORS (COYOTES AND NEIGHBORHOOD DOGS)?
Is the property properly fenced to keep in the type of livestock you are planning to keep?
Is there a feed store close enough to order hay and grain since 5 acres is not large to graze year round. BTW hay is hitting astronomical prices.
Is there a vet in the area that treat large livestock other than dogs and cats? This will be essential since most dog and cat vets won't even talk to you about livestock AND the federal government is taking most types of livestock meds off OTC and making them all prescription only.

Having now pointed out the worst problems you will have, let's move on to what you can have, which is a lot in Decatur on 5 acres. At the bottom of this writing you will see an excerpt on allowed animal keeping in Decatur and the requirements.

The minimum acreage for livestock is 2 acres, BUT NO PIGS are allowed. All livestock must be kept 100' from property lines while livestock barns/buildings must be 200' from property lines.

Since you want to plant a large garden, I suggest you plant fruit trees around the property lines and then your garden inside that perimeter, keeping the interior of the 5 acre plot for your animals. By keeping 100' of garden space adjacent to the property line, along with vehicle parking and driveways, you will be able to obey the restriction of keeping all livestock 100' from the property line.

The best animals for you to start with are chickens, rabbits, and dairy goats - eggs, meat, milk.

1. Chickens for both eggs and meat. If you are not interested in producing fertile eggs or chicks you can avoid keeping any roosters. While I like hearing roosters crowing, most neighbors don't. Chickens are quiet except when they lay an egg when they like to announce it by cackling. Since they only lay one egg per hen per day that is not a problem. The chicken coop does not have to be very big and you can find lots of chicken pen/coop building plans on line along with the required square footage per bird. Remember that larger is better and having somewhere to store feed, shavings, and equipment will be necessary. Also plan something that you can walk into since cleaning a chicken coop on your hands and knees is not nice! :sick:gigAll of your garden cuttings can be thrown to the chickens which will eat anything.

2. Rabbits are another wonderfully easy keeper and eat production unit. They make no noise. Hanging cages under a roof with the manure falling underneath into wood shavings or sawdust is excellent. The sawdust/shavings soaks up the pee which is pure nitrogen and can be put on your vegetable garden immediately without aging. Rabbit poop does not burn plants like other fresh manure. If you like to fish, enclose the area under the hanging cages with 2" x 12" boards to make "worm pits" to grow your own bait. Don't use night crawlers. Enclosing the "pits" also helps the shavings and manure turn into odorless mulch and makes it easier to shovel out wheelbarrow loads for your garden. I used everything from our rabbitry for our own garden, but many rabbit breeders sell the contents of the worm pits manure and castings privately to gardeners. Unless you have a huge rabbitry though you will use every bit in your own garden and around your fruit trees. Wonderful stuff.
Meat rabbit breeds will produce eight (or more) 5 lb. fryers every 3 months. This equates to 20 lbs. of low calorie meat per doe per quarter. A doe is pregnant for 30 days, nurses the bunnies for 8 weeks at which time you remove them and butcher them. The doe can be immediately bred again for another go round. Best meat production around, meat is tasty and butchering is super easy. Rabbit livers are sweet and rest of guts can be fed to the chickens. And dead kits can also be thrown to the chickens. A trio (1 buck and 2 does) will produce approximately 160 lbs. of meat er year. More does, more meat. The cost of rabbit feed has gone up but this is still the cheapest type of backyard meat you can grow on a small holding.

3. Dairy goats. Dairy work is labor intensive. I will say right off that I don't like the miniature breeds for milk production. Many people have them and really like them so to them I apolgize, but to me the amount of work you have to do to produce an adequate amount of milk for a family just isn't worth it compared to a standard size dairy doe.
Standard dairy goats must be milked every 12 hours or 2x daily. One doe will produce an average of 1 gallon of milk per day. If you have a heavy producer they will often produce more. Any dairy doe producing less than 1 gallon a day in her second lactation is a cull in my mind. I base this on the amount of feed (cost) and work (my time) it takes to produce the milk, including the time to milk twice a day.
Next, don't rush out and buy a dairy goat for milk yet! You need to know that different breeds have different tasting milk - Toggenburg milk being universally voted most disgusting taste unless you are making a very sharp tangy type of cheese. (Many goat people believe that Tog milk is the base for Limburger :lol:) Different breeds and different goats within those breeds produce different amounts of butterfat. Butterfat amounts can affect taste. WHEN BUYING YOUR FIRST MILKER, GET ONE THAT YOU CAN TEST MILK AND DRINK HER MILK. MAKE SURE YOU LIKE THE TASTE! ALSO MAKE SURE THAT YOU CAN MIK THE GOAT EASILY. NOT ALL GOAT HAVE NICE EASY MIKING TEATS OR ARE GOOD IN THE STANCHION. YOU DON'T WANT YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH A MILK GOAT TO BE HORRIBLE. An older doe, easy milker, trained to the stanchion and milk pail, will be worth a higher price than the bargain first freshener who hates people and had tiny baby teats. Also most breeders will sell off some of their older milkers after they kid since they will be bringing in younger stock.
My favorite breeds for milk taste - Nubian first, LaMancha second. If you can't stand the sight of the earless LaMancha stick with the Nubian which also produces the most butterfat. Nubian milk tastes very much like extra rich cow milk.
If you decide to keep dairy goats, they must be bred and produce kids to produce milk. They are herd animals so you will need to keep 2. Keeping only one will result in constant loud screaming from the single goat. Otherwise by keeping two does they are quiet. By breeding them at different times of the year you can have milk all year round. Be sure to bottle feed the kids since that makes them tame and you can control the amount milk you get from the doe. Milking is labor intensive since you have to commit to milking 2x a day 10 months out of the year. The only time we went on vacation is when our goat breeder would board our goats while they were being bred for a month in August. Otherwise you will need to find another goat person to milk for you if you leave.
Oh yes, did I forget to say that goats are addictive so you will want to put their kids in your freezer or sell them. When your does turn 6-8 years old keep a couple doe kids out of your favorite milker for replacement purposes.

My suggestion - stay away from sheep and alpacas that need to be shorn. Unless you are a lover of lamb meat (and goat tastes as good or better) or are already a wool spinner and are planning to buy a specialty breed, there is no market in wool and you will have to pay someone to shear annually for you. it isn't cheap either.

Here is a little about me - my emphasis is on efficient and affordable food production, using the best type and bloodlines available to produce it. Over the past 40 years we started with rabbits and chickens on half an acre, and my garden and fruit trees produced everything we ate year round as well as enough for a small boutique jam and pickle business. Then we moved to a larger property and built a 100 cage rabbitry, and added milk goats and hogs for our ow consumption. Our 5 children went into 4-H and gradually appropriated all the barns for their 100 dairy goat show herd. We raised calves on the copious amount of milk (15-20 gallons) we were producing daily. Then we added a small Boer goat herd, and one son raised 2 replacement dairy heifers. Currently, with all but one child gone, we raise White dorper sheep on 6 acres mainly for fire clearance but will be moving to Texas to 45 acres next year with the sheep and one son who will partner with us. We currently have 35 ewes and 4 rams. Feed costs have more than doubled in the past year and we have no forage since we have minimal rain. We have raised livestock for sale and our freezer so here is my two cents worth.





  • Sec. 14-7. - Keeping of hogs and pigs.

    SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
    It shall be unlawful to keep hogs or pigs within the city.
    (Code 1967, § 5-6)
  • Sec. 14-7.1. - Livestock.

    SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
    The following restrictions are established for keeping livestock such as cattle, horses and similar animals.
    (1)
    Livestock shall be permitted on properties of at least two acres in size.
    (2)
    All buildings used for livestock shall be located at least 200 feet from any property line.
    (3)
    All livestock shall be maintained at least 100 feet from any property line.
    (4)
    There shall be a minimum of 5,000 square feet of fenced lot area not covered by the principal building or structure for each livestock animal.
    (5)
    Live slaughter shall be prohibited.
    (Ord. No. O-99-19, § 12, 12-20-99; Ord. No. O-12-Z-22, § 1, 12-3-12)
  • Sec. 14-8. - Keeping of fowl and small domesticated animals—General regulations.

    SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
    Small domesticated animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs and fowl, such as chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, turkeys and the like may be kept within the city subject to the following regulations:
    (1)
    All such animals shall be provided with adequate and sanitary housing. Such houses, hutches, pens, stables, sheds, stalls and enclosures wherein domesticated animals, poultry or other fowl are kept shall have a solid floor as may be approved by the county health officer. All such houses, hutches, pens, stables, sheds, stalls and enclosures, wherever located, shall have a minimum floor space of four square feet per animal or bird over one month old.
    (2)
    All houses, hutches, pens, stables, sheds, stalls or enclosures where such livestock, poultry or other fowl are kept shall not be nearer to any houses wherein human beings reside, other than the residence of the person who is the owner of such animals, than a distance equal to the width of the lot upon which the animals are kept, or a minimum distance of 75 feet should the lot be 75 feet or more in width.
    (3)
    Every person owning or keeping chickens or any other domestic fowl in the city is hereby required to keep such fowl and chickens under fence and not allow such chickens or fowl to run on any property other than his own.
    (4)
    Live slaughter shall be prohibited.
    (Code 1967, § 5-8; Ord. No. O-12-Z-22, § 2, 12-3-12)
  • Sec. 14-9. - Same—Sanitary requirements.

    SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
    (a)
    It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having control of the use of any house, hutch, pen, stable, stall or enclosure or other place where domesticated animals, poultry or fowl are kept to allow the same to become filthy or unsanitary. Every person who owns or keeps such domesticated animals, poultry or fowl shall maintain in connection therewith a bin, pit or container in which the manure from such animals, poultry or fowl shall be placed pending removal. Such bin, pit or container shall be provided with covers or other devices, sufficient to prevent the ingress and egress of flies and other insect pests. All persons controlling such places where domesticated animals, poultry or fowl are kept shall remove all manure from such bins, pits or containers before the same shall become malodorous or unsanitary. However, any such person may use such manure upon his premises for the purpose of enriching his own ground.
    (b)
    It shall be unlawful for any person who possesses, harbors or is in charge of any animal not to immediately remove excrement deposited by the animal in the public right-of-way, in a city park or on private property not owned by the person responsible for the animal. Animal waste must be removed and disposed of in a sanitary manner.
    (c)
    It shall be the duty of any person having custody or control of any animal in the city to have in such person's possession a device or equipment for the picking up and removal of animal excrement when the animal is not confined to that person's property. The provisions of this section shall not apply to an animal aiding the handicapped (e.g., guide dog) or to an animal when in police or rescue activities.
    (Code 1967, § 5-9; Ord. No. O-05-05, Art. I, § 1, 4-4-05)
  • Sec. 14-10. - Same—Drainage of pens and other areas.

    SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
    All places wherein livestock, poultry or fowl are kept shall have adequate drainage sufficient to prevent standing water in yards or pens.
 

Blackgold05

Ridin' The Range
Joined
Feb 2, 2022
Messages
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Points
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First, let's get some info from you.

You are in Decatur GA.
You have a 5 acre property.
Are you alone, or married with a supportive spouse, have children old enough to help with chores?
What is your zoning?
Are you handy with tools or a quick learner?
What do you want to do with your animals? Are they pets, food source, meat, egg, dairy, etc.
Do you have any experience with animals (not necessary but reading up on the species and requirements is essential)
Are you friendly with your neighbors?
Do others in the neighborhood keep livestock?
IS THE PROPERTY PROPERLY FENCED TO KEEP OUT PREDATORS (COYOTES AND NEIGHBORHOOD DOGS)?
Is the property properly fenced to keep in the type of livestock you are planning to keep?
Is there a feed store close enough to order hay and grain since 5 acres is not large to graze year round. BTW hay is hitting astronomical prices.
Is there a vet in the area that treat large livestock other than dogs and cats? This will be essential since most dog and cat vets won't even talk to you about livestock AND the federal government is taking most types of livestock meds off OTC and making them all prescription only.

Having now pointed out the worst problems you will have, let's move on to what you can have, which is a lot in Decatur on 5 acres. At the bottom of this writing you will see an excerpt on allowed animal keeping in Decatur and the requirements.

The minimum acreage for livestock is 2 acres, BUT NO PIGS are allowed. All livestock must be kept 100' from property lines while livestock barns/buildings must be 200' from property lines.

Since you want to plant a large garden, I suggest you plant fruit trees around the property lines and then your garden inside that perimeter, keeping the interior of the 5 acre plot for your animals. By keeping 100' of garden space adjacent to the property line, along with vehicle parking and driveways, you will be able to obey the restriction of keeping all livestock 100' from the property line.

The best animals for you to start with are chickens, rabbits, and dairy goats - eggs, meat, milk.

1. Chickens for both eggs and meat. If you are not interested in producing fertile eggs or chicks you can avoid keeping any roosters. While I like hearing roosters crowing, most neighbors don't. Chickens are quiet except when they lay an egg when they like to announce it by cackling. Since they only lay one egg per hen per day that is not a problem. The chicken coop does not have to be very big and you can find lots of chicken pen/coop building plans on line along with the required square footage per bird. Remember that larger is better and having somewhere to store feed, shavings, and equipment will be necessary. Also plan something that you can walk into since cleaning a chicken coop on your hands and knees is not nice! :sick:gigAll of your garden cuttings can be thrown to the chickens which will eat anything.

2. Rabbits are another wonderfully easy keeper and eat production unit. They make no noise. Hanging cages under a roof with the manure falling underneath into wood shavings or sawdust is excellent. The sawdust/shavings soaks up the pee which is pure nitrogen and can be put on your vegetable garden immediately without aging. Rabbit poop does not burn plants like other fresh manure. If you like to fish, enclose the area under the hanging cages with 2" x 12" boards to make "worm pits" to grow your own bait. Don't use night crawlers. Enclosing the "pits" also helps the shavings and manure turn into odorless mulch and makes it easier to shovel out wheelbarrow loads for your garden. I used everything from our rabbitry for our own garden, but many rabbit breeders sell the contents of the worm pits manure and castings privately to gardeners. Unless you have a huge rabbitry though you will use every bit in your own garden and around your fruit trees. Wonderful stuff.
Meat rabbit breeds will produce eight (or more) 5 lb. fryers every 3 months. This equates to 20 lbs. of low calorie meat per doe per quarter. A doe is pregnant for 30 days, nurses the bunnies for 8 weeks at which time you remove them and butcher them. The doe can be immediately bred again for another go round. Best meat production around, meat is tasty and butchering is super easy. Rabbit livers are sweet and rest of guts can be fed to the chickens. And dead kits can also be thrown to the chickens. A trio (1 buck and 2 does) will produce approximately 160 lbs. of meat er year. More does, more meat. The cost of rabbit feed has gone up but this is still the cheapest type of backyard meat you can grow on a small holding.

3. Dairy goats. Dairy work is labor intensive. I will say right off that I don't like the miniature breeds for milk production. Many people have them and really like them so to them I apolgize, but to me the amount of work you have to do to produce an adequate amount of milk for a family just isn't worth it compared to a standard size dairy doe.
Standard dairy goats must be milked every 12 hours or 2x daily. One doe will produce an average of 1 gallon of milk per day. If you have a heavy producer they will often produce more. Any dairy doe producing less than 1 gallon a day in her second lactation is a cull in my mind. I base this on the amount of feed (cost) and work (my time) it takes to produce the milk, including the time to milk twice a day.
Next, don't rush out and buy a dairy goat for milk yet! You need to know that different breeds have different tasting milk - Toggenburg milk being universally voted most disgusting taste unless you are making a very sharp tangy type of cheese. (Many goat people believe that Tog milk is the base for Limburger :lol:) Different breeds and different goats within those breeds produce different amounts of butterfat. Butterfat amounts can affect taste. WHEN BUYING YOUR FIRST MILKER, GET ONE THAT YOU CAN TEST MILK AND DRINK HER MILK. MAKE SURE YOU LIKE THE TASTE! ALSO MAKE SURE THAT YOU CAN MIK THE GOAT EASILY. NOT ALL GOAT HAVE NICE EASY MIKING TEATS OR ARE GOOD IN THE STANCHION. YOU DON'T WANT YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH A MILK GOAT TO BE HORRIBLE. An older doe, easy milker, trained to the stanchion and milk pail, will be worth a higher price than the bargain first freshener who hates people and had tiny baby teats. Also most breeders will sell off some of their older milkers after they kid since they will be bringing in younger stock.
My favorite breeds for milk taste - Nubian first, LaMancha second. If you can't stand the sight of the earless LaMancha stick with the Nubian which also produces the most butterfat. Nubian milk tastes very much like extra rich cow milk.
If you decide to keep dairy goats, they must be bred and produce kids to produce milk. They are herd animals so you will need to keep 2. Keeping only one will result in constant loud screaming from the single goat. Otherwise by keeping two does they are quiet. By breeding them at different times of the year you can have milk all year round. Be sure to bottle feed the kids since that makes them tame and you can control the amount milk you get from the doe. Milking is labor intensive since you have to commit to milking 2x a day 10 months out of the year. The only time we went on vacation is when our goat breeder would board our goats while they were being bred for a month in August. Otherwise you will need to find another goat person to milk for you if you leave.
Oh yes, did I forget to say that goats are addictive so you will want to put their kids in your freezer or sell them. When your does turn 6-8 years old keep a couple doe kids out of your favorite milker for replacement purposes.

My suggestion - stay away from sheep and alpacas that need to be shorn. Unless you are a lover of lamb meat (and goat tastes as good or better) or are already a wool spinner and are planning to buy a specialty breed, there is no market in wool and you will have to pay someone to shear annually for you. it isn't cheap either.

Here is a little about me - my emphasis is on efficient and affordable food production, using the best type and bloodlines available to produce it. Over the past 40 years we started with rabbits and chickens on half an acre, and my garden and fruit trees produced everything we ate year round as well as enough for a small boutique jam and pickle business. Then we moved to a larger property and built a 100 cage rabbitry, and added milk goats and hogs for our ow consumption. Our 5 children went into 4-H and gradually appropriated all the barns for their 100 dairy goat show herd. We raised calves on the copious amount of milk (15-20 gallons) we were producing daily. Then we added a small Boer goat herd, and one son raised 2 replacement dairy heifers. Currently, with all but one child gone, we raise White dorper sheep on 6 acres mainly for fire clearance but will be moving to Texas to 45 acres next year with the sheep and one son who will partner with us. We currently have 35 ewes and 4 rams. Feed costs have more than doubled in the past year and we have no forage since we have minimal rain. We have raised livestock for sale and our freezer so here is my two cents worth.





  • Sec. 14-7. - Keeping of hogs and pigs.

    SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
    It shall be unlawful to keep hogs or pigs within the city.
    (Code 1967, § 5-6)
  • Sec. 14-7.1. - Livestock.

    SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
    The following restrictions are established for keeping livestock such as cattle, horses and similar animals.
    (1)
    Livestock shall be permitted on properties of at least two acres in size.
    (2)
    All buildings used for livestock shall be located at least 200 feet from any property line.
    (3)
    All livestock shall be maintained at least 100 feet from any property line.
    (4)
    There shall be a minimum of 5,000 square feet of fenced lot area not covered by the principal building or structure for each livestock animal.
    (5)
    Live slaughter shall be prohibited.
    (Ord. No. O-99-19, § 12, 12-20-99; Ord. No. O-12-Z-22, § 1, 12-3-12)
  • Sec. 14-8. - Keeping of fowl and small domesticated animals—General regulations.

    SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
    Small domesticated animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs and fowl, such as chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, turkeys and the like may be kept within the city subject to the following regulations:
    (1)
    All such animals shall be provided with adequate and sanitary housing. Such houses, hutches, pens, stables, sheds, stalls and enclosures wherein domesticated animals, poultry or other fowl are kept shall have a solid floor as may be approved by the county health officer. All such houses, hutches, pens, stables, sheds, stalls and enclosures, wherever located, shall have a minimum floor space of four square feet per animal or bird over one month old.
    (2)
    All houses, hutches, pens, stables, sheds, stalls or enclosures where such livestock, poultry or other fowl are kept shall not be nearer to any houses wherein human beings reside, other than the residence of the person who is the owner of such animals, than a distance equal to the width of the lot upon which the animals are kept, or a minimum distance of 75 feet should the lot be 75 feet or more in width.
    (3)
    Every person owning or keeping chickens or any other domestic fowl in the city is hereby required to keep such fowl and chickens under fence and not allow such chickens or fowl to run on any property other than his own.
    (4)
    Live slaughter shall be prohibited.
    (Code 1967, § 5-8; Ord. No. O-12-Z-22, § 2, 12-3-12)
  • Sec. 14-9. - Same—Sanitary requirements.

    SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
    (a)
    It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having control of the use of any house, hutch, pen, stable, stall or enclosure or other place where domesticated animals, poultry or fowl are kept to allow the same to become filthy or unsanitary. Every person who owns or keeps such domesticated animals, poultry or fowl shall maintain in connection therewith a bin, pit or container in which the manure from such animals, poultry or fowl shall be placed pending removal. Such bin, pit or container shall be provided with covers or other devices, sufficient to prevent the ingress and egress of flies and other insect pests. All persons controlling such places where domesticated animals, poultry or fowl are kept shall remove all manure from such bins, pits or containers before the same shall become malodorous or unsanitary. However, any such person may use such manure upon his premises for the purpose of enriching his own ground.
    (b)
    It shall be unlawful for any person who possesses, harbors or is in charge of any animal not to immediately remove excrement deposited by the animal in the public right-of-way, in a city park or on private property not owned by the person responsible for the animal. Animal waste must be removed and disposed of in a sanitary manner.
    (c)
    It shall be the duty of any person having custody or control of any animal in the city to have in such person's possession a device or equipment for the picking up and removal of animal excrement when the animal is not confined to that person's property. The provisions of this section shall not apply to an animal aiding the handicapped (e.g., guide dog) or to an animal when in police or rescue activities.
    (Code 1967, § 5-9; Ord. No. O-05-05, Art. I, § 1, 4-4-05)
  • Sec. 14-10. - Same—Drainage of pens and other areas.

    SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
    All places wherein livestock, poultry or fowl are kept shall have adequate drainage sufficient to prevent standing water in yards or pens.

thank you so much for an updated ordinance thread. This article I found stated that potbellies were legally allowed in the city limits.
Georgia?


According to Atlanta ordinances, you may only keep a maximum of one pot bellied pig in your Metro Atlanta home. Also, FYI, with the exception of pot bellied pigs, it is illegal to keep any other type of pigs or hogs within city limits.

we Have a tractor supply about 26 minutes away from town and an exotic/farm vet that can do house calls as well as treat any animals that can be transported to the clinic. As for hay the prices are going so fast that will probably be the only worry so I definitely won’t be getting too many large grazers. I’d personally love to start with birds: Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys ect, possibly goats(depends on having to replace perim fencing with elect fencing ) and miniature donkeys.
 

Blackgold05

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First, let's get some info from you.

You are in Decatur GA.
You have a 5 acre property.
Are you alone, or married with a supportive spouse, have children old enough to help with chores?
What is your zoning?
Are you handy with tools or a quick learner?
What do you want to do with your animals? Are they pets, food source, meat, egg, dairy, etc.
Do you have any experience with animals (not necessary but reading up on the species and requirements is essential)
Are you friendly with your neighbors?
Do others in the neighborhood keep livestock?
IS THE PROPERTY PROPERLY FENCED TO KEEP OUT PREDATORS (COYOTES AND NEIGHBORHOOD DOGS)?
Is the property properly fenced to keep in the type of livestock you are planning to keep?
Is there a feed store close enough to order hay and grain since 5 acres is not large to graze year round. BTW hay is hitting astronomical prices.
Is there a vet in the area that treat large livestock other than dogs and cats? This will be essential since most dog and cat vets won't even talk to you about livestock AND the federal government is taking most types of livestock meds off OTC and making them all prescription only.

Having now pointed out the worst problems you will have, let's move on to what you can have, which is a lot in Decatur on 5 acres. At the bottom of this writing you will see an excerpt on allowed animal keeping in Decatur and the requirements.

The minimum acreage for livestock is 2 acres, BUT NO PIGS are allowed. All livestock must be kept 100' from property lines while livestock barns/buildings must be 200' from property lines.

Since you want to plant a large garden, I suggest you plant fruit trees around the property lines and then your garden inside that perimeter, keeping the interior of the 5 acre plot for your animals. By keeping 100' of garden space adjacent to the property line, along with vehicle parking and driveways, you will be able to obey the restriction of keeping all livestock 100' from the property line.

The best animals for you to start with are chickens, rabbits, and dairy goats - eggs, meat, milk.

1. Chickens for both eggs and meat. If you are not interested in producing fertile eggs or chicks you can avoid keeping any roosters. While I like hearing roosters crowing, most neighbors don't. Chickens are quiet except when they lay an egg when they like to announce it by cackling. Since they only lay one egg per hen per day that is not a problem. The chicken coop does not have to be very big and you can find lots of chicken pen/coop building plans on line along with the required square footage per bird. Remember that larger is better and having somewhere to store feed, shavings, and equipment will be necessary. Also plan something that you can walk into since cleaning a chicken coop on your hands and knees is not nice! :sick:gigAll of your garden cuttings can be thrown to the chickens which will eat anything.

2. Rabbits are another wonderfully easy keeper and eat production unit. They make no noise. Hanging cages under a roof with the manure falling underneath into wood shavings or sawdust is excellent. The sawdust/shavings soaks up the pee which is pure nitrogen and can be put on your vegetable garden immediately without aging. Rabbit poop does not burn plants like other fresh manure. If you like to fish, enclose the area under the hanging cages with 2" x 12" boards to make "worm pits" to grow your own bait. Don't use night crawlers. Enclosing the "pits" also helps the shavings and manure turn into odorless mulch and makes it easier to shovel out wheelbarrow loads for your garden. I used everything from our rabbitry for our own garden, but many rabbit breeders sell the contents of the worm pits manure and castings privately to gardeners. Unless you have a huge rabbitry though you will use every bit in your own garden and around your fruit trees. Wonderful stuff.
Meat rabbit breeds will produce eight (or more) 5 lb. fryers every 3 months. This equates to 20 lbs. of low calorie meat per doe per quarter. A doe is pregnant for 30 days, nurses the bunnies for 8 weeks at which time you remove them and butcher them. The doe can be immediately bred again for another go round. Best meat production around, meat is tasty and butchering is super easy. Rabbit livers are sweet and rest of guts can be fed to the chickens. And dead kits can also be thrown to the chickens. A trio (1 buck and 2 does) will produce approximately 160 lbs. of meat er year. More does, more meat. The cost of rabbit feed has gone up but this is still the cheapest type of backyard meat you can grow on a small holding.

3. Dairy goats. Dairy work is labor intensive. I will say right off that I don't like the miniature breeds for milk production. Many people have them and really like them so to them I apolgize, but to me the amount of work you have to do to produce an adequate amount of milk for a family just isn't worth it compared to a standard size dairy doe.
Standard dairy goats must be milked every 12 hours or 2x daily. One doe will produce an average of 1 gallon of milk per day. If you have a heavy producer they will often produce more. Any dairy doe producing less than 1 gallon a day in her second lactation is a cull in my mind. I base this on the amount of feed (cost) and work (my time) it takes to produce the milk, including the time to milk twice a day.
Next, don't rush out and buy a dairy goat for milk yet! You need to know that different breeds have different tasting milk - Toggenburg milk being universally voted most disgusting taste unless you are making a very sharp tangy type of cheese. (Many goat people believe that Tog milk is the base for Limburger :lol:) Different breeds and different goats within those breeds produce different amounts of butterfat. Butterfat amounts can affect taste. WHEN BUYING YOUR FIRST MILKER, GET ONE THAT YOU CAN TEST MILK AND DRINK HER MILK. MAKE SURE YOU LIKE THE TASTE! ALSO MAKE SURE THAT YOU CAN MIK THE GOAT EASILY. NOT ALL GOAT HAVE NICE EASY MIKING TEATS OR ARE GOOD IN THE STANCHION. YOU DON'T WANT YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH A MILK GOAT TO BE HORRIBLE. An older doe, easy milker, trained to the stanchion and milk pail, will be worth a higher price than the bargain first freshener who hates people and had tiny baby teats. Also most breeders will sell off some of their older milkers after they kid since they will be bringing in younger stock.
My favorite breeds for milk taste - Nubian first, LaMancha second. If you can't stand the sight of the earless LaMancha stick with the Nubian which also produces the most butterfat. Nubian milk tastes very much like extra rich cow milk.
If you decide to keep dairy goats, they must be bred and produce kids to produce milk. They are herd animals so you will need to keep 2. Keeping only one will result in constant loud screaming from the single goat. Otherwise by keeping two does they are quiet. By breeding them at different times of the year you can have milk all year round. Be sure to bottle feed the kids since that makes them tame and you can control the amount milk you get from the doe. Milking is labor intensive since you have to commit to milking 2x a day 10 months out of the year. The only time we went on vacation is when our goat breeder would board our goats while they were being bred for a month in August. Otherwise you will need to find another goat person to milk for you if you leave.
Oh yes, did I forget to say that goats are addictive so you will want to put their kids in your freezer or sell them. When your does turn 6-8 years old keep a couple doe kids out of your favorite milker for replacement purposes.

My suggestion - stay away from sheep and alpacas that need to be shorn. Unless you are a lover of lamb meat (and goat tastes as good or better) or are already a wool spinner and are planning to buy a specialty breed, there is no market in wool and you will have to pay someone to shear annually for you. it isn't cheap either.

Here is a little about me - my emphasis is on efficient and affordable food production, using the best type and bloodlines available to produce it. Over the past 40 years we started with rabbits and chickens on half an acre, and my garden and fruit trees produced everything we ate year round as well as enough for a small boutique jam and pickle business. Then we moved to a larger property and built a 100 cage rabbitry, and added milk goats and hogs for our ow consumption. Our 5 children went into 4-H and gradually appropriated all the barns for their 100 dairy goat show herd. We raised calves on the copious amount of milk (15-20 gallons) we were producing daily. Then we added a small Boer goat herd, and one son raised 2 replacement dairy heifers. Currently, with all but one child gone, we raise White dorper sheep on 6 acres mainly for fire clearance but will be moving to Texas to 45 acres next year with the sheep and one son who will partner with us. We currently have 35 ewes and 4 rams. Feed costs have more than doubled in the past year and we have no forage since we have minimal rain. We have raised livestock for sale and our freezer so here is my two cents worth.





  • Sec. 14-7. - Keeping of hogs and pigs.

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    It shall be unlawful to keep hogs or pigs within the city.
    (Code 1967, § 5-6)
  • Sec. 14-7.1. - Livestock.

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    The following restrictions are established for keeping livestock such as cattle, horses and similar animals.
    (1)
    Livestock shall be permitted on properties of at least two acres in size.
    (2)
    All buildings used for livestock shall be located at least 200 feet from any property line.
    (3)
    All livestock shall be maintained at least 100 feet from any property line.
    (4)
    There shall be a minimum of 5,000 square feet of fenced lot area not covered by the principal building or structure for each livestock animal.
    (5)
    Live slaughter shall be prohibited.
    (Ord. No. O-99-19, § 12, 12-20-99; Ord. No. O-12-Z-22, § 1, 12-3-12)
  • Sec. 14-8. - Keeping of fowl and small domesticated animals—General regulations.

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    Small domesticated animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs and fowl, such as chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, turkeys and the like may be kept within the city subject to the following regulations:
    (1)
    All such animals shall be provided with adequate and sanitary housing. Such houses, hutches, pens, stables, sheds, stalls and enclosures wherein domesticated animals, poultry or other fowl are kept shall have a solid floor as may be approved by the county health officer. All such houses, hutches, pens, stables, sheds, stalls and enclosures, wherever located, shall have a minimum floor space of four square feet per animal or bird over one month old.
    (2)
    All houses, hutches, pens, stables, sheds, stalls or enclosures where such livestock, poultry or other fowl are kept shall not be nearer to any houses wherein human beings reside, other than the residence of the person who is the owner of such animals, than a distance equal to the width of the lot upon which the animals are kept, or a minimum distance of 75 feet should the lot be 75 feet or more in width.
    (3)
    Every person owning or keeping chickens or any other domestic fowl in the city is hereby required to keep such fowl and chickens under fence and not allow such chickens or fowl to run on any property other than his own.
    (4)
    Live slaughter shall be prohibited.
    (Code 1967, § 5-8; Ord. No. O-12-Z-22, § 2, 12-3-12)
  • Sec. 14-9. - Same—Sanitary requirements.

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    (a)
    It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having control of the use of any house, hutch, pen, stable, stall or enclosure or other place where domesticated animals, poultry or fowl are kept to allow the same to become filthy or unsanitary. Every person who owns or keeps such domesticated animals, poultry or fowl shall maintain in connection therewith a bin, pit or container in which the manure from such animals, poultry or fowl shall be placed pending removal. Such bin, pit or container shall be provided with covers or other devices, sufficient to prevent the ingress and egress of flies and other insect pests. All persons controlling such places where domesticated animals, poultry or fowl are kept shall remove all manure from such bins, pits or containers before the same shall become malodorous or unsanitary. However, any such person may use such manure upon his premises for the purpose of enriching his own ground.
    (b)
    It shall be unlawful for any person who possesses, harbors or is in charge of any animal not to immediately remove excrement deposited by the animal in the public right-of-way, in a city park or on private property not owned by the person responsible for the animal. Animal waste must be removed and disposed of in a sanitary manner.
    (c)
    It shall be the duty of any person having custody or control of any animal in the city to have in such person's possession a device or equipment for the picking up and removal of animal excrement when the animal is not confined to that person's property. The provisions of this section shall not apply to an animal aiding the handicapped (e.g., guide dog) or to an animal when in police or rescue activities.
    (Code 1967, § 5-9; Ord. No. O-05-05, Art. I, § 1, 4-4-05)
  • Sec. 14-10. - Same—Drainage of pens and other areas.

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    All places wherein livestock, poultry or fowl are kept shall have adequate drainage sufficient to prevent standing water in yards or pens.
So I’m not married and don’t have a spouse or kids and definitely don’t plan to.
I am pretty good with tools and I learn quick. I don’t plan to have a ton of animals so that the chores don’t pile up. My neighbors have chickens and mini goats and are ok with the idea of me starting this mini farm
 

Baymule

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Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys ect, possibly goats(depends on having to replace perim fencing with elect fencing ) and miniature donkeys.

Always have a good permanent fence to use with electric fence. The permanent fence acts as a barrier, the electric fence keep the animals from trying the permanent fence.
 

Lizzy733

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thank you so much for an updated ordinance thread. This article I found stated that potbellies were legally allowed in the city limits.
Georgia?


According to Atlanta ordinances, you may only keep a maximum of one pot bellied pig in your Metro Atlanta home. Also, FYI, with the exception of pot bellied pigs, it is illegal to keep any other type of pigs or hogs within city limits.

we Have a tractor supply about 26 minutes away from town and an exotic/farm vet that can do house calls as well as treat any animals that can be transported to the clinic. As for hay the prices are going so fast that will probably be the only worry so I definitely won’t be getting too many large grazers. I’d personally love to start with birds: Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys ect, possibly goats(depends on having to replace perim fencing with elect fencing ) and miniature donkeys.
Yeesh, only one pig? They'te very social and best kept in pairs at minimum. You might be able to supplement with other intelligent animals for them to socialize with like a dog or goat, I suppose, unless you work from home and can be there for them. Bored pigs can get into lots of trouble.
 

Blackgold05

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Yeesh, only one pig? They'te very social and best kept in pairs at minimum. You might be able to supplement with other intelligent animals for them to socialize with like a dog or goat, I suppose, unless you work from home and can be there for them. Bored pigs can get into lots of trouble.
Very true. But I don’t think pigs will be my main thing i think ill focus more on goats/chickens
 
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