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Urban agriculture grows in Charleston’s backyards

Charleston Daily Mail photo by Bob Wojcieszak Sarah Saville, who lives on Lewis Street on Charleston’s East End, keeps chickens in her backyard. Saville is one of a growing number of residents taking advantage of the city’s urban agriculture ordinance which allows for the raising of poultry, as well as bees.
Charleston Daily Mail photo by Bob Wojcieszak
Sarah Saville, who lives on Lewis Street on Charleston’s East End, keeps chickens in her backyard. Saville is one of a growing number of residents taking advantage of the city’s urban agriculture ordinance which allows for the raising of poultry, as well as bees.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Behind an inconspicuous home on Lewis Street, there’s something becoming a more common sight in Charleston — chickens.

Eight New Hampshire red hens reside in their own coop behind the East End home of Sarah Saville, who’s part of a small, but growing group of chicken owners since Charleston’s urban agriculture ordinance was passed last year.

“They’re so entertaining to watch,” Saville said. “It’s neat to watch them grow.”

Each morning, Saville opens the door to the chicken coop and refills the chickens’ feed and water. One by one, they strut down the ramp of the coop and into a fenced-off area in Saville’s backyard.

On a normal day, Saville said her hens collectively produce about six to eight eggs, many of which she gives to friends and family.

“I love the fresh eggs,” she said.

During the day, Saville refills the hens’ water at least twice on hot days and she said the chickens return to the coop on their own at night.

“It’s relatively easy, you just have to make sure you have everything in place,” she said.

Saville also lets the chickens roam around her extensive backyard garden, where they dig up grubs — aerating and fertilizing the soil at the same time.

Charleston’s urban agriculture ordinance was likely the first in the state when it was passed in July 2013…

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