VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The City of Visalia is discussing the possibility of an ordinance that could allow residents to have their own chickens.
It comes as egg prices have risen, and the popularity of fresh eggs has grown tremendously.
Inside a chicken coop at Safe Haven Sustainable Farms in Orosi, over 100 hens produce eggs.
Owner Brian Barnes says his farm is all about fresh produce, and in the last year, he noticed a spike in the demand for fresh eggs.
"The prices went sky high in the grocery store and all of a sudden everybody started looking and we started doing it and people just came by and love them," said Barnes.
Joseph Williams is the farm's Livestock and Crops manager. He says the popularity of fresh produce and eggs is largely because of the health benefits.
"You've got richer flavors, and it's not meant to look great but taste great, so freshness is a big deal," Williams explained.
Some people have taken it upon themselves to raise chickens, but it's illegal in many cities across the Valley, including Visalia.
City officials say chickens are classified as farm animals and excluded from being kept as household pets.
But they've received some requests to change that.
"We have some people send emails. We have a lady send three or four emails and one other person," said Visalia Mayor Steve Nelson.
Nelsen says the city council is taking the first steps to discuss if chickens should be allowed in residential areas.
He's personally not too fond of the idea.
"I live in a nice, quiet subdivision, and I would hate to see that happen with my neighbors and with new subdivisions that are small, that is an issue," said Nelson.
Barnes and Williams say chickens are not hard to raise but need space and a lot of maintenance.
Visalia does have one zone that allows for some chickens to be kept under very specific guidelines.
During Monday's meeting, council members will consider a potential municipal code update that would allow the fowl in other residential zones.
But there would still be a public hearing process before any potential votes.
The regular session starts at 7 pm.
Those interested in learning more about Safe Haven Sustainable Farms or buying produce can visit them at 41781 Road 142 in Orosi or call (559) 859-4511.
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