Local woman leads Charge to Allow chickens on Folly Beach

By Lorne Chambers | Editor

Folly Beach City Council will soon be discussing whether or not full-time residents will be allowed to keep chickens in their yard. Folly Beach resident Christy Dukes has formally submitted a request to council asking them to consider changing the ordinance, which bans domestic fowl within the city limits. After a Change.org petition began circulating Dukes said she was told that there’s a good chance it will show up on the agenda as early as the Aug. 11 council meeting.

According to Dukes, who is the vice president of sales for a corporate relocation company, she got the idea while shopping recently and noticing the increased cost of eggs at the grocery store. “Honestly, I went to reach for eggs at Earth Fare and they were just so expensive,” said Dukes, who has never personally raised chickens but has since done extensive research about it. “From everything I hear, it’s a lot easier to raise chickens than cats and dogs.”

Dukes says it costs around $6 for a dozen organic free-range eggs. But the cost if you raise them yourself is about $1.25 a dozen. But the economics isn’t her only argument. In her letter to City Council, she also states that, “ The keeping of chickens in the city supports a local, sustainable food system by providing an affordable, nutritious source of protein through fresh eggs.” Additionally, she wrote, “The keeping of chickens also provides free, quality, nitrogen-rich fertilizer; chemical-free pest control; animal companionship and pleasure; weed control; and less noise, mess and expense than dogs and cats.”

Sullivan’s Island has recently amended their laws to allow chickens and Dukes is using its ordinance as a guide to how Folly could implement a similar model. For one, no crowing roosters. She says four or five hens would be suffice. “Four chickens will provide enough eggs for you and your family and maybe even your neighbor,” said Dukes, who fully supports having regulations on how many chickens you can have and how you care for them.

As of press time, Dukes had 145 signatures on her online petition and plans to speak more on the issue to City Council on Aug. 11.

If you’re interested in signing the petition to allow chickens on Folly Beach, go to www.change.org.

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