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Governor signs rain barrel and poultry laws

In May, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed amendments to water laws and the Cottage Food Act that will allow homeowners and small-scale homesteaders to capture limited amounts of rainwater and to sell meat from livestock grown on their farm.House Bill 16-1005, the Residential Precipitation Collection Act, signed by the governor May 12, will go into effect Aug. 10. Homeowners will be able to collect two 55-gallon barrels worth of rainwater from their roof to be used for outdoor purposes like lawn irrigation and gardening. The bill also prohibits homeownersí associations from creating rules prohibiting or limiting rain barrel use. Homes served by their own permitted wells have been allowed to apply for rain collection permits since 2009.Colorado residents can now eat pasture-raised chicken. Senate Bill 16-058, signed May 4, allows the stateís small farms to sell up to 1,000 chickensí worth of poultry, exempt from any licensing requirements. If a farm wants to sell between 1,000 and 20,000 birds worth of poultry meat, theywill be allowed to if the chickens, turkeys, ducks or other birds are processed at a state-inspected processor. This eliminates the previous and difficult requirement for USDA-inspected processing of poultry sold from small farms in Colorado.

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