Published: Dec 05, 2012 11:18 PM EST
Updated: Dec 05, 2012 11:37 PM EST

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla - A program allowing homeowners to raise hens in their backyard is officially underway in Bonita Springs making the city the first in Southwest Florida to approve this type of ordinance.

City Council members gave the trial-program the final okay at their meeting Wednesday night.

That means first thing Thursday morning Bonita Springs residents can go to city hall and fill out an application for a permit to raise hens in their backyard.

The city staff will then sift through applications and give 25 residents the permission they've been waiting for.

Those in favor of the program say hens provide their family with fresh eggs and also provide nutrients for their soil.

The city council approve the two-year backyard hen pilot program over the summer. Wednesday night they finalized the process for the applicants and laid out the rules.

Only 25 residents can have a permit and each home owner can only have four hens meaning at most a hundred hens will be allowed in the city limits.

"I think this is a great opportunity for bonita springs residents to supplement their food sources. This is consistent with one of our comprehensive plan amendments for local food systems so i'm very encouraged and excited about this," says Jennifer Duffala Hagen, Bonita Springs Planner.

Residents will not be able to have roosters or sell their eggs. As for anyone who lives inside a gated community, you will need to get approval from your home owners association before the city will give you a permit.