Wednesday, April 15, 2009

All My Eggs In One Basket

I have all my eggs in one basket now. If you read our local paper, you would see an article about my chicken dilemma. It is now up to our town council to decide if I can raise chickens. Unfortunately there are no councils that I have ever come across that are proactive, most react. Not sure why, maybe too scared to take a chance on new ventures. Also no one is ever satisfied and they will always hear from the unsatisfied ones. And of course, ensuring they get in the next election, better to play it safe. I have written a letter to council explaining what I would like to do, and then I must speak to the situation at the next meeting.

I am not very optimistic. This council prides themselves on 'deferring'. But I will have all my research with me and will be able to hopefully provide answers to their questions. This does sound negative, but it is not meant to be. Politics is just not a winning type sport and it is not one I enjoy playing. But sometimes you just don't have a choice. So I will do my best and hope it turns out! Here is the letter that I sent to council.

Dear Reeve and Council;

We are asking permission to raise chickens in our yard. The reasons we would like to do this are for the health benefits to our family. With the number of statistics discussing growth hormones in animals, pesticides and other environmental concerns, we feel it is best that our children eat the healthiest of foods. Having said that, knowing what we are feeding chickens and then eating those eggs and that meat, couldn’t be better for our children.

This is not something we have jumped into, we have thought about this for some time. We already eat venison until it runs out, we have had a garden since purchasing our house, and this year are doubling the size of it. We freeze, can and pickle our produce so it lasts as long as possible. And after watching a news report showing a study of 500,000 people that promoted eating red meat only once or twice a week, and eating more chicken and fish, made us realize now is the time to proceed.

Chickens can also be fed our garden weeds, and our table scraps, and their droppings becomes manure for our garden. So it is good for the environment as well. You only have to go on the internet to find the positive aspects of raising chickens.

We recognize that this is not a new venture in our country. Vancouver has passed a bylaw introducing raising chickens in backyards, and Toronto is following. Living where we do, in a farm community, we were surprised to find a bylaw existed prohibiting this.

We are asking council to change the bylaw so that people may raise chickens in their backyard for all the positive benefits it brings. We realize this would be a big step for council. We also are prepared to follow reasonable parameters that council may want to establish. We suggest do as Longmont Colorado did, and limit the amount of residences that could raise chickens. We own 2.2 acres, and Vancouver prior to the new bylaw, did allow raising chickens if you had 1 acre. Our coop would blend in nicely to our house, and not be an eyesore. It would not be big and would have a fenced in area for the chickens to run, again not a large runway. The chickens would never be allowed to roam the yard. We would not get a rooster, only laying and meat hens. We would not have more than 8 hens at a time, and this would not be for commercial purposes.

We have done extensive research on raising chickens and building a coop. We would ask that Council, at the very least, let us try and see how it would work for one year. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at home

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