Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Which Came First.....
The chicken or the by-law?
This post has already provided quite a few giggles between myself and friends. My husband and I have decided to raise a few chickens at home. For several reasons... one is fresh eggs and another is fresh chickens. I am very conscientious about what my children and ourselves eat.
My grandmother is one of the smartest people I know. She was a farmer and everything was fresh from the garden and the farm. Gram and her husband have been healthy their whole lives... and Grandad passed away at 94 and Gram is turning 89 in a few weeks. I remember getting eggs from her coop and plucking chickens. But what I remember most, was how good the food always was at my grandparents. My mother continued in that fashion and always had a huge garden, and canned and froze and pickled.
I, in turn have always had a garden and this year we are doubling the size of it. The boys are turning into bigger eaters, and they are no longer toddlers so it is easier to take care of. I have always been nervous eating red meat from the grocery store as I never know what it has been injected with. We try to get a deer each year as I figure the venison is much healthier, and when I say 'we', let's be honest, it has been me for the last 3 years=)
And just in the last month, the news was discussing a study that encouraged eating more white meat as that is healthier for you. And what better way than to know exactly what you are eating than raising your own chickens? And having fresh eggs every day. We are big egg eaters here and knowing where they are coming from is wonderful.
Living on Manitoulin Island, you know, the farming community of the north... I decide to do a double check and call our township office. Guess what? There is a zoning by-law that states no raising of chickens in the town. But it gets better from here. I mention it to a few people, and by the end of the day, I have a list a page long of people in town who have raised chickens.... defying the coveted by-law.
Being my sweet self, I kindly ask that the procedure be put into place as to how I go about changing the by-law. I was told that the administration would look into the by-law themselves and see what it says before I need to go and speak to council. They asked for one week. Being my gracious self, I will give them that week. And then we shall proceed.
I fully expect they will get a letter back from their planning guy stating no chickens, and if it is to be changed, council will have to approve it. I will have to then go to Council and ask for it to be changed. They will have to file an application with the planning board or try and make me do it. And then my neighbours will all be sent letters asking if it is okay.. they will say no as chickens are noisy... and so on.
But I am sooo ready to take this on. I will let you all know the date of any meetings and you can all come and cluck in support of me. There will be an egg in it for you!
My best defence took place on March 6, 2009 where the tiny place called Vancouver, BC passed a by-law allowing raising chickens in the backyard. You have to meet criteria such as an adequate sized lot, the coop must be so far from the property line, the chickens must be contained, and no roosters and so on. All of which are totally fair and I meet that criteria... although having a rooster would be nice to deal with a few 'interesting' neighbours.
So if Vancouver can do it, how ridiculous would our township look if they refused to pass it? Yes, I hear you already, politicians were put on this earth to be made to look silly... but let's hope sometimes they can make the right decision too.
I will keep you posted on my chicken saga and how it unfolds. And if you run into any of the councillors in my town, give them a friendly cluck!