Quick! If you live in Vancouver (hey, neighbour!) drop a note to City Council and let them know you support the amendment of the animal control bylaw to allow Vancouverites to keep chickens. There are so many great reasons to allow chickens in urban settings.
Council is debating this issue tomorrow night (March 3) has postponed the debate until March 5 so it’s important to let them know there’s popular support for the idea.
Via the UBC Farm Blog.
Photo: Sophie and ZsuZsu walking the property by Thomas Pix on Flickr.
Er… No thanks. The epidemic of keeping dogs has already made every park downtown a piss-soaked disease incubator.
Most people in an urban environment would rather you not actually try to cultivate a group of chickens in your backyard.
Roosters are loud! All male chickens love to crow and they do it in the morning, noon, night and every chance they get in-between.
Chickens can carry all kinds of common diseases and parasites, many of which can be carried in by wild birds.
This is a really bad idea.
Done and done. I think this is very important as well. Here’s hoping things turn out for the best!
Andrea Bellamy says
Mark – You have me chuckling: parks are “piss-soaked disease incubators”?! Too funny. You sound like my hypochondriac father-in-law. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about chickens, so I’ll quote the experts (from the City Food Policy working group):
“Chickens generally have a low clucking sound, described by many as soothing. However they do have a louder cluck after laying their eggs, which usually happens between 9 AM and noon. Hens have up to a couple of dozen separate calls, of which this is the loudest. However, the noise from hens is generally below that of dogs and other pets, and any possible noise infractions would be covered under existing city by-laws.” Notice they don’t say anything about roosters. Because we’re not talking about them; the bylaw is only suggesting that hens should be allowed.
And furthermore, “All outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in western countries have been in commercial flocks of highly inbred strains of poultry with relatively weak immune systems. All birds are susceptible to the avian influenza virus, but in small flocks there is an extremely small opportunity for the virus to mutate into a pathogenic form (pathogenicity refers to the ability of the virus to produce disease). Backyard flocks have much stronger natural immune systems which tend to fight off any infections naturally.”
If they can do it in New York City, surely we can do it here.
I don’t think Mark knows anything about city chickens. Nor do “most people in an urban environment”. Last time I checked you don’t need roosters to get eggs.
Lots of people keep city chickens illegally and their neighbours are none the wiser.
Hasn’t Toronto overturned their no chicken bylaw?
Here are my reasons for opposing this motion:
There are already welfare concerns with the keeping of the animals who are currently allowed, such as dogs, cats, and rabbits. Keeping a chicken requires knowledge about poultry handling, which most residents do not have. There is too much risk that chickens will suffer more if the by-law is repealed than they do already.
Introducing chickens into Vancouver
Bah! my comment got truncated. Well, you can read all my reasons here:
i am dying to find a way to keep chickens in my yard. i think we need to become more self-sufficient. all of us. chickens is a good (feasable) step (back) in that direction.
I have 4 chickens, near Seattle. I compost litter (poop + softwood shavings) with grass clippings, and it is great garden soil (can’t do this with dog or cat). More eggs than my family can eat, so we share with neighbors & friends.
Allergic to dogs and cats, so my pets live outside in a coop with covered run. I let them roam the yard when I am home weekends and evenings, and shut them in at night for safety. They follow me around the yard while I do yard work. They are perfectly happy with no roosters. Seattle has tours of chicken coops, so I learned before building. But, I lost my previous flock in 2007 to two wolf-sized dogs, who chewed thru 1/2″ steel hardware cloth. Giant Dogs in the city are a much bigger problem than chickens will ever be. I have since reinforced the coop design. I get a lot of joy in watching the birds interact, the free entertainment of watching my “yard birds”. The bird flu issue is overblown, what next, kill all the wild ducks?? Good for Vancouver!
In Seattle, we have classes and chicken coop tours from Seattle Tilth. This resource helps people to be responsible chicken owners. Here are some FAQs about chickens in the city: http://www.seattletilth.org/learn/resources-1/city-chickens/citychickensfaqs
Andrea Bellamy says
Glenn – thank you for your comment. I agree that animal welfare cannot be overlooked. However, I don’t know that banning chickens is the answer. If that logic applied, we’d have to ban dogs because many people leave their dogs chained up outside with no socialization at all. I’d like to think that chickens in the city would enjoy a better life that their counterparts in battery farms. What could be worse than that? I guess the answer, in my mind, is education and better enforcement.
Tifanie – well said!
Walter – thanks for your input and the link. I guess city chicken keeping brings its own set of challenges!
Ben Garfinkel says
From: Ben Garfinkel
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 11:19 AM
To: Correspondence Group, City Clerk’s Office
Subject: I’m up for chickens
I support the amendment of the animal control bylaw to allow Vancouverites to keep chickens. If they are noisy, I will eat them.
Thank you for your email which has been circulated for information to
the Mayor, Councillors, and the City Manager.