Are Urban Chickens a Gateway Drug For Urban Cows and Pigs?


Graham and David's Chickens in Dorset, Ontario. Image credit Lloyd Alter

Campbellford is a lovely little town of 3500 people in bucolic Northumberland County, Ontario; I know quite a few people who have fled the city and are teleworking from there. But certain urban ideas are not welcome there, such as raising your own chickens. TreeHugger Best of Green Winner City Farmer quotes the mayor:

I think it's just wrong to have animals in the urban centres. What's next? Where do we draw the line? Cattle, swine, sheep?

david graham chickens photo

Image credit Lloyd Alter

Shawn and Kelly Bacher, the owners of the chickens, have asked council to change the rules. According to the Northumberland Times,

The municipality's bylaw department, after recently receiving a complaint about the hens, served notice to the couple that they are in violation of the bylaw and must stop keeping the animals in their backyard.The couple responded by circulating a petition and making their case to council. They have asked the municipality to change the zoning bylaw to allow residents to keep a limited number of hens -- but no roosters -- within the town limits.

"Keeping hens would enable residents to provide a nutritious, delicious, safe and environmentally- friendly eggs for their families, while at the same time teaching our children where food comes from, and what it is worth," said Kelly Bacher in a statement to council and staff.

The family lives on a one-acre lot, but that's not big enough for city councillors and planners living in an area surrounded by farmland. The Planning Director says:

It is my view that given the primarily rural nature of Trent Hills, that there are properties available where home owners can have chickens. If any properties in the urban areas are considered, it would be those on the edge of each urban area with larger lots."

Campbellford is an example of battle that is happening all over North America as new residents move into areas run by people that one can at best say are set in their ways. There has been an ongoing battle going on there for years over bridges, with pro-development forces pushing a new bridge and bypass that would be perfect for the big box stores. They just don't know what to do with people who want to revitalize the old main street and save historic houses instead. And now they can't cope with chickens. More in the Northumberland Times, via City Farmer
More on urban chickens

Eating Locally: Backyard Chickens
The Environmental Impact of Backyard Chickens: No Impact is Not an Option
Do Urban Chickens Dream of Glass and Steel Coops?

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