Chickens and Real Estate!

Wow. That was the most fun I’VE ever had writing a title to a post. I just get a kick out of chickens I guess…

Anyway, I haven’t suddenly lost my mind and started posting nonsense. yes, I’m departing slightly from my usal menu of topics, but there is something about real etsate here.

You see, through my endeavours with the Nanaimo Green Group (a coalition of local eco-oriented businesses I founded) I came into contact with some people who are working to convince the city to pass a bylaw that will allow people to have chicken coups in their backyard. That is, in areas that are within city limits.  A concept new to Nanaimo but not the world at all, I have to say I am totally behind it for all the reasons Robyn lists below and in particular how it gives children the opportunity to better learn respect for their food producing animals. Having grown up on a small hobby farm myself where we had chickens and cows for example, I always felt that those who don’t have this opportunity never seem to think about where their food is coming from and how it is treated. Not because they have cold hearts, but simply because it’s not on their radar. If more people had some concept of how livestock is, can and should be treated/raised, I feel that the animals will be happier and healthier and so will the people eating them.

Read on.

Ryan Coffey

Have you heard the news! Urban gardens are producing delicious fruits, vegetables, nuts and yummy eggs from backyard chickens.  That’s right chickens; they are not just for farms anymore. There is a genuine movement across the country, as people join the urban backyard chicken movement. This is not a unique concept. There are many cities in the Canada and the United States including Victoria BC, Vancouver BC, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, that allow chickens.

Why chickens in your backyard?

Well here are some reasons:

1. Fresh, healthy, delicious eggs, free of pesticides and antibiotics.

2. Chickens eat table scraps, reducing municipal organic waste.

3. Chickens produce a rich fertilizer by-product, high in nitrogen, which in one of the best fertilizers you can find for your vegetable garden.

4. Educational – teaches children where our food comes from and demonstrates responsible pet ownership (chores). Getting back in touch with nature.

5. Great pets – Chickens are people-friendly.

6. Chickens eat bugs, reducing our backyard pest population.

7. Allows families to take control of their food and “eating locally”.

8. It’s a humane way to raise chickens.

Presently in the City of Nanaimo the current bylaw restricts poultry to parcels of land over an acre in size, which excludes most lots within the city.  The Nanaimo Poultry Collective is a local community group formed by individuals who love all things poultry and who desire to be able to legally raise and keep chickens within the city limits, in Nanaimo backyards.

The City of Nanaimo has an intention to promote sustainability. This means making proactive decisions to help people improve their own lives, the lives of their children, and those of future generations. The Nanaimo Poultry Collective (NPC) is slated to go before City Council on November 23rd, 2009 at 7pm in the Shaw Auditorium at the Conference Centre. We will demonstrate the importance of food security and how raising poultry in the City of Nanaimo will fit well with their sustainability goals, as stated in the Official Community Plan.

The NPC meets regularly and are willing to aid in education, providing resources and backyard chicken coop tours.

If you are interested in supporting the change in the bylaw you could do the following:

Become a member of the NPC by emailing the NPC Secretary, Robyn Quigg, at Quigglet@shaw.ca. Membership is free.

Join us Monday November 23, 2009 at 7pm.

Sign petitions found at the Green Store (Port Place) and Island Naturals (Near Home Depot).

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