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Could you tell me more about how to petition for backyard chickens and the action plan you have set up?

Thank you,
Katherine
 

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Here in our little rural town in Idaho, (pop. about 2500.) we recently had a city council meeting to decide whether to allow backyard chickens. The proposal was shot down for the second time, much to the consternation of the locals. The city just a few miles north of us, population 55,000, had voted "yes" last year for their citizens to allow backyard chickens, and have had no problems. So why not our little town? I believe it has more to do with communication skills than anything, since the person argueing for the chickens ended up, inadvertently, calling the entire city council members "idiots". Not something you can backpeddle from effectively. I guess we will see next year what happens. ( A friend of mine who knows some of the council members was told on the side, to just get a few hens and don't worry about it. Just don't have roosters or make the neighbors complain and she should be fine.)
 

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I guess I'm a little confused about why people in cities and towns are so adamant about trying to have livestock in a city? I've heard all the excuses from "we want to know where our food comes from" to "we are trying to cut food costs", but no more hens than one could possibly have there could be no real savings on food, nor could it make any appreciable difference in their food supply...it's just a few eggs a day. Tons of money for coops, feed, supplies, etc. could never begin to be justified or paid for by no more eggs than are produced in such small flocks.

A more efficient use of the money would be to buy eggs from trusted local farmers or to even keep rabbits instead...better feed conversion, less start up costs, no complaints from the neighbors, no flaunting of town ordinances or stuffing chickens in tiny little, airless coops and worrying about the neighbors or HOA.

Is it just the current sense of entitlement in the world where folks like having their cake and eating it too? Won't move out to the country because the economy there is so poor, there's nothing to do, no cell signal, nowhere to work and make a living wage....so they want to have what the country people have while still living in the city? They just WANT it, so they simply MUST HAVE it? Are a few chickens and a few eggs and a ghastly cost for coops, equipment and an eternal search for the right feeds worth all the hoopla of fighting city hall and all the neighbors?

Anyone care to shed some sensible light on any common sense reasoning behind insisting on having chickens in the city? I've heard about it for years but am still totally mystified by it and have not heard one sane reason just yet as to why this is happening.
 

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Well, I have no real laws except for no Roos, and I thought, "Hey, it'll be a great experience!" And got chickens. I researched beforehand and am learning a new thing everyday. I don't know if that really sheds light on it though.
 

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Bee said:
I guess I'm a little confused about why people in cities and towns are so adamant about trying to have livestock in a city? I've heard all the excuses from "we want to know where our food comes from" to "we are trying to cut food costs", but no more hens than one could possibly have there could be no real savings on food, nor could it make any appreciable difference in their food supply...it's just a few eggs a day. Tons of money for coops, feed, supplies, etc. could never begin to be justified or paid for by no more eggs than are produced in such small flocks.

A more efficient use of the money would be to buy eggs from trusted local farmers or to even keep rabbits instead...better feed conversion, less start up costs, no complaints from the neighbors, no flaunting of town ordinances or stuffing chickens in tiny little, airless coops and worrying about the neighbors or HOA.

Is it just the current sense of entitlement in the world where folks like having their cake and eating it too? Won't move out to the country because the economy there is so poor, there's nothing to do, no cell signal, nowhere to work and make a living wage....so they want to have what the country people have while still living in the city? They just WANT it, so they simply MUST HAVE it? Are a few chickens and a few eggs and a ghastly cost for coops, equipment and an eternal search for the right feeds worth all the hoopla of fighting city hall and all the neighbors?

Anyone care to shed some sensible light on any common sense reasoning behind insisting on having chickens in the city? I've heard about it for years but am still totally mystified by it and have not heard one sane reason just yet as to why this is happening.
Bee, I've never seen you so worked up, haha! I hope i am able to explain this well enough for you from my perspective. I am a suburbanite and I love having backyard chickens! My coop was made of recycled materials so that cost was low and they eat all my kids left overs! Half eaten pear that fell in the dirt? "Give it to the chickens" bug infested lettuce? "Give it to the chickens." Supplemental feed costs really aren't that bad for us. Chickens are both livestock and pets to us. And I LOVE their poop! It is the best thing I can give my garden. I do all my own composting and I save probably close to $100 on garden amendments by doing my own composting of the chickens poop. It's pretty much gold. (And I don't want to drive around the country finding some farmer willing to sell me his flocks poop, not worth the time, gas and money). Same goes for finding & hauling around cow or rabbit poop or anything else.

I guess you could ask why people have dogs in the city? They don't offer any food/eggs, they are often cooped up and then walked & they are expensive. Why get a dog? Because people like them. It's nice having a pet. I like my chickens, it's nice having then as a pet (even if one day I cull them). I like collecting their eggs (buying a local farmer's eggs would be just as expensive as having my own flock, seriously, we use at least 18 a week). My kids learn chores and responsibility tending to the flock. I like raising my meat too, "organic" or free range chicken can go for $4-$5 per pound! Sure mine are in a run with about 20 sq ft per bird & only get to free range a few evenings a week but they do get all my garden scraps and still eat all kinds of bugs and sprouted seeds, etc. ya they don't have two acres to roam but it beats a lot of other places. I'm lucky to live in a suburb that does allow chickens.

Me wanting my own chickens now to start learning the fine art of homesteading does not mean I have fallen into the pit of entitlement. it means I want to be more self sufficient, eat healthier, have a meaningful pet, and maybe teach my kids a thing or two. All on .40 acres. We should be proud of people who want to live closer to the earth. I don't want to depend on the government to take care of me if the market crashes or if my husband looses his job. There is much security in keeping a backyard flock. During the Great Depression people were encouraged to keep a flock, there was no judgment on lot size or perfect and costly coops. They just wanted people to be self sufficient.

I will hold out for my acreage one day but it may never happen. In the mean time I will save hundreds by my gardening and flock keeping. Sorry if I didn't shed enough light on it or explain it well enough. It's just a personal choice. One I am proud of and will continue as long as I can.
 

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You did shed light on it and I thank you! I can see growing a garden and having some food on the hoof/claw to supplement food costs and that's a good thing.

But, do you find that this is what most people are doing or are they just keeping 3 hens and struggling with ordinances, HOAs and their neighbors to do so? Even breaking laws to do so.

Maybe I'm missing the picture behind most posts, but I'm just not sure how much food can actually be gleaned for a family from 3 hens and a postage stamp garden, no rooster so that one can replenish the flock, and no desire to even kill the chickens for food. And expecting that this will feed a family if there is a loss of income...I'm not sure how it could even be a scratch on the problem of feeding people in the middle of a city. It takes more than 3 eggs a day to feed a family.

I've fed a family...three eggs and a few veggies won't even scratch the surface of the needed food supply.

I can see getting them if there isn't any issues with laws, neighbors, HOAs and such just because a person wants to play at farming in the backyard...I've done the same on an acre, though not inside a town. But to fight city hall, break laws, fight with neighbors over the right to have 3-5 hens is beyond my comprehension.
 

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Yes, I probably would not want to fight neighbors or break laws to do it. It's nice to keep the neighborhood peaceful. Maybe people are thinking, "it's the principle of the matter" and all that. (You won't catch me buying a home in a HOA!!) On the other hand I might give it a good-go-at-it in a city council meeting or similar if it meant taking down "big brother" (haha) and fighting for individual rights and smaller government. Then again, thinking about all that work makes me yawn ;)
 

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Me too! I'd just keep a nice, quiet rabbitry in the backyard shed and no one would even know I have them. More meat produced on less feed and the manure is a cold manure, so it doesn't even need composting...just till it into the garden and go.
 

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Rabbits are a great idea! I wish my husband wasn't allergic :( Careful, next thing you know Bee, rabbits will be all the craze! Maybe that's a good thing...?
 

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I was allergic too...couldn't go out in the rabbit shed without sneezing my head off. But, it sure was peaceful to sit out there at night and watch them nibble at hay and just be rabbits.

I liked keeping rabbits....fun and easy for kids to do, though butchering time can be a bit stressful, just like the first time with chickens for most other folks. I had a hard time with the rabbits because of all that soft, clean, white fur...like killing a stuffed animal. :eek:
 
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