Thursday, March 24, 2011

Backyard Chickens!

Soooo excited to get our chickens! Thanks to Nanaimo residents Anthony James and Roblyn Hunter, who both keep chickens on properties in Nanaimo. They formed the ‘Nanaimo Poultry Collective’ which, last fall, lobbied city council to change a bylaw that had previously restricted poultry to lots of over an acre in size.
After examining similar bylaws from other cities, the collective proposed and won changes allowing up to four hens, or ducks, but no noisy roosters, on lots of less than one acre.  The four birds allowed under Nanaimo’s bylaw will typically provide three to four eggs daily.

Chickens are surprisingly long-lived, five to 11 years depending on the breed, although commercially-raised chicken have much shorter lives. Broiler meat chickens typically live less than two months before they’re slaughtered while egg-layers can look forward to a 12-month lifespan, at which point their production starts to drop and they’re butchered.

The rewritten Nanaimo bylaw prohibits chicken keepers from butchering their birds but, if Anthony James and Roblyn Hunter are typical, it’s unlikely many urban chickens have much to worry about in any case. As well as being a good source of eggs and garden fertilizer, it turns out the birds make great pets, with interesting personalities and a fascinating social order. "All the kids from the neighbourhood come over and see them," comments Anthony James. "It’s so easy to own chickens. It really takes 10 to 15 seconds a day. It’s so easy and it’s such a joy."

Roblyn Hunter agrees. "They make excellent pets for kids. They love coming in the house. They have a lot of character. They have a lot of intelligence. If there’s a hawk flying over they’ll let out a squawk and they’ll all run."

So, chickens—easy to keep, friendly, smart, and food producing what a combination!

No comments:

Post a Comment