Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bok Bok!

backyard chickens free range framedImage by Rachel Tayse via FlickrLately I've had a growing interest in having backyard chickens. (Ok, how many of you just went "ew"?) I still have to do more serious investigation as to whether or not I'd be allowed - I've found some confusing info in the township's online documents, PLUS I live in an incomplete development with no Home Owners Association (but odds are the paperwork would say no), plus I haven't done any real calling around yet.

I HAVE, however, become aware of how those backyard chicken eggs squareImage by Rachel Tayse via Flickrwho live in Kent, where I work, are hoping to get the rights to have chickens in the small backyards of Kent. Right now the rule is you have to have a much larger parcel of land than most anyone in Kent owns. So a group formed, calling themselves Cluckent (great name!), and they're preparing to make a presentation to the city to allow no more than 6 hens (no roosters!) in their backyards, with the understanding that the coops will be kept at least a particular distance from neighboring residential buildings, coops will be kept clean and tidy, etc. If you're interested, follow their story...

An A-frame chicken coop in a Portland, Oregon ...Image via WikipediaI attended their meeting at Lucky Penny Creamery in Kent this past Saturday (even found out another person from the KSU Library was in attendance with his wife!), and they're all very nice people hoping to get the rights to have backyard chickens for the people in Kent. Heck, not even all the folks who were there WANT their own chickens - they just want people to have the right to decide whether or not to have chickens! It's not like they're fighting for the right to have noisy roosters - they just want up to six quiet hens in their own backyards to provide fresh, healthy eggs. Here's the follow up article to Saturday's meeting...

What's interesting about all of this is some of the information they provide about what cities do and don't allow backyard chickens, how few complaints cities receive about chickens (especially compared to stuff like complaints about dogs), etc. And there are so many misconceptions, like chickens are loud, or that chickens create so much unmanageable manure. For a really interesting summary provided by a group in Springfield, Missouri, check out this PDF.

There's plenty of other online resources to help when it comes to raising backyard chickens, including one very appropriately named Backyard Chickens - chook, er, check 'em out!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't remember if you already have a copy of the deed restrictions but if you need a copy, let me know. I can scan our copy and send it to you. I can't remember seeing chickens mentioned in it though there may be rules regarding livestock in general. That brings up the issue of whether or not chickens are livestock. FWIW, I personally would have no problem with a neighbor having chickens as long as they cared for them properly (much as with any other pet.)