I forgive those of you in more progressive cities that will yawn at the title and read something else. You’ve probably heard enough about them where you live, but here, we’re still fighting the fight to have our city allow backyard chickens. Edmonton’s a little behind the ball. According to River City Chickens, Victoria, Vancouver, Guelph, Niagra Falls, and oh, another 300 or so other North American cities have changed bylaws to okay chickens in their cities. The fight’s being fought in countless others, including ours. Seems like an inevitable outcome to me – and if the city wants to be ‘world-class’, they’re going to need to step up on this front as well.
I’d be the first to admit that I don’t know piles about the issue or politics, but I do have a few questions. First, how does it make any sense that I can have a parrot, but not a chicken? Even worse, how can my neighbor have a dog that probably should have about as much room as a horse to roam, poops all over their yard [making my yard stink like dog crap in the hot summer heat, barf], leaves big blotches of dead lawn spots all over the spring, wakes me up barking in the middle of the night, and is realistically a lethal threat to my small children [human children, I mean] okay by the city – but a chicken, not a chicken. What kills me is I’m even okay with the dog – my gripe isn’t the dog, simply the ridiculousness of the logic here. Another neighbour can have cats that roam the land, poop in my garden [that feeds children] and my childrens’ sandbox, require braking to not injure when driving in the back alley, and my option, according to the city, is to trap them if they’re in my yard. Yeah. I’m a former cat owner, and although not always bright, know that trapping said cats would be highly unpopular. But cats, okay by the city. Feces, noise, trespassing, life-threatening – approved! If a neighbour’s chicken ended up in my yard, the way I see it: free food. I’m pretty sure their rogue chicken would not threaten the life of my children.
Why would I get chickens? With all the moisture this year, I have slugs in my garden. Chickens eat slugs. My brassicas are holy from moth larvae – chickens could deal with that too. I don’t use off-site fertilizers, and chickens offer nitrogen created from them eating plant biomass from my yard. I don’t like to weed, and guess what, chickens eat weed seedlings. Oh yeah, and they produce eggs, daily – extremely high quality eggs. And lots of them. They’re also nice to be around, and won’t kill your children. Apparently they’ll even chase the cats away from pooping in my garden. This seems like a no-brainer to me.