Backyard Chickens

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Backyard Chickens

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 20th, 2008, 11:54 am

Seems more urban dwellers are becoming urban chicken farmers ... for many reasons.

People are realizing chickens are a multipurpose pet. They eat bugs and weeds, they're really fun to watch. And how many pets make you breakfast?

They don't bark all night (dogs).

They don't destroy your flower beds (cats).

They provide food for your family (eggs and meat).

They are natural pesticides (they eat many different kinds of bugs).

They provide chemical-free lawn and garden fertilizer (high in nitrogen).

They are natural herbicides (they eat weeds).

They aerate your lawn (they scratch in the earth)

They eat table scraps.

They live outside year-round (no mess in the house, no dog hair, no litter boxes, no scratched furniture, no pet smells, no urine on the rugs, upholstery and drapes.)

They can be kept in movable pens (called chicken "tractors" http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/tractors.html) and can be contained right where you want them to be.

They are easy to keep (low maintenance).

They put themselves to bed at night and they are quiet all night long.

They don't get into the neighbours' garbage on garbage day.

Chickens don't need to go to obedience classes.

They will not bite the mailman.

They do not need to be neutered.

They do not need to taken to the groomers.

They do not need to go to a boarding kennel when you go on a trip.

They are cheap to buy and to maintain (baby chicks start at around $2 to buy, depending on breed, exotic breeds cost more).

They provide hours of entertainment (kids especially love chickens). Many communities class chickens as "pets" rather than "farm animals".

They don't bite (they may peck but if hand raised, they are very docile and friendly).

You know where your food comes from and what has gone into it (no chemicals, hormones, preservatives)

Three or four chickens requires only 3 sq ft per bird. Many large cities are now allowing up to 6 chickens on a city-sized lot. Most do not allow roosters, but some do.

Three or four hens will provide enough eggs for a family of 4. Three chickens lay about 50 eggs per month.

You don't need a rooster to get eggs.

Fresh eggs have a richer flavor and firmer whites that are better for baking.

Free-range eggs have 33 percent less cholesterol, 25 percent less saturated fat and noticeably more vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids than the typical mass-produced cage-raised egg layers.http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/2007-10-01/Tests-Reveal-Healthier-Eggs.aspx

Chickens can be raised on apartment and condo balconies. You can collect the chicken droppings, compost them in a small container, and then put them in your planters on your patio where you are growing some tomatoes or flowers.

Their homes can be made from repurposed materials (used lumber, pallets, plastic containers, etc)

**********

Back to the "new status symbol" ...

"Several of the Northwest's most important examples of coop design are showcased every year in the Seattle Tilth Chicken Coop Tour, a self-guided stroll through urban hen houses. Notable coops include a traditional Cape gazebo, a modern condo topped by a penthouse, a Wild West Saloon and an architect-designed chalet with cedar framing, galvanized steel roof and hinged Lexan windows in classic four-pane pattern. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The luxury home tour, Street of Dreams, may give visitors an excuse to indulge in velvet voyeurism under the guise of looking for practical ideas. But the Tilth Tour offers even more insight into neighbors' intimate habits: How often they change their straw bedding. Who keeps a rooster on the side. Secret spots where hens prefer to lay their eggs. . . . .. . . . . . . . . Not all of the featured chicken houses are poultry palaces. Some nod to practical considerations, such as ease of cleaning. Others have an environmental focus. Several lean toward low-budget construction."

http://www.seattletilth.org/events/citychickenstour

*****************

Anyone want to raise chickens in their backyard?

Currently, the City of Kelowna does not allow chickens on city lots.

With their new environmentally friendly "green" regulations coming into effect January 2009, do you think the city should rewrite the bylaw http://www.kelowna.ca/CityPage/Docs/PDFs%5C%5CBylaws%5CAnimal%20and%20Poultry%20Regulation%20and%20Animal%20Pound%20Bylaw%20No.%205421-82.pdf to allow up to 6 chickens on a city lot???

I raised chickens (and other things) for years, so I know what I am talking about. I am willing to help anyone who is interested in changing the bylaw and teaching people how to raise their backyard birds, what birds to get (I favour Red Sussex Crosses - a multipurpose bird and very friendly - not "flappy" and neurotic, a good egg producer), where to get them http://www.rochesterhatchery.com/frame.html Buckerfields in town can supply everything you need to raise chickens in your backyard.

Where I live, I CAN have chickens legally. And my landlord has agreed that I can - he knows he'll be the recipient of any extra eggs my chickens will produce!
Last edited by grammafreddy on Mar 19th, 2010, 7:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Backyard Chickens?

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 20th, 2008, 1:24 pm

X-post ... http://forums.castanet.net/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=16229

Thoughts??? Well, constructive, positive thoughts....
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Re: The NEW status symbol ... backyard chickens

Postby flamingfingers » Nov 20th, 2008, 1:51 pm

grammafreddy wrote:Seems more urban dweller are become urban chicken farmers ... for many reasons.

"SNIP"....

People are realizing chickens are a multipurpose pet. They eat bugs and weeds, they're really fun to watch. And how many pets make you breakfast?

Where I live, I CAN have chickens legally. And my landlord has agreed that I can - he knows he'll be the recipient of any extra eggs my chickens will produce!


Yess!!

I would LOVE to have my own little flock of Rhode Island Reds again! I had six that supplied all the lovely big brown eggs our family could use and I sold the rest to the neighbors who were happy to buy them (at $1 a dozen). I also raised Harcos and Barred Rocks but RIRs are my favorites.

I think the brooding part would be the most difficult for the newbie but for a half dozen babies it is manageable. Keep me posted on your progress g'fred.
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Re: The NEW status symbol ... backyard chickens

Postby Nebula » Nov 20th, 2008, 8:44 pm

They smell bad.
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Re: The NEW status symbol ... backyard chickens

Postby Air Wrench » Nov 20th, 2008, 8:50 pm

writerdave wrote:They smell bad.


But they are ooh sooo tasty!
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Re: The NEW status symbol ... backyard chickens

Postby Nebula » Nov 20th, 2008, 8:55 pm

True enough, but they only taste good after Colonel Sanders has had his way with them and they ain't poopin' no more.
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Re: The NEW status symbol ... backyard chickens

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 20th, 2008, 9:47 pm

writerdave wrote:They smell bad.


No, actually they don't smell bad. If you have experienced smelly chickens, it's because they were not cared for properly. Don't blame the chickens for that.
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Re: The NEW status symbol ... backyard chickens

Postby Nebula » Nov 20th, 2008, 9:52 pm

Only experienced chickens in a barnyard setting once. Never want to again. Smelled so bad, it would knock a buzzard off a sh*t wagon.
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Re: The NEW status symbol ... backyard chickens

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 20th, 2008, 10:05 pm

Awww, that's such a shame, WD. I am sorry you have only had that one bad experience with chickens. Like I said, you can't blame the chickens for that. I hope those people are not still keeping chickens.
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Re: The NEW status symbol ... backyard chickens

Postby Air Wrench » Nov 20th, 2008, 10:26 pm

gramma, perhaps you can convince my better half that the smell I make is not my fault and I should not be blamed.
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Re: The NEW status symbol ... backyard chickens

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 20th, 2008, 10:49 pm

flamingfingers wrote:
Yess!!

I would LOVE to have my own little flock of Rhode Island Reds again! I had six that supplied all the lovely big brown eggs our family could use and I sold the rest to the neighbors who were happy to buy them (at $1 a dozen). I also raised Harcos and Barred Rocks but RIRs are my favorites.

I think the brooding part would be the most difficult for the newbie but for a half dozen babies it is manageable. Keep me posted on your progress g'fred.


Well, FF. I am already allowed to have chickens. I was just offering up reasons why more urban dwellers and single family homeowners on a city lot might want to raise chickens and offered to help them. Without any interest, there will be no "progress" other than I will have chickens and others won't.

If enough people were interested, we could request council change the bylaw to allow chickens. Victoria and Esquimalt allow chickens in R1 zoning, as do Chicago and a number of other large (and small) places. Why not here, since they want to be so "green"???

The RIR are a nice bird. My fav, the Red Sussex are a cross between the RIR (good egg production) and the Columbian Rock - a bird known for its good meat and sweet, calm disposition. The RIR rooster can be a bit too feisty and protective for my liking. I had a RIR rooster once that attacked me whenever I was outside and I wasn't too pleased about that. He tasted just fine in the stew pot! I don't plan on ever having roosters again, so that won't be an issue with me now. The RIR come from Rochester Hatchery unsexed - you get what you get. The RSX can be ordered as just pullets, which is ideal for city living. The minimum order is 25 birds - which I certainly don't need, but I would be interested in combining orders with other people who want the same.

I also know where I can get full grown white and brown egg layers if anyone is interested in having hens without the brooding issues. These are not meat birds by any stretch of the imagination, though. They are strictly layers, which also would do me just fine. If I am working, I may not want to deal with brooding chicks. Last time I bought these hens, they were either 50 cents or a buck each. I was happy with them, as well.
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Re: The NEW status symbol ... backyard chickens

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 20th, 2008, 10:54 pm

Air Wrench wrote:gramma, perhaps you can convince my better half that the smell I make is not my fault and I should not be blamed.



hahahhaa, Air Wrench - I think you are mistaken ... I know my chickens - I don't know you :D

edited - off topic :127:
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Re: Backyard Chickens?

Postby Nom_de_Plume » Nov 22nd, 2008, 9:00 am

Here are the current city bylaws pertaining to this subject

http://www.kelowna.ca/CityPage/Docs/PDFs%5C%5CBylaws%5CAnimal%20and%20Poultry%20Regulation%20and%20Animal%20Pound%20Bylaw%20No%2E%205421%2D82%2Epdf

From what I can tell you have to have property sized bigger than half an acre in order to be permitted livestock animals. You are limited to the number of chickens and sex (as roosters are known to be a bit noisy) Hens also make some noise that neighbours may complain about but that is usually limited to about an hour in the morning while they are actually laying.

Layers, if cared for properly create very little mess or smell.
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Re: The NEW status symbol ... backyard chickens

Postby oneh2obabe » Nov 22nd, 2008, 9:13 pm

Found this in the classifieds - free to give away, 10 - 30 month old chickens. 250-762-4846.
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Re: The NEW status symbol ... backyard chickens

Postby JLives » Nov 23rd, 2008, 12:32 pm

I wish I could have chickens. We had about 20 when I was a child and it was my job every morning to go collect and clean all the eggs. I'm downtown though so I'm sure that would go over well with my neighbours lol.
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