Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Durham Welcomes Chickens!

Judy Morgan-Davis of Raleigh’s Tour d’Coop worked with this group in Durham to get a chicken-friendly ordinance passed, http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1408262.html. Congratulations, Judy and HENS, Healthy Egg Neighborhood Supporters!

Communities vary in their approaches to regulating chickens within their boundaries. Some approach it quite specifically, being precise about how many feet from residences the coop must be, what it can be made of, how many chickens are allowed, whether roosters are allowed.

Judy tells me that Raleigh regulates chickens under a General Nuisance ordinance. Not that chickens are, but by including chickens under a general ordinance, neighbors have latitude to work out arrangements that suit them.

"We can deal with anything that might offend anyone," she says. "It bothers me to have laws specific to chickens. We don't tell people what kind of dog pen to build or what room of the house to keep the cat in."

Judy keeps a rooster who does some crowing, but the neighbors are used to him. He reminds them of their childhood.

Durham's new law allows slaughter, so long as it's not in the public eye, but doesn't allow sale of eggs. It's interesting to see how different communities are managing these changes in the way people are changing the way they live.

"Common sense ordinances exist," Judy says. "Common sense people are keeping chickens."

An article focused on chickens in Portland, Oregon in Sustainable Life, http://tinyurl.com/afa8yg.

Evie Zanella, our cat sitter, of Auntie Evie’s Paws N the Pines, http://auntiespawsnthepines.com/, sent this photo of cross-species care by a hen. The chicks appear somewhat chagrined, but they probably got over it and settled in. Creature comfort generally wins out.

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