Local resident cries fowl over chicken bylaw

Are you aware that the keeping of backyard hens is a bylaw violation?

An open letter to the town of Lake Cowichan

Are you aware that the keeping of backyard hens is a bylaw violation? We are looking for your support in changing this bylaw.

We fail to see how keeping a few hens negatively impacts anyone else. It hardly encourages neighbourly relations to be overly concerned with what other residents are doing on their own property .

If it pleases our family to keep hens, why should someone else’s disinterest in them mean that it is a banned practice?

Bylaw amendments to include the keeping hens within city limits are nothing new. According to several online sources, nine large Canadian cities (and countless small ones) have already successfully repealed the bylaw to allow for chickens. They include, but are not limited to: Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, Guelph, Niagra Falls, New Westminster, Burnaby, Gibsons, Surrey, and Kingston .

We have found reference to over 96 cities in the United States that currently allow chicken keeping in backyards including, but not limited to Boston, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans, and New York city.

According to an article online in the Nanaimo News Bulletin, Nanaimo relaxed their poultry laws after a one year trial run during which only two complaints were lodged and both were reported to have been easily resolved.

We propose that the Town of Lake Cowichan enter a trial period of no less than one year, beginning immediately. The bylaws can then be revisited based on public input during and after the trial period.

Why keep hens?

1. Chickens provide fresh local food for daily consumption.

2. Chickens create nitrogen rich fertilizer which can be used in gardens, therefore eliminating the need to purchase chemical versions.

The reduction of waste is two fold, the first being no packaging to dispose of, and the second being a reduced carbon footprint due to the removal of the processing, packaging and delivery of commercial varieties.

3. A reduction in municipal waste. Chickens will gladly consume table scraps that would otherwise end up in a landfill or a compost bucket.

4. Keeping chickens educates family members on the food chain and responsible pet ownership.

5. Food security on Vancouver Island is a big concern. Vancouver Island produces only five per cent of the food we consume. In the event of a major catastrophe there is said to be only two to three days worth of food on the Island. Keeping hens that provide fresh eggs is a simple grassroots way to quell some food security concerns.

6. Chickens eat bugs and large hens even eat mice, eliminating the need for chemical pest control measures.

7. Chickens make great pets and contrary to popular misconception are not loud. Roosters on the other hand are noisy and should be reserved for acreages.

Consider for a moment that the issue of backyard hens is not even really about whether or not you think someone else should be allowed to have a few hens but rather how much authority you think local municipalities should have in regulating the daily goings on in your own back yard.

Imagine a local municipality telling you that you can’t  have a family pet, a dog for example. Many people dislike dogs: they can bite, they bark, they poop, they wander, yelp and whine when the town siren goes off. Even people who dislike dogs would never vote for a bylaw prohibiting them.

We need to respect each others’ differences and trust that we are all making positive choices for ourselves, our families, and our community.

Airiane Rogers

Lake Cowichan

 

 

Just Posted

Karl McPherson, left, and Mary Morrice are the new head coach and general manager, respectively, at the Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Manager charts a new course for Duncan Dynamics

More recreational programs to join competitive teams

Cute but fierce! Timber moonlights as an attack kitty. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Beware of Mr. Bite, the midnight attacker

Last week, in the middle of the night, I was awoken by… Continue reading

The province has come through with funding for Duncan Manor’s renewal project. (File photo)
Funding comes through for Duncan Manor’s renewal project

Money will come from the province’s Community Housing Fund

The former St. Joseph’s School site will remain an art studio at least into early next year. It will take some time before being converted to an addictions recovery community. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Addiction recovery facility will be all about building community together

Society on a clear path with members’ experiences to provide valuable help

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Most Read