Editor: From community gardens to chickens, it is always the negatives that come out first. No one ever seems to consider the positives.
Many residents of this area are concerned about high food prices, possible lack of food if there is a disaster of any kind, and green house gases in shipping product all over the island and from the mainland. They also want to be part of the 100 mile diet, with fresh eggs and vegetables from their own property.
Many urban areas on this island and other areas in BC are allowing people to have four to six chickens per city lot with regulations they must follow. It is not a difficult process.
The town needs to formulate a permit with regulations attached that a grower must purchase and sign before getting the poultry.
Only four to six egg-laying chickens per lot, no roosters, properly-built pens kept clean and safe, proper disposal of droppings (composting), chickens treated humanely at all times, and feed kept secured from pests.
Yes, some people don’t take care of their dogs and cats properly, don’t compost their kitchen waste and don’t pick their fruit. But, I and many of my friends and neighbours do, and the town or Advisory Planning Commission shouldn’t say no to a project because of the few people in our community who don’t care.
The start-up cost to build pens, buy feeders, feed and poultry can run high, so people won’t take it on lightly.
This project could start with only a few permits being sold in the first year and then have a review of how things are going.
If all goes well, more permits could be sold and reviewed annually. Growing birds for meat could be looked at in the future.
Buckerfield’s is a good place to start if you are interested.
They have free hand-outs about chickens, sell the babies if you are ready to take them and have a chicken swap program.
Those interested might consider visiting small farms that already have chickens to see how much work it is and how rewarding it can be.