Friday, January 25, 2008

Chickens in the City

A family in Halifax is having to get rid of their chickens, after one (and only one) neighbour complained about the chicken feed potentially attracting rats.

Halifax has a rat problem (it's a sea port!), and a little chicken feed is not going to affect it much one way or another (she actually brings the feed in at night, so there goes that argument anyway). We have mice out our way that are attracted by our wild bird feed. So are they going to ban people from feeding birds? I don't see that happening. All I see here is someone trying to be a little more self-sufficient food wise. These chickens eat bugs, provide great compost fodder, and fresh eggs for her family and some neighbours. Sounds like winning all around. As long as there's a limit to the number you can keep, and owners keep the grounds clean, etc. I don't see a problem.

A guy has set up a Facebook page for people of like mind here (also contains the text from the Chronicle-Herald newspaper article on the topic), and a petition for people to sign to allow the raising of a limited number of chickens in the city. It's a good, wholesome, old fashioned pursuit that's useful in this modern world where food is often shipped thousands of miles from where it's grown (not so hot for the environment).

BTW, the chickens illustrating this post are specialty chickens from the Maritime Fall Fair last year, not the actual chickens in question. :)

1 comment:

Linda said...

Hi, Ann. Found your post through my Google News Feed on chickens. I've been tracking this topic since I, too, have recently had to deal with the same issue. I live in Chicago where loosely defined ordinances have allowed me and others to raise chickens in the midst of the "big city." A few months ago, one of the alderman tried to pass a law banning keeping live chickens in the city. The reasons? They attract rats, are noisy, are smelly, people kill them in plain sight, etc., etc.

A handful of us chicken advocates were able to stave off the threat, and the ordinance was returned to committee. There it sits, and hopefully will for the next 100 years.

Chicago has a sizable rat population, too. But chicken keeping is NOT the main reason we have so many. Walk down any of our alleys and you're likely to see open trash containers, or ones with large holes chewed in them. The rats are feasting on what people toss into those containers or leave laying around in the alley because their container is overflowing.

Hop on over to my blogs to get more info: and

Keep it up! Hens are a great asset in any city!