Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Backyard chicks in Arlington, MA

Pam Callaway is pursuing a cool idea for a town rule that would permit backyard hens:
In the last few years, as the eat local/sustainable living/organic/recycle lifestyle has gained popularity, cities and towns all over America have been relaxing their chicken laws to allow 4-6 carefully tended, pet backyard hens for eggs.

We're talking about hens only, no roosters (no noise!) kept in a pretty, carefully-maintained enclosed coop; raised by hand as pets and for eggs. Chicken droppings make amazing compost for the garden and the hens recycle kitchen scraps!

Heritage breed chickens are calm, docile, and when hand-raised they become affectionate pets that come when they are called. Kept as suburban pets, and cleaned regularly, backyard chickens don't smell. In all, they make less noise and smell than many dogs.

It’s fun, educational, healthy, and environmentally sound!
My family probably can't do it, because our backyard fails or only barely meets the size requirements, but I'd totally love it if our neighbors did this.

8 comments:

Anne Obelnicki said...

Yay for backyard chickens (or ducks, as the case may be...)! I'm moving away from Arlington April 1st, but that doesn't mean I won't be thrilled to see my dream of poultry in every (or a few) backyard(s) fulfilled! :)

SarahB said...

Ha, I was just going to mention Anne and her ducks! I've been hearing these proposals are becoming more popular across the country--very exciting!

Stacy said...

Ann Arbor, MI recently approved a backyard chickens permit-- here's the link to the permit in case anyone wants ideas about wording, etc. Unfortunately, our yard is too small for chickens, so we're filling it up with vegetable garden instead.

Stacy said...

Oops-- here's the link:
http://www.a2gov.org/government/city_administration/City_Clerk/Documents/Backyard%20Chickens%20Permit%200708.pdf

Jack Everitt said...

Our frequently visiting gray fox (sleeping the day away 12 feet from our master bed...on the 2nd(!) floor)) would welcome new dinner choices.

Renata said...

Cleveland, OH recently approved backyard chickens and beehives too:
http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2009/02/down_on_farm_in_cleveland.html

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea that should be permitted in a conditional manner and with respect to neighbors. I fully understand that the petition is for hens (not roosters) but I dont think its suitable for some of the backyards that these people are hoping to have them in...trust me, I know because I live close to Mrs. Callaway. People wishing to pursue interests around livestock should really consider buying homes with more property (which exists in Arlington)and further away from the city. Also, keep in mind that we have many farms in the area that could use our support..so buy their fresh eggs! Like I said, good idea, but conditional...

Anne Obelnicki said...

Parke, what happened with the chicken proposal? I haven't been keeping up with Arlington politics! :)