Thursday, January 15, 2009

List of Chicken Laws

I'm currently working on a map to track the most recent battles in urban chickens and the status of requested ordinance revisions.  I just started on this map and am using data from a few automated blog searches I have set up Google Blog Search.   You can check out the current map below.


View Larger Map

Additionally, I ran across this site that shows several laws as they pertain to keeping urban chickens.

Urban Chickens on NPR

So this isn't exactly current, but it's exciting that urban chickens are garnering so much media attention.  NPR featured a segment on urban chickens on its All Things Considered program.  You can listen to the show here (it's only about 4.5 minutes long).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Durham Denied Backyard Chickens (for the time being)

The Durham city council voted unanimously to allow beekeeping within city limits, but delayed a vote to allow backyard chickens until February awaiting revision of proposed ordinance changes.  See the full story on here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Update on the Status of the Ordinace (From AshevilleCityChickens Yahoo Group)

Dear Friends of Asheville City Chickens,

Yesterday I had a very positive meeting with Curt Euler, Captain Darryl Fisher, and Melissa 
Williams of the Asheville Police Department. I had Gwen Diehn, ACC member and Jeff 
Bradley from Ag. Extension to help enlighten the city staff on the merits of a good 
ordinance.

The city staff seemed assured that avian flu is not a present concern, though they would 
like to permit the animals in case of some outbreak, and that a small number of chickens 
poses minimal nuisance regarding noise, and smell. They were mainly concerned that they 
not write an ordinance that overtaxes the animal control staff, or causes more problems 
than before.

We asked for a change in the current ordinance which says fowl has to remain in the coop, 
and we prefer to say on the owner's property. We asked that the ordinance and the permit 
agree, which presently one says 100ft and the other 150ft, coop to neighbor's house. We 
suggested that a clearly written ordinance will be more easily observed. They recognize 
that a great number, really great number, of Ashevillians already have chickens and are 
being good neighbors. Thank goodness for that or we wouldn't have a chance. By the 
way, no roosters, no way, no how. They agree that enforcement would be complaint 
driven, in other words, noone will be going door to door counting your chickens, but will 
come if some calls in.

I believe that they have good intentions to give us a very liberal ordinance regarding both 
distance and numbers. Because Curt Euler will go back to Brenda Sears with the 
recommendations and craft a draft ordinance, I have no particular details to report as they 
could change at any minute. What I know is that we will still have a permit fee as the 
present ordinance dictates, payable only once, to be renewed annually. And what they 
eventually present to the city council, will have to be approved by them, and they may ask 
for changes.

I will forward the draft as soon as I get it.

In the meantime, keep up the pressure. We have a new council member who needs to 
hear from us. It would be a good idea to also e-mail Melissa Williams, Community 
Relations Manager for the police department, mwilliams@asheville nc.gov. Curt Euler said 
he had never gotten so many calls and e-mails before the interest in both chickens and 
the dog-chaining.

And I believe a good sign is that each of the city staff asked for a We Still Lay bumper 
sticker.

Many thanks to Gwen Diehn and Jeff Bradley for being part of the meeting. We appeared 
professional, scientific and most important, normal. 

I have no idea how long any of this will take but will try to find out. Rest assured, there is 
a city council meeting in all of our futures. And then a big party!

Thanks to everyone,

Jenny

Monday, January 5, 2009

Chickens Make the News Again

LoHud.com featured a pretty good write-up on urban chickens a while back (November 19).  It is definetely worth a read and has links to some really good online resources and a handful of books.  It's interesting to see that this is an issue around the country and hopefully Asheville City Council will take the opportunity to take a leadership role in urban agriculture and set an example for other communities.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Chickens in USA Today

It's becoming almost a daily occurrence to see urban or backyard chickens in the mainstream media. Check out this article from USA Today.  

Also of interest is this blog on tips and experiences from a backyard chicken farmer out of Wynne, Arkansas or a similar blog that shows that chickens can fit in among the most urban settings (Brooklyn, NY).