You rock Raz!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is an article in the local paper about my fight in St.Charles.http://tricountycitizen.mihomepaper.com/news/2012-05-13/News I am the nameless commentator refered to in the article.
The next day a guy from town stoped me at the grocerie store and told me I made a great argument. Then 3 days later another gentelman that presented pro poultry articles and spoke at the meeting stoped by with his wife. We talked for about a half hour about raising chickens, my garden and how to go forward. It's amazing. Two months ago I took my plea for poultry to the council. The next month there were two of us speaking out in favor of changing the ordinance. With any luck I should be able to have a good 5 - 15 pro poultry villagers waiving torches and pitchforks at the next meeting in June.
Here is a copy of the letter to the editor I just sent out in response to the news story:
In response to chickens in St.Charles
I was the first commentator referred to in the Tri County Citizen article written by Hillary Grigonis. My family and I are hoping to raise 6 chickens and 2 rabbits. My hope was to show the council and members of the community that chickens can be raised in my urban setting with less impact on my neighbors than the common dog or cat. The village planning commission already approved poultry in a 4 – 3 vote. I brought up facts such as Chickens don’t need much space at all. According to Extension Bulletin E-3136 Published by the Michigan Dept of Agriculture titled “Suggestions for Ordinances Allowing Backyard Poultry”, you can keep 6 egg laying hens, a roost and an enclosed fenced in run, all in less space than the family car. Comments were also brought up about poultry being dirty, noisy and hard to contain. Not true at all. The cleanliness of the chickens depend 100% upon its owner as it does with any other animal from a fish tank to a parakeet or from a dog to a horse. A rooster can be noisy, that is true. But why would I want a rooster if I am looking for beautiful scrumptious unfertilized eggs?? As far as being noisy? Hens cluck. That’s it. Most of the time chickens have a soft cluck. Dogs bark and cats howl and fight. I know this because I have a dog and one of our neighbors puts food out for his “Free Range” cats. I have them fighting in my yard nightly (and I don’t own cats). Are chickens hard to contain? They don’t have opposable thumbs. They are not known for their dexterity. Ever since we were children we have raised chickens, pheasant, rabbit, pigeon, cat, dog and many small house pets. Escape artist chickens were the least of our worries.
The Village council actually did a great job disproving many of the anti chicken comments that were made at the meeting. In St.Charles we have a “Public Poultry Pen”. When I asked about all the complaints that have been filed for the annoying and bothersome noise from their poultry, they said there haven’t been any complaints. Hmmm… When I asked them about the messy pen and horrific smells that their poultry emit, they said “No. There has been no such odor from the poultry. It’s kept clean”. So the village can keep poultry with no complaints for noise or smell all with no extra burden to the Village Mgr or Police Dept?
Michigan is known for having the strongest pro farming laws. We have state laws that in some cases trump local anti farming (and in some cases anti poultry) ordinances. The Michigan Right to Farm Act (MRFTA) has rules in place to protect all farmers including the urban city dweller. Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Shelby, Portage, Livonia and Freemont are just a few towns in Michigan that have recently moved in favor of urban backyard poultry. St. Charles is a Family oriented farming community. We have always had farming going on within the village limits. My father was a farmer. It’s in our blood. I would like to use the chickens and rabbits to help teach my boys good values, ethics and responsibility. What better way than raising a chick and then collecting an egg when the chick grows up.
Are my eggs going to be cheaper? I just purchased some on sale for $.70 a dozen so probably not. However mine will be healthier. According to a recent study by Mother Earth News, when compared to commercially raised eggs, farm raised eggs contain
1⁄3 less cholesterol
1⁄4 less saturated fat
2⁄3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
3 times more vitamin E
7 times more beta carotene
We have read it in the news and seen it on every channel. Home raised fruits, vegetables, meats and eggs are healthier with no hormones, steroids and antibiotics in fact, studies are showing up daily that prove consuming locally raised foods can help reduce allergies and asthma (have you ever watched your son have an asthma attack? Pray you don’t).
Lastly we raised 2 chicks for a couple weeks in the boy’s room last month. Just for a couple weeks! Every child that stopped over wanted to hold them and play with the chickens (most adults did too). The fact is that the more you hold them and play with them, the more docile they become. Cool Huh??
I can show fact after fact to disprove just about every anti poultry comment that was brought up at the village council meeting. I think I Have!! My family would like to have fun raising a few chickens and a couple rabbits. We can use the poo in the garden and eliminate chemical usage. Hopefully we will be healthier and my boys will have learned some good life lessons for the effort.