We worked closely with State Representative Andrew Manuse (R - Derry) to get this law changed. Jim from Dodge Grain in Salem, NH was also instrumental in the process. It was a roughly year long process, and we are happy to say that as of last Sunday people in NH can buy as many (or as few) chicks, gosslings or duckings as their local store is willing to sell them.
The process included introducing the bill, testifying to the House committee in order to get it passed along to a vote in the full House, testifying in the Senate committee in order to bring it to a full vote, and then having it pass through the Governor without a veto.
There was already a law on the books preventing stores from giving away chicks as promotional items, or selling/giving dyed chicks, and those laws still stand. Further, with the amount of uproar we saw over the 300+ chicks which died in transport with the USPS this spring I doubt that any business owner would dare attempt a chick give-away like was done in decades past. It also drove home the fact that a flock of 12 chicks is not enough to stay warm in NH springs, and that no matter the size of the flock heating is required (unless there is an adoptive broody, of course).
We had to leave the restriction on the sale of baby rabbits in place, and it was strengthened to no sale under 4 weeks. This makes biologic sense, and while it is much like having a law saying that you need water to raise fish it made the most sense to leave this in.
The process was very informative, and we had very good discussions with both the House and Senate committees. There was a lot of support for backyard chickens on both committees, with a handful of these legislators having their own flock and numerous others regularly purchasing eggs from backyard chicken owners. There was no opposition from animal rights groups, and the farm bureau supported the bill.
We started a thread earlier this year looking for supportive testimony for the bill, and wish we had found this busy thread so that we could have reached out to the people who were already discussing this issue so that there could have been more support shown for the bill in the House and Senate. As I'm sure you're all aware, searches for New Hampshire are overwhelmed by the breed vs the state!
We are planning to submit a letter to the editor of a local paper about this bill. Please let us know if any of you want to add your insight!