Someone mentioned an automatic door and my ears went up. I'm not sure how one teaches chickens to go to the coop at dusk, but if you're interested in an automatic door for the ones who make it inside, I'd be happy to help. The design I recommend is easy to build for very little money, and I've walked people through the build via messages here. PM me if you'd like more info!
LOL great job! And she deserves a Hurrah!
So, my gray EE rooster is available for adoption again. In case you missed it, here is the mug shot:
I just heard him crow for the first time this morning around 10 or so. He's a mild mannered bird; he doesn't like being caught but doesn't fight being held. He's in perfect health, other than one slightly gimpy but totally functional eye.
I'm leaving him up for adoption for about a week or so, then he's off to the freezer.
PM me with questions or interest!
Dont eat him, if he is free I will take him. Adding another crate to the car.
Okay, guess what I spent my morning doing (other than fighting a migriane)? I have finished my masterpiece - my response to the Rezone Indy initiative. I was just going to type up my notes and give them to you all, but that turned into what we are going to say so you are stuck with all of it! Copy what you want, make it your own but please make your voice heard! It has been 45 years since Indianapolis rezoned, we could be stuck with these decisions for another 45 years!
First here is the info on how to let them know how you feel, we have til Monday to respond:
Thank you for coming to an urban ag zoning comment session yesterday. I am following up with everyone that expressed interest in receiving emails about this topic to remind you of the opportunity to provide further feedback to Indy Rezone. With the help of Indy Food Council, I am gathering written public comments on the proposed zoning regulations in order to submit them to Indy Rezone folks in a compiled format. The sections of the zoning code relating to urban agriculture are attached in a PDF to this email.
Thank you again for attending yesterday, your voice matters and you gave excellent feedback to Indy Rezone!
Urban Agriculture Educator, Purdue Extension - Marion County
Now my masterpiece (it is LONG and the formatting did not copy well!!):
Indy Rezone Draft Concerns
One of the best things about Indianapolis is the freedom we have to exercise our ability to make our families sustainable by providing good wholesome food from our gardens and our livestock.
In a time where the economy is uncertain and people are becoming more and more aware of the need for good wholesome food, we should be enabling and education people on how to learn to sustain their families, not inhibiting their efforts to do so. I echo Andrew from Agarian’s thoughts. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The reality is, this rezoning and all it’s regulations will BREAK Indianapolis residents’ freedom to sustain themselves.
My specific concerns:
- The numbers restricting livestock:
- Arbitrary numbers chosen based on other cities restrictive regulations instead of investigating what is working well with Urban homesteaders here in Indianapolis and how to incorporate their safe practices into zoning regulations
- Chickens - specifically the ability to only have 10 chickens if your lot is less than 1/3 acre:
- ¼ acre and 1/3 acre are very close in size, but suddenly if a lot reaches 1/3 acre a person can have more than twice the number of chickens, or vice versa if my lot is just under 1/3 acre I can only have less than half the chickens my neighbor with 1/3 acre has.
- Many of us have chickens not only to provide for our family but also to provide for friends and neighbors. We are willing to freely share our eggs.
- Caring for Chickens and selling eggs is also a great way for children to learn responsibility and basic business skills. If we want to share and sell eggs, 10 chickens may make it difficult to do both.
- If our lot it fenced in and the chickens can free range all day, instead of being confined to a run, 16 – 20 chickens have plenty of space on less than 1/3 acre.
- There are times when the number of chickens may temporarily increase:
- A family buys chickens to raise for meat. Depending on the type of chicken, for 8 weeks(for a Cornish Cross chicken) to 8 months(for dual purpose chicken) the number of chickens may increase.
- A family ‘s chicken hatches a batch or more of chicks – suddenly the number of chickens they have doubles or triples and they have broken the law. Do we suddenly overload animal control with chicks each spring?
- There has been no consideration to the fact that there are different sizes of chickens. Bantams are significantly smaller than large fowl and take up much less room and lay smaller eggs less often – but we want to keep them because we love them! Many Bantams are kept as pets, not for eggs
- Many Bantam Breeds were created for apartment dwellers to be able to raise chickens with no land at all.
- Many of us have mixes flocks and restricting numbers to only 10 restricts our ability to provide and sell eggs to others. . If we want to have Bantams as pets and Large Fowl for eggs these numbers are severely restrictive.
- Goats - specifically the ability to only have 2, only if we have 1 acre of land and only neutered males over the age of one.
- Once again there has been no consideration given to the size of a goat and the reality of how much land they need.
- A small herd of only 3 goats, regardless of size does not need an entire acre of land!
- Nigerian Dwarf Goats & Pigmy Goats are much smaller than standard size goats and it is easy to sustain 6-8 of these goats an around ¼ acre of land. Three can easily be raised on 1/8 acre of land.
- Many people choose Nigerian Dwarf Goats for their milk producing capabilities. One goat can provide ½ gallon of milk a day and provide a family with milk to drink, to make cheese as well has healthy toiletry products.
- In order to have milk, A family must be able to breed their goats. Female goats must have offspring to produce milk. This means having a non-neutered male.
- The bare minimum of Nigerian Dwarf goats on as little as 1/8 acre should be three. One non neutered male, and 2 females in order to alternate which female produces offspring which reduces stress on the females. Paying for stud service is expensive and potentially exposes our herd to life threatening illnesses.
- Just like chickens, when a goat produces offspring, the number of goats a family has temporarily increases and suddenly a family is breaking the law. Time varies when it comes to finding new homes for the kids (baby goats), and no one wants to be forced to hand over their kids to animal control.
- Llamas and Alpacas – specifically only allowing 2 and requiring 2 acres of land. These animals are smaller than horses donkeys and mules but they are all lumped together!
- Alpacas are smaller than Llamas. It is easy to raise 3 Alpacas on ¼ acre of land - 2 acres is certainly not needed
- A mixed herd of 12 Lllamas and Alpacas can easily and healthily be raised on ½ to 1 acre of land to graze.
- Two acres of land is an unreasonable amount to say is needed for only 2 Llamas or Alpacas! Two acres of land could easily sustain 20 or more Llamas and Alpacas!
- If a person has both a male and a female Alpaca or Llama, once again their numbers may temporally increase when offspring are produced..
- Many people who raise Alpacas do so in order to personally use as well as sell the soft wool also known as “The Fiber of the Gods”. Their desire is to keep the offspring and gradually increase the flock in order to have the ability to have more wool to use and sell. Once again, no one wants to be forced to take their Crias (baby Alpacas) to animal control.
E. Grandfathered animals
1. We are concerned over how it will be determined that we are able to keep the animals we currently have.
2. If our animals are grandfathered in, as they die off will we be able to replace those animals with their offspring or will we be slowly forced to reduce the size of our flocks and herds.
E. There is no allowance for neighbors who want to combine forces, merge their lots and raise livestock together.
II. Gardens and selling of produce. (We have a personal garden in a residential area and are not currently involved in community gardening, however we may be in the future so these are the concerns weI have with the draft)
- Fencing in a community garden
- A fence restricts access and inhibits the feeling of community and the openness of a community garden for the purpose of providing food for those who need it.
- Fencing is a huge cost that may prevent a community garden from being able to exist just from a financial standpoint! If neighbors are coming together to create a garden on a vacant lot they may not be able to do it because of the cost of the fence alone!
- The regulation of the fence having 50% opacity may prevent a community garden in a historic area such as Irvington. There are very specific guidelines of what kinds of fences are able to be erected in order to maintain the historic authenticity of the area.
- Limiting the sizes of Greenhouses in our ever changing environment means limiting the amount of good healthy produce available to the community and the ability of a community garden to have a greenhouse in order to provide produce all year long. It is quite likely that we are entering a phase of colder winters than we have had for a long time. We are continuing to have polar vortexes even in the summer.
- Produce sales – limiting produce sales to only one day a week in all dwelling districts except the D-A district is extremely limiting! This inhibits the ability to get good healthy produce into the hands of the people. We do not understand why produce sales would not be allowed every day of the week in order to accommodate the differing schedules of our citizens.
III. General concerns
A. It does not appear that experienced Urban Homesteaders, Community Gardeners and City Livestock owners who have successful healthy established practices were consulted in creating this zoning draft. To truly involve the citizens these people need to be part of creating the zoning draft.
B. It seems that a few complaints are being held as more important than a large number of people who are successful in their city farming endeavors, people who are striving towards sustainability and providing food and education for not only themselves but also their neighbors.
1. Is there any evidence that the complaints are all reasonable and valid and could not have been easily resolved using the regulations we already have established. Why are we not sticking with what is currently working and instead creating limitations and restrictions that may not necessarily be needed.
2. The reality is there are some people who will complain about anything and their complaints may not be reasonable and valid. How many complaints come from chronic complainers that will never be satisfied? That is hard to measure but must be considered if these complaints were even part of the reason for the creation of new zoning laws.
C. At one point in our history, the US government encouraged and recommended that families have gardens and livestock in their backyards and in vacant lots as their patriotic duty. (See posters from the past below) Why are we attempting to stray so far from our roots by creating more restrictions and limitations? (Please see next 2 pages for copies of 2 Posters)
You did an amazing job on this! I think it is excellently argued. I'm not a resident of Indianapolis, or I'd be right there with you. I am, however, a weaver (would LOVE to have alpacas, but don't have the right space). And one thing you could add to your critique of the limit on alpaca numbers is that they come in many colors, useful if you would like to use natural fibers that have not been dyed, and thus people who keep them for this purpose may need to have more than two of them so that they can supply the variety of colors that allow for creative use of this wonderful fiber.
Will add also on sunday when we get back
Be there friday! Hope to be before 7pm.