How do I go about finding others here who also want backyard hens?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by NightingaleJen, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. NightingaleJen

    NightingaleJen Out Of The Brooder

    Our house-hunt for a place that's not an hour from Hubby's job didn't work, so we're in a town that doesn't allow chickens. I could (and will, if necessary) apply for a variance, but I really, really want a few hens of my own. A neighbor I was chatting with also loves chickens and wouldn't mind a few birds herself, either. But I think it would be good to go to City Council with a bunch of people who want backyard hens, to show (in case they don't read the news and realize how many big cities DO allow backyard chickens) that this is an idea whose time has come. There are four horses just up the street—same zone, same zip code, everything. (I adore horses so this is just fine with me!) Why we can't have chickens...

    Anyhow. How do I find other people in my area who also want backyard birds? Has anyone put a group like this together before? Any advice? Obviously I can put ads on Craigslist, but am not sure I want to deal with all the cranks and so forth.

    Thanks BYCers!

    (ETA I know my profile says "Columbus", but we're actually just outside the city.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  2. greenegglover

    greenegglover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just moved from Ohio and Columbus allows 3 hens....unless your live in a HOA. You should go to council, board, township to talk to them. They may feel the same way!
     
  3. turtlewomyn

    turtlewomyn Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    You could also look on here for people in your area. I was looking through BYC people who were in my same location to see what their coop setups are like and recognized the play set in my neighbors backyard (I was aware they had chickens because I had heard them, but I am rather shy about approaching new people). She ended up stopping by to talk to me the other night, but I also had messaged her on here (we are both flying under the radar of the HOA).
     
  4. NightingaleJen

    NightingaleJen Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks both! I'll have to do a search here. There was a group trying to get backyard chickens approved, and the peoples' names are in archived newspaper articles (this was less than a year ago, but prior to our moving to Ohio)...would it be uncouth/weird to try and contact these folks?

    greenegglover, we're just outside of Columbus in Reynoldsburg. Unfortunately, Cap city rules don't apply to our town. Yet. [​IMG]
     
  5. turtlewomyn

    turtlewomyn Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
  6. NightingaleJen

    NightingaleJen Out Of The Brooder

    Oh, I know they failed that time. But there's no reason at all to stop trying to change the law! I'm not on FB, but will have Hubby look. That's a good idea, too, thank you. [​IMG]
     
  7. cherrytree

    cherrytree New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2013
    I know this is an old thread, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm also interested in keeping some chickens and live in Reynoldsburg. I would be happy to approach city council with you. I have another friend in town who hopes to get chickens, too, so maybe we can form a coalition?
     
  8. NightingaleJen

    NightingaleJen Out Of The Brooder

    I'm still here. :) I would say that before we approach city council, we may want to be more organized and armed with better information. Reading articles from when this was up for debate the summer before last, it sounds to me like both CC and citizens were not informed regarding backyard chickens; some seemed to be envisioning flocks of 20 and 30 birds, not a handful of hens; they also seemed to think all chicken coops are ugly and filthy, which is just silly! (I wouldn't want something ugly and filthy in my own backyard, thanks.)
     
  9. cherrytree

    cherrytree New Egg

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    Yes, being informed and organized is a key to getting the issue discussed and, hopefully, passed. I agree with your assessment of what happened the last time it was mentioned to council. I think there are a lot of good examples of cities that allow chicken-keeping (Columbus and Bexley are good local ones), and they use reasonable guidelines to assure that there will not be pest, odor, and noise concerns. In the summer our family was out riding bikes and happened upon a man feeding his 6 hens in his backyard, only a few blocks from us and just off of Main st. He doesn't even have a fenced yard, and said he has been keeping chickens there for 20-some years without ever having an issue with the city. That gave me a lot of hope!
     
  10. NightingaleJen

    NightingaleJen Out Of The Brooder

    Wow, just off Main Street? I'm going to have to keep my eyes better peeled when I am going through there. That is surprising to hear after the chicken battle from a year and a half ago!

    In addition to better informing CC...I wonder if a low-level informative campaign of some sort aimed at residents might be the way to really get the ball rolling. Obviously it will help band those interested together, but it could serve to not only educate people, but get them used to/interested in the idea so it is on their radar and not such a "horrifying!" shock when it comes up again. How to go about that campaign we'd have to consider, but it never hurts to soften the ground before sowing the seeds! It might get more people asking CC about it, too, which cannot hurt.

    From reading those articles, IIRC, at least one CC member wasn't even close to dead-set against backyard chickens and sounded interested in the whole idea. I wonder if they're still in office? A pilot program might be an idea to float with the city—allow 20-30 homes to do this for a four or five year trial period, perhaps, so the city and residents see how it works. Maybe we could dig that person up and go to them first, too—I'm sure they talked @ this more in depth with other members than the newspaper reports were able to include, and they might be able to tell people who still want this how to go about it in a way that's more appealing and less frightening to CC.

    And as much as I hate government interference and regulation, I would not mind paying a small license fee of some sort so the city doesn't feel like it is being put-upon when it comes to animal control (though I would not throw that out there right away, only as a trump card if the city sees "policing costs" as a major sticking point)—$15 for 3 years or something like that. Heaven knows many of us pay more than that to have a business in city limits.

    It seems so silly to me; for one thing, allowing backyard chickens would be really great PR for the city, especially as it is w/in easy commuting distance to Columbus itself for those who would rather live in the 'burbs.
     

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