Manchester Man Seeks Permission To Raise Chickens


12 Years
Feb 24, 2007
The user comments are harshly against chickens.
Manchester Man Seeks Permission To Raise Chickens
Man Says Raising Chickens Part Of Green Movement

POSTED: 10:54 am EDT October 15, 2010
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- A New Hampshire man is asking the city of Manchester to embrace what he calls the latest trend in urban living: raising chickens in his front yard.

Michael Duffy, of Amherst Street, told the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday that chickens are part of green living and improve the quality of life. He asked for permission to raise 10 chickens that would live in a small chicken coop.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reported that that if the board agrees, Manchester would join cities such as San Diego, parts of New York City and Portland, Ore., as communities that allow residents to have chickens.

Zoning board members said they want information from the Health Department before deciding the issue. The board's next meeting is in November.

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Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
What ever happened to "Live Free or Die" Most of the comments were about the smell. There is a bunch of ways to keep the smell down. Pine shavings,DE, coffee chaff, and you can always do what dog people do, POOP SCOOP THE COOP

live in this city and the guy either helped me or hurt me by asking permission.
As far as I know my 8 hens are "pets" not "livestock"
He seems to think he has livestock.
I hope Nov 10 2010 he wins... or now he may bring the heat on my flock....

I emailed the below letter to all politicians I can find involved and then some:

To Whom it may Concern,

I am concerned that once again Manchester, New Hampshire may turn away in the face of progress and move in the opposite direction. Specifically, I am speaking of the city zoning boards belief that 'livestock' some how includes peoples pet birds. I am concerned that in the land of 'live free or die' in the state that refuses to pass a motorcycle helmet law or ban assault rifles, somehow the government will outlaw my "chickens."

In a state where you can buy a gun, shoot a deer and hang it from a tree in your front yard for days, we are suddenly concerned about pet birds in a property owners front yard. In a city ripe with aggressive large breed dogs, dog bitten children and pet stores selling, rats, snakes, puppy mill dogs and a large variety of birds; I find it concerning that my elected officials are discussing the dangers of the chicken breeds.

I wonder how is it that I can own a two-thousand-dollar parrot as big as a microwave oven if I wanted, but a three-dollar chicken, even a bantam, as big as a can of beer is possibly outlawed? As someone who has owned eight pet chickens in Manchester for almost a year, this topic is very concerning to me, my children, my neighbors and my neighbor's children.

Since our chicks were first brought home from a local state regulated store, at two days of age, my children and our community have enjoyed raising them and caring for them like any of our pets. As a result of our pet birds we have all become far more knowledgeable about where our food comes from and the importance of eating healthy.

In the age of obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes epidemics it is time we all learned more about what we are eating and where it came from. Our countries food supply is not safe and often not healthy.

Earlier this year when many eggs were full of disease coming onto the grocery store shelves in this city I wasn't worried. My family was eating eggs from chickens that I fed, eggs from chickens that I took care of in a chicken house that I built from pine.

Our chickens produce an average of four eggs per day at this time. These eggs have been shared along our street without any complaints. When the younger birds we brought home this summer begin to produce eggs, it is our hope that some eggs can even be donated to the many food pantries in Manchester. For us growing eggs is little different than the cucumbers or tomatoes we grow to eat, aside from the benefit of the birds companionship.

Although many friends and neighbors originally asked what the small structure on wheels in my backyard was, none have had anything but compliments on our birds presence. The fact they had to ask what the coop was is a testament to how quiet they are.

Our birds are all female and make much less noise than our dog and certainly less noise than our neighbors dogs. When the door bell rings, the thunder claps or a stranger walks into the yard, my chickens unlike my dog, are quiet. When one of our chicks grew up to be a rooster he still wasn't as loud as the dog across the way, but we got rid of him. You do not need a rooster to have hens lay eggs.

Our children gather the eggs each morning and after school, like decades of New England children before them. We ask them to wash their hands after handling the eggs as a precaution, but nobody has ever been sick. Our children and neighbor's children carry the birds around the yard and even swing on the swing-set with them on their laps. Very few chickens carry E. coli based illnesses outside of corporate egg factories, where they are over crowded and given little fresh air.

It has been stated by many health professionals that the chances of catching an E. coli based sickness from chickens is the same or less as it is as catching E. coli sicknesses from petting your cat or dog. Unlike cats waste(which can cause women to miscarry), chickens waste is great for the lawn and vegetable garden.

Corporations even sell chicken waste at stores in this city for residents of this city to spread on their city lawns as fertilizer. Rather than spending twenty-five dollars a bag for chicken poop at Agway, why can't people get it naturally from a three dollar pet chicken? My coop is fenced on the bottom and mobile. This allows the chickens to eat grass and bugs and poop nutrients in the lawn as I move the mobile coop each day.

In an age of deadly chemical fertilizers and pesticides being blamed for diseases, chicken waste is a perfect additive to the lawn. A fertilized soil provides far less pests and better flowers, lawns, schrubs, trees and vegetables. I can tell you I have hardly any grubs in my soild that last year was full of them. It is only from the chickens as I refuse to use the anti-grub chemicals linked to the decline of the honey bees.

Chickens eat their weight in tics, mosquitoes, grubs and other insects. In a state that has a serious tic problem, that intern brings about many cases of Lyme disease, it important to remember chickens eat lots of tics. Similarly they eat tons of mosquitoes every summer, this means less deet needing to be sprayed on children's skin and less need for municipal governments to be spraying expensive toxins. Every summers end EEE is announced as being present in Manchester, but the chickens that eat the carriers of the EEE are now in question.

I often let my hens roam in my backyard. They live in a seven by five foot shelter that sits on wheels and stands five feet tall. They have windows for fresh air and I change the wood shavings monthly or sooner. My coop, birds and yard have never smelled from my chickens. No doubt that people who raise dozens of chickens for profit have a lot more waste and therefore their coops probably smell. However a small back yard pet flock doesn't smell. The same cannot be said for my pet dog, his poop stinks, but it's legal.

In closing I hope this email has served to educate those who may not have been around chickens or birds growing up. I hope it also informs you of one nameless citizens view on chickens as pets in the city of Manchester, NH. Hundreds of cities are now decriminalizing chickens and I hope Manchester doesn't suddenly become a lone restrictive force in a tradition once encouraged by the government. Yes, in the days of the victory gardens, the US Government once encouraged and even sent out brochures on how to raise your own backyard flock for your family.


A Pet Chicken Owner, tax payer and voter

bravo! thank you for writing that! i don't live much further away from you and i'm afraid someone here would try to bring the chickens up to the council. (thought they did last year and it is ok to have them, but that could change)
I can't believe someone posted in the comments to make sure the chickens are debeaked because they're cannibals. Uh... yeah if you're overcrowding them in a confined space!
A small flock of backyard chickens in a proper sized coop aren't going to start eating each other like chicken zombies! Duh!
I didnt even notice the debeaking thing... So far I heard back from one selectman who says she will never vote against chickens. However its the zoning boards thing on Nov 10th
If anyone can email Manchester politicians and specificaly the zoning board in favor of chicken ownership I would appreaciate it. They are considering a residents request to put a chicken coop in his front yard. As he is thinking they are 'live stock" he may not be allowed. I have "pet" chickens in Manchester, NH.

the email address for the zoning board
[email protected]
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Tonight 7pm Manchester NH City Hall Zoning Board will hear the case of Michael Duffy and his city hens. Please attend if youre local and available
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