Nova Scotian- need help with regulations on raising free range chickens here

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mesan421, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. mesan421

    mesan421 Hatching

    Dec 12, 2014
    We are in Nova Scotia, have been raising the same healthy flock of birds for the last 6 years. We have lost a few to predators and a few to vehicles but otherwise have been successful until a few weeks ago. We live out in the country and some city folk have moved in and are complaining about our birds. They live a mile from us but have to drive past our property to reach theirs down a government dirt road. We free range our birds and have property on both sides of the dirt road so the chickens sometimes wander over to the barn yo eat the hayseed from the cattle hay and to lay eggs in the barn. We have a shelter for them on this side of the road but they prefer to roam and we never pen them up.Our new enemies, oops, I mean neighbours have placed a complaint with the department of agriculture who are now trying to change our set up. I am not pleased by this at all, if i wanted commercially raised eggs and meat i would shop at a grocery store and save myself a LOT of work! Basically they are in agreement that our birds are healthy but are trying to make us provide commercial food 24/7. Since complying our birds have barely left the confinement of the building to seek anything :( Before this headache, I would measure out some of my own mixed grain and dump it around the yard so they had to scratch around for it. If my birds are in such healthy shape why is there a need to change my standard of practice? They have all they require and we would not consume eggs from unhealthy birds. If we wanted to do that, like i said, i would shop at the grocery store. I need a little help and insight into this as I desperately want to go back to my free range birds. Otherwise raising chickens isn't worth it for us.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  3. BriardChickens

    BriardChickens Songster

    Jul 9, 2014
    Northern Alberta
    Sorry not much advice form this Albertan.. would it be possible to hang and maintain a waterer & feeder across the road?

    Have you had an inspector come out? Can you proof that the chickens cross the road but live on your side of the road with available food/water?

    Oh and [​IMG]

    I'd also suggest check out ACE, Alberta Chickens Etc, a Canadian chicken forum.
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    That's an ignorant regulation they've enforced on you, many animals are not truly healthy if allowed constant food 24/7, especially not a typical commercial diet, then there's rodents and wild birds to consider too, and other issues like that... Wider impacts...

    I'd look at the exact lettering of the regulation they're enforcing on you and see where there's room to adjust it. I'd bet there is.

    Myself, if I was in your situation, I'd be finding some way to make those chooks move or work for their food. Strange that they'd forego free ranging to sit around food, I have only heard of seriously heavy duty commercial meat breeds doing that. :/

    Good luck. Looks like aart's comment might help.

    Best wishes.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I have no idea what your legal regime is up there. Down here each individual State can have its own regulations but as long as you are not commercial-sized or you are not selling eggs or meat they are usually not very much. Individual cities, counties, and even HMO’s can and often do impose additional restrictions. I think you should find out what the legal authority that Department of Agriculture actually has. Most of the time there are exemptions for small operations, especially where you are not selling meat or eggs. Someone may be overreaching their authority. Often if it is a new regulation people with existing animals are “grandfathered in”. If they had them before the new regulation went into effect they can keep them.

    What exactly is the complaint? From what you described, I expected it to be that the chickens are a road hazard with the potential to cause an accident. I can easily see a requirement that you need to keep your livestock off the road, though where I live horses, cows, and especially young calves sometimes escape a pasture and wind up on the road. The neighborly thing to do here is to either take care of the problem yourself or at least contact them and let them know they have a problem. I’ve put many a calf, cow, and occasionally a horse back into a neighbor’s pasture. I’ve even closed the gate they accidentally left open or done minor fence repairs.

    I don’t see how a complaint about a road hazard translates into how you feed them. If you need to keep them off the road, maybe a fence is the answer?
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    Good points raised by Ridgerunner. Your new enemies/neighbors I expect will find this comes back to bite them. Being a bad neighbor never got anybody anything good.

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