Allow Chicken Hens Back Into Alexandria

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It is time to allow chicken hens back into Alexandria. The current code only allows for one property owner in the entire city to be in compliance. The space requirement indicates that a chicken hen is some type of biologial hazard. It is time to understand that chicken hens are a sustainable food source for homes across the city. Cities across the United States have all updated their codes to reflect this new sustainable food source interest, including New York – No roosters, unlimited hens; Burlington – 3 fowl per household; San Fran – 4 hens, 20 ft from door; Miami – 15 hens, 100 ft from neighbors; Boise – 3 hens; New Orleans – Hens kept clean, sturdy homeAnn Arbor – 4 hens with permit; Las Vegas – No roosters, kept in coop.Benefits include:* Provide natural pest control* Introduce a natural fertilizer * Helps process compost* Provide fresh eggs * Backyards as a food resource* Egg sharing fosters a stronger communityFacts include:There are over 25 homes in Alexandria that currently have backyard chickens who do not have the required space. Code Enforcement has never received a complaint call about any illegal chickens.Free ranging hens eating bugs from backyards produce eggs that have: * 1/3 less Cholesterol* 1/4 less Saturated Fat * 2/3 more Vitamin A * 2 times more Omega-3 Fatty Acids * 3 times more Vitamin E * 7 times more Beta CaroteneSupport:The neighborhood associations of Del Ray, Beverley Hills, Seminary, and Rosemont are in support of the code update. A code change directly supports Alexandria’s Eco City and healthier residents.“Backyard chickens are less of a concern than factory-farmed poultry for causing any illness to humans.”  - Owen Taylor, City FarmsConcerns Addressed:* Noise - Roosters are restricted. Chickens make minimal sound.* Smell - Chicken areas will require cleaning, just like any pet.* Housing - Chickens will need property line containment and protection from predators.* Avian Influenza - While research shows this is a minimal risk, preventing a sick chicken from impacting the health of humans requires:      1. Using a specified pair of farm shoes.      2. Washing hands after touching chickens.      3. Brushing and washing manure debris off farm tools.Best way to maintain a healthy chicken from disease and illness is to provide sunlight and good air circulation.* West Nile Virus - Chickens do NOT get sick from West Nile. However a blood test can confirm if a chicken has been bit by an infected mosquito. In California, 206 chicken flocks throughout the state are tested to monitor the virus while prevention is studied. In Contra Costa County, tests are conducted on five flocks twice a month.* Animal Shelter - There are concerns the shelter will be forced to handle additional animals. The following measures have been taken to address this issue:     1. The Kindrick Farm in Charlottesville and Green T Acres in Roanoke have agreed to adopt any roosters.      2. Adoption homes in the city for unwanted chickens were created. We currently have three homes. * Property Values - We can not find one city that has reversed their city code to allow chickens for any reason. Any home with pets that are not cared for will run down property values. We should not assume all chicken owners would be bad pet owners. * Rainwater Run Off - Yards with chickens would not and could not have harmful lawn chemicals applied, which cause far more damage to the bay and local waters.* Chicken Coops - The type of coop will remain the choice of the land owner, just as their shed is their choice.* Veterinarian Access - Pender in Fairfax specializes in backyard chickens and turkeys.* Chickens Care - Caring for a pet is a learning process and can be accomplished by books, internet, and other neighbors.Backyard Chickens in Alexandria has its own Facebook page since early 2010. It is time to move forward. A chicken hen pet is a safe food source. Factory farm eggs are not as healthy and many times are not safe.

Comments

Join Other Progressive Green Cities in the US with Chickens!

Restoring chickens to our backyards doesn't require any expense from city government. My original 1930 chicken coop is still in my backyard. Why can't I have chickens in 2012? Places like New York City, Miami, and San Francisco have chickens. PLEASE give us one of the MOST GREEN and SUSTAINABLE options for Alexandria at NO COST to the CITY.

just do it!

need i say more?

Cluck Cluck

Sustainable, functional, purposeful and non-threatening!  Thanks Mel!  Marc and Ellen

Chicken House

Over the weekend we walked around and visited two chicken coops. We are going to build a coop that will allow for a roof garden. This will give the chickens some shade and add more garden space in the yard. It will be on wheels so we can move it around the yard.

Hen Party

It's time we brought chicks back to Alexandria - the pecking kind, not the cute kind. I grew up with hens everywhere and know they would fit nicely into our neighborhoods.

Chickens in Alexandria

I think this is a wonderful suggestion. Someone recently gave me a dozen fresh eggs from their organic farm. They were so delicious I ate them without salt or pepper. I would love to have a couple of hens in my backyard.

Chickens in Alexandria

Chickens make less noise and smell better than dogs.  Their poop fertilizes the lawn.  They recycle compost into eggs. Time to bring them back! 

My kids and I want really

My kids and I want really chickens; thanks!

The right to raise your own chickens.

My sister raises her flock of chickens in San Luis Obispo, CA - the eggs she shares with us in Santa Barbara are so healthy, fresh, and enjoyable to eat. When the hens are not laying during their dormant period of the year - it is impossible to find any eggs bought at any store that compares to her fresh beautiful eggs.Unfortunately, most eggs consumed today are produced by commercially confined hens that are raised in deplorable, barbaric conditions - which brings to light a major health diliemma for those consuming the eggs of those hens.. Perhaps the government should be investigating this concern and stay out of our backyards.Citizens should be allowed to raise their chickens and enjoy the powerful health benefit of fresh eggs as they choose.Does the government really need to interfere in this area? Don't they have enough to handle or mishandle as it is? The citizens of Alexandria should be granted the right to raise hens on their own private properties without govenment interference.

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