Some potential problems with having chickens include predators coming after the chickens, as well as vermin after the feed. There is not a way to eliminate these risks, but research, careful planning and cats could help reduce the occurrence.
We spoke about how it is legal in some cities. It was also mentioned that in London, Ontario someone brought the issue to the mayor, but the mayor didn't have time to think about it. (health & safety regulations, funding for regulatory services, etc.)
As I mentioned it the most recent post on Facebook, a summary of last nights conversation was: To persuade the city to change the bylaw we should present them with evidence that it can be safe, clean, etc and offer a solution for regulating.
The engaged members of the discussion kept bringing the conversation back to - "what is Slow Food's role in this" and "what are we actually going to do about this." A lot of times discussions like this get too hypothetical so this made for a refreshing change!
The options seemed to be either to:
a) go to city hall and ask for the change (providing evidence, etc); or
b) go ahead and have a chicken coop anyway (and hope the neighbours don't complain)
However, one person in the conversation pointed out that there is a loophole in the by-laws allowing residents of Stratford to have a particular breed of quail. So it seems we need to start a pilot project...
One yard. One Coop. Share responsibility for research, set up and maintenance. Share the quail eggs to experience something new. Share a quail thanksgiving in the fall.
If we can prove that we can safely and successfully keep quail, provide examples of other cities that have urban chickens and propose a solution for regulating what choice will the city have?
March 25th is the tentative date for the building of the coop... Stay Tuned.