Melissa Pinsonneault-Craig at City Hall
This is a great step forward for sustainability in Montreal.
Bravo to Research Collective in Sustainable Landscaping and Urban Agriculture for pushing this issue forward and demanding a sensible, open-minded approach. On Wednesday, they held a press conference and a gave a free course on “Hen 101″ in front of City Hall!
Sign the petition demanding an open hearing on the issue of allowing backyard hens (version francais).
Source: Montreal Gazette
Chickens have been banned in Montreal residences since 1966. Yesterday, the environmental sustainability group CRAPAUD (Collectif en Amenagement Paysager et en Agriculture Urbaine Durable) launched a petition asking the city to hold a public consultation on the issue, and ultimately overturn the ban and allow people to keep chickens for egg production.
“We want to convey a new image to the public on what it means to keep chickens,” said the group’s spokesperson, Olivier Moreau. “We’re not saying everyone should have a chicken, but people who want to and who can do it properly should be able to.”
As a hen rested quietly on her arm, Melissa Pinsonneault-Craig, a farmer from Ormstown, spoke about the advantages of keeping the feathered creatures.
“You get fresh eggs every morning and they’re so low maintenance,” she said. “You can use vegetable scraps left over from your own meals to feed them, and their defecation can be used as fertilizer.”
As for concerns about the smell, Moreau compares a coop to a cat’s litter box.
“Obviously, if you don’t clean it properly, it’ll smell,” he said. “But in general they’re very easy to keep.”
A full-grown chicken costs about $10, and building a coop requires little more than some chicken wire and wood.
“They’re low maintenance, you can leave them food and water and they will be fine for a few days,” Moreau said.
“They’re very independent. It’s not like having a dog.”
Hens will produce unfertilized eggs without a rooster, so there’s no need to buy both a male and female, Pinsonneault-Craig said.
“This is a big advantage, because hens are very quiet,” she said. “It’s a common misconception that you need to have both.”
Several cities in Canada and the United States allow people to keep chickens for the purpose of egg production at their homes.
Vancouver, Niagara Falls, Ont., Victoria, Los Angeles and New York are among the largest cities that allow it.