Tag-Archive for ◊ Chickens ◊

• Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Sweet mother! Change is happening! This farmer saw the light, “I call it going back to the future because I see a future here.”

Source: Grist

You may remember chicken farmer Carole Morison from the documentary Food, Inc. … Well, we thought we’d share this video of Morison from FixFood, a new advocacy site by Food, Inc. director Robert Kenner.

The footage shows Morison in an open-plan chicken house where she and her husband now own the birds themselves (as opposed to working as contract growers for poultry giant Perdue). And the change in Morison’s appearance is almost as striking as the change in the farm. In the documentary she looks frazzled and frustrated as she feeds the birds antibiotics and stoops to remove several chicken carcasses a day from the barn. Here she is clear-eyed and proud — ready to share her new farm with the world.

• Saturday, December 03rd, 2011

Source: Post-Peak Living

After a tremendous amount of work, Harvey Ussery’s new book, The Small-Scale Poultry Flock, An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers, is now available! Here is what people are saying about it:

“Harvey Ussery delivers all the practical information you need to grow your own eggs and meat birds, in a style and format that will keep you interested and amused. Plus, he raises the larger question: what kind of world do we want to live in? One that treats animals as units of production, or one that honors all life, especially that farmstead marvel, the domesticated chicken?”
— Sally Fallon Morell, President, The Weston A. Price Foundation

“Here’s the ultimate book for those who want to know everything there is to know about raising poultry. And every detail is backed up by the author’s own (and often entertaining) experiences. I could not find ”in this encyclopedic array of chicken knowhow” one detail that I would quibble with.”
— Gene Logsdon, author of Holy Shit and The Contrary Farmer

The Small-Scale Poultry Flock is about establishing a free-range poultry flock fully integrated into a healthy homestead ecosystem. Based upon the author’s decades of hands-on experience with many breeds and species, it covers all the basics about raising poultry, and fills some important gaps not usually covered well enough elsewhere, including chicken behavior, poultry breeding, raising chicks with broody hens, managing free-ranging, dealing with predators, using electric net fencing, feeding poultry with home-grown feeds, and integrating the poultry with soil mineral balance, gardens, lawns and pastures, orchards, worm bins, and soldier fly (larvae) production. If you want to raise chickens and can afford just one book, I recommend this one.”
— Carol Deppe, author of The Resilient Gardener

Available at Indigo bookstores in Canada.

• Monday, October 03rd, 2011

Urban agricultureIf local governments can’t support urban agriculture, then they need to get out of the way of these community gardens.

Source: Montreal Gazette

There are chickens laying eggs at community centres, volunteer gardeners sharing the work and the harvest in 45 collective gardens across the city, and vegetables growing on top of the Palais des congrès convention centre.

But the blossoming urban agriculture movement is running into municipal roadblocks, say proponents pushing city hall to consult the public about the future of farming in Montreal.

Existing city bylaws make it difficult for people who want to practise urban agriculture to get started. They forbid livestock within Montreal city limits, except for in very limited cases in Rosemont-La Petite Patrie where community groups can get permission to have chickens for educational purposes. People aren’t allowed to dig up their driveways to plant vegetables. Farmers delivering produce for community-supported agriculture projects try to stay on the good side of residents living around their drop-off points to avoid traffic complaints being made to the city. Even people who want to compost in their backyards have gotten into trouble with neighbours complaining to city officials that their compost piles are too smelly…

Montreal has no policy on urban agriculture, although it is included in the city’s sustainable-development plan as a way to help green the city and reduce heat-island effect between now and 2015, said city spokesperson Martine Painchaud.

To get more information about the Groupe de travail en agriculture urbaine petition, go to http://eng.agriculturemontreal.info/

• Monday, July 18th, 2011

Hen House open to PublicIt is unlawful to keep chickens or raise them in a coop in the city of Montreal although it is legal in Westmount.

A new pilot project this summer in the Montreal borough of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie will test community interest and acceptance towards letting everyone on the island have the ability to raise chickens in their backyards.

Source: CTV News

The city of Montreal outlawed chickens in 1966, part of the era’s trend against livestock within municipal boundaries.

While the law is still on the books, advocates are hoping a pilot project launched this summer in one borough could be the beginning of its undoing within the municipality.

“We had a lot of demand from residents, especially because it’s now allowed in other cities,” says Francois Croteau, mayor of the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough.

The project announced last month means the borough will operate a hen house open to the public.

The original proposal was to permit residents to keep a few hens in their backyard if they had a large enough plot, but not everyone was in favour of the plan.

There were concerns backyard chickens would make too much noise and attract pests, such as rats.

“After one year (of considering) the regulations we found the first step would be a project that would focus on education and environment,” Croteau said of the project.

• Monday, May 23rd, 2011

A nice article featuring Marci Babineau and her urban farm. If you ever wondered how much food you could grow in a front or back yard, or how to keep urban chickens, this article is a good source of information.

Source: Montreal Gazette

On the sidewalk in front of Marci Babineau’s house, I craned my neck to see if I could spot the birds.

In the backyard, just beyond her root-vegetable garden and several fruit trees, a chicken stretched out a wing, then ruffled her black feathers back into place.

Not exactly what a passerby would expect to see on a quiet, tree-lined street minutes from downtown Montreal (I can’t say exactly where; more about that later).

But it’s what urban agriculture enthusiasts across North America would like to see – micro-farms where city dwellers could produce fruits, vegetables, eggs and honey, milk from goats, and meat from rabbits.

Some Montrealers have already enthusiastically embraced the growing urban agriculture movement, which took off after Michelle Obama planted a vegetable garden on the White House lawn two years ago.

Chickens are pecking away in Montreal backyards, bees are buzzing around hives in industrial areas, lettuce is growing in container gardens downtown, and the Lufa Farms rooftop greenhouse near Marché Centrale is producing enough fresh produce to feed more than 1,000 people a week.

It’s not easy, though. Municipal bylaws ban most island residents from keeping livestock, like chickens, and bees, and people are more used to seeing grass in front yards than tomatoes and peppers.

Still, if urbanites, who rely on food grown dozens, even thousands of kilometres away, want to try to become as self-sufficient as possible, how would they do it?

Using my own yard as a test case, I set about to find out.

• Friday, March 18th, 2011
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Having food in the house that you grew plus the knowledge that you can grow more brings some certainty to uncertain times. Learn the quickest way to start a sustainable garden that will feed your family with the lowest cost and the least amount of work.

A well managed flock not only supplies the family with meat and eggs but helps with the work of the homestead: for increasing soil fertility, tilling the garden, controlling problem insects, and reducing dependence on purchased inputs.

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• Thursday, July 29th, 2010
backyard chickens

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.