Crazy idea: chickens!

Brace yourself: I have an idea.

From Wikipedia

With the apocalypse around the corner, I think yard owners should be allowed to raise chickens in Weston and Mount Dennis. The city already allows chickens in several other wards, but not here. I think we should change that.

There are many reasons to raise chickens. First, they’re hilariously cute. My mum had some for many years, and they were adorable.

In part they were hilarious because she didn’t raise any old tin-shed chickens; she raised heritage poultry. You can’t buy those eggs from a grocer, either because the egg cartel controls the market. Raising chickens  could help maintain the market for endangered breeds.

Urban chickens produce eggs and fertilizer—and though I’m not going to tell you that you’ll save money, they are uniquely well suited to our neighbourhood because our large trees shade other food crops. We’re also quite safe from the scourge of my mum’s roost: foxes (though we do have the occasional coyote).

Of course, there’s a hurdle: we’re not one of  the wards in which chickens are permitted. In the past, Frances Nunziata has been a vocal opponent, saying:

“If you want to have chickens, then buy a farm, go to a farm. You can’t have chickens in your backyard. Do we have to retrain our police officers to catch the chicken thieves that you’re going to have in the middle of the night? … We have enough to worry about.”

The city  allows chickens in neighbouring wards, though, and they have extensive bylaws to ensure the birds aren’t disruptive to neighbours or inhumanely kept.

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

7 thoughts on “Crazy idea: chickens!”

  1. I love the idea! Then I would know for sure my eggs come from a chicken that is well taken care of and loved as I am sure I would love them like pets!

  2. could we have a community chicken coop? I do see Nunziata’s point + not sure how you get around the neighbours that don’t appreciate chickens in the city. But with a community coop a bunch of like minded people would pitch in to help, donate some eggs to those in need, we could add a community garden, a brick oven, plus 2-for-1 wings night on Fridays (last part’s joke!)

  3. “Hmmm bike… or chicken…Oh hell yeah, I’m taking the chicken!!” Said no thief ever. *unless thief has 4 legs*

  4. “We’re also quite safe from the scourge of my mum’s roost: foxes (though we do have the occasional coyote).”

    Here in South Weston, I’ve seen at least as many foxes as coyotes over the last decade, although in the last year or two not much of either. The real killers in the urban environment are of course cats. They are (I believe) responsible for the loss of the swallows that used to nest (when I first moved here a little over forty years ago) in the high ground at the side of the Humber, as well as any rabbits that might at one time have been around. I’ve recently been surprised by some cottontails in the neighbourhood that I don’t think I have ever encountered before. Ironically, I blame their emergence on the foxes and coyotes who may have put a damper on the cats.

  5. Raising chickens in your own back yard is a great idea providing they are looked after properly and their welfare is taken seriously. I understand that chickens are quite clean, easy to take care of and most of all – chickens give fresh high protein eggs for any meal. Also, they’re cute and definitely not as noisy and irritating like some neighbour’s yappy, howling, barking dog.

    Dogs often urinate and defecate on people’s lawns. Dogs have been known to seriously attack people. Chickens are much safer! Dogs often run across streets and get run over by cars. The same is not true of chickens if they’re properly cooped-up. Ideally, dogs need a big field to run around in, whereas, chickens only need a small area around the chicken coop. In other words, putting it into proper and honest perspective, chickens are much more urban friendly than dogs are. Doggy poop is not fertilizer – but chicken poop is. Doggy poop is gross and disgusting but chicken poop easily washes away with the rain. Besides, many towns and some parts of this city, allow chickens as pets. The banning of chickens in Weston is a mystery and definitely not fair.

    And why is it that people can raise chickens in other parts of Toronto but not in Weston or Mount Dennis? Why are we treated differently?

    Another reason to raise chickens at a time like this is that Canada and the rest of the world is at war with a terrible pandemic. Who knows what our food supply will be like in the near future? How much will our food costs increase? I think everyone who has a yard, and wants to raise chickens should be allowed to do so along with planting vegetable gardens and growing fruit trees. Any surplus at harvest can then be given to food banks or shared with those less fortunate living in apartments with no access to yards or city garden plots. If we can keep dogs and cats in the city, then we can most definitely keep chickens too.

    Some politician said that if we want to raise chickens, then we should buy a farm. This does not make any sense at all, because very few of us have the wealth and privilege to buy and move to a farm just to raise chickens. However, most of us can afford to keep urban chickens.

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