Pardon our delay in the Big News; urban henkeeping has become a legitimate occupation for Billings residents. The Council okayed the vote 6-4 with Hanel, Cimmino, Pitman and Astle voting Nay.
Effective 10/10/12, residents can obtain a Chicken Permit from the city at a cost of $25 per year. Specific limitations will apply. The nonprofit “sister” site to this site, http://MagicCityHens.wordpress.com, will soon have a link to print the permit paperwork and a copy of the approved ordinance.
This site will no longer be used for updating on the efforts to obtain a clear urban hen ordinance for Billings as that has now been addressed. Please join the Magic City Hens site for information on classes, chicken adoptions, compost relocations, and the annual Magic City Hen Expo. You can also check out our Facebook pages: Magic City Hens, or Billings Backyard Hen Initiative.
Thanks for all the support, Billings!! (“>
If you can make it, tonight would be a super time to attend a City Council meeting! The Council will give a final vote on the urban hen ordinances tonight, 9/10/12 at the 6:30PM meeting in Council chambers.
We’re pretty close to the top of the agenda so it shouldn’t be a late night for hen supporters, although the Council has a pretty full agenda themselves.
Want to be In on the Hen Win? Come join us and help us applaud a City Council who has heard their constituents!! (“>
For the past 16 months, we have asked hen supporters to write to the Mayor and City Council regarding your support of urban hens in Billings. Now we’re going to ask something slightly different.
Will you consider writing a brief note of appreciation for this vote? The Council/Mayor have had to wade through months of rhetoric, fears, facts, accusations, documentation, phone calls, emails, citizen testimony and more… from both sides of the coop. They came out of that on the side of urban hens. Would you write them to just say a simple “Thank you!” for the work they have done? Council@ci.billings.mt.us and HanelT@ci.billings.mt.us.
Additionally, we were remiss in not expressing our gratitude to the city staff who have indicated that, while they will proceed with the issue whichever way the Council votes, they were supportive of our efforts. The Planning and Animal Control departments in particular have been gracious, fair, and encouraging during this work. On behalf of the Billings Backyard Hen Initiative, THANK YOU! It has been a struggle for all of us to keep this issue above-board and respectful of persons and job functions during this long process; mis-quotes and misunderstandings will happen at times. The only ones who got ugly about this were the anonymous commenters to the Billings Gazette online articles, and it’s easy to be inflammatory when you’re hiding behind anonymity. This issue did NOT denigrate into mud-slinging and bitterness among those of us with our names and faces out in public (citizens, city staff, City Council), and we very much appreciate that fact! Sure makes this citizen wonder how often the problem lies with the public and our lack of respect and consideration when making a request, rather than the “government workers and politicians” that it is so easy for that public to bash. Just food for thought… (“>
This sixteen-month process is drawing to a successful conclusion! Tonight the City Council voted 6-4 in favor of zoning changes to specifically allow urban hens in Billings. They followed up that win by voting 9-1 in support of a new urban hen ordinance allowing up to 6 hens kept in clean, predator-proof housing, an annual permit, and enforced by nuisance ordinances, among other details. The new ordinance is based on that of Missoula, MT and Fort Collins, CO.
There will be a second public reading of this new ordinance, scheduled in September, then 30 days before the ordinance becomes effective.
More information will post to this website as it becomes available, including the cost and process for obtaining the permit.
Speaking on behalf of this citizen’s Initiative group, Way to go, Billings! We are really proud of our City Council and Mayor for working through this issue with us, especially to a successful conclusion. You guys listened to the information and searched through rhetoric and fears to come to a good conclusion. Thumbs up and kudos from the hen-loving community!
To those hen lovers, we ask that you respect the efforts that Dave Klein with Animal Control has gone to in putting the new ordinance together and researching potential issues. While all along there has been a legal contention on whether or not urban hens were or were not allowed in Billings, the fact that they will definitely be allowed now means that we have an extra duty to implement these new, productive pets into our yards in a responsible, careful manner. Keep in mind your neighbors, keep your coops clean and your hens quiet, and be willing to share some of those great eggs!
Tonight is the first public reading of the new ordinance. We know we have said that before, however, we’re pretty sure this time that it hasn’t derailed. The City Council meeting is at 6:30PM on 8/27/12 at Council chambers, 210 N 27th Street downtown.
We need you there to stand in support of this issue! If the initiative fails, we will potentially have up to a year before we can request it again – and during that year we are planning to:
- continue and expand on our email-the-council campaign,
- picket the meetings with our “live” chicken Sunny (it’s a costume, don’t panic),
- continue to show up to Council meetings to express our support of urban hens (even if they won’t be voted on),
- continue the Letters to the Editor campaign,
- and possibly pursue a legal approach in the event chicken owners are targeted by the City.
Despite the way the vote falls tonight, the nonprofit 501(c)3 Magic City Hens group (http://MagicCityHens.wordpress.com) will continue to offer regular urban henkeeping classes and maintain a visual presence in parades, city events, Gardeners and Farmers Markets, etc. That group will also continue Chicken Relocation and Compost Relocation projects, as well as the 2013 Hen Expo. Plans are underway for a City-Wide Coop Tour as well.
This process has been fraught with delays and frustrations, but… we are now set to have the official first reading of the new urban hen ordinance on Monday night, 8/27/12 at 6:30PM at City Council chambers (210 N 27th Street, Billings).
The council can vote this forward or vote it down. We UTTERLY and ABSOLUTELY need you there!! If you care about urban hens in Billings, please make your voice heard! If you absolutely cannot make the meeting, please at the very least send an email to the council at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you are in support of the urban hen ordinance!
We’ve been working on this issue since April of 11 – sixteen months now – and it’s come down to the wire. The council seems divided – the vote is not yet sure. Can you – will you – help??
Check out our Facebook page: Billings Backyard Hen Initiative, for up-to-the-minute updates. (“>
Tonight at 5:30PM the City Council will hear the reading of the Urban Hen ordinance from Animal Control, Billings Police Department. There will be 2 readings of the ordinance, tonight is the first. Public may comment for 1 minute. Obviously, the anti-hen folks will be there… this is late notice, but if you can make it tonight in support of urban hens, please do!
The meeting is at City Council chambers downtown, as usual. We’re first on the agenda so it should be a short evening.
If you cannot make it, please email the council at Council@ci.billings.mt.us and let them know you are in support of the urban hen ordinance.
The delay has been between the Zoning Commission (a citizen’s advisory group) who have ignored all the facts and tried to bury this ordinance repeatedly since we first talked to them well over a year ago) and Animal Control Board (also a citizen’s advisory group). Interestingly, a certain member of the Animal Control Board has publicly denigrated this idea since it’s inception – speaking out of course as a citizen and not as a member of the ACB. However, Dave Klein, Director of Animal Control with Billings PD, has put together what we think will be a good solid urban hen ordinance for Billings, based on preliminary discussions.
We’re close, chicken-lovers! Keep up the energy and enthusiasm!!! (“>
OK Billings, the city website just posted Monday’s City Council agenda – and the first public reading/comment period for urban hens is on the top of the agenda. We need you and your resident pro-hen friends to BE THERE!!!
6:30PM Monday 7/23/12
City Council Chambers
220 North 27th Street, 2nd floor
We know that it takes time out of your schedule to come downtown on a Monday evening… the Council members understand what a commitment it requires for people to show up. That’s why your presence COUNTS! We can’t let a few people speak for the entire hen-loving community, because the council needs to hear that those who have been there so far are but a small percentage of those of you who call, email, catch us at baseball games, at Vacation Bible School, at the grocery store, or elsewhere, to ask about the status of the initiative. We know that the opposition will be there Monday night – please, please, won’t you be there too??
Here’s an updated schedule!! The city staff is going to present TWO ordinances to the Council… the ordinance that the Council requested (based on Missoula/Fort Collins good ordinances), and the complicated, untried and excessively controlling ordinance that city staff had put together (requiring 20′ easement from property lines, pre-permit inspections despite the fact that Animal Control says they don’t have time to do these, additional 4′ property fencing, etc). Public comment is required to help the Council make the best choice for Billings. (This is where YOU come in, and your emails count too!)
6/5 (Tuesday) 4:30PM Zoning Commission – City Council chambers
6/12 (Tuesday) 6PM Animal Control Board – North Park Center
6/25 (Monday) 6:30PM City Council public comment #1
7/9 (Monday) 6:30PM City Council public comment #2
8/9 Ordinance passed becomes effective for one year, upon which time it will be reviewed and made permanent, hopefully!
We’re reaching the desired results, but we need to keep moving forward: no resting just yet! Please try to make at least one of the upcoming meetings! The two most critical meetings will be the City Council “public comment” times (latter two meetings listed above). Let’s see this thing through!! (“>
Monday May 14 2012, the City Council voted 7-2 to direct staff to proceed with an urban hen ordinance based on the ordinance already proven and currently in use in both Missoula, Montana and Fort Collins, Colorado. This is GREAT NEWS!! A one-year “sunset” clause will be written into the ordinance so we have the equivalent of a year’s pilot program to make sure that the issue works well in Billings and any tweaking that needs to occur may be easily addressed.
A public comment period will occur twice before the ordinance is adopted (July?). Regular upcoming sessions (which begin at 6:30PM) include May 28 and June 11, it is possible that the ordinance will be read at one or both of those sessions. As the agenda becomes available, we will let you know. It is important that people are ready to come in support of the issue, as we are sure that the opposition will do so . In respect for the time of the City Council, we will ask very few people to speak, but be willing to stand in support. Respect & consideration should always work both ways.
If you can’t make one of the Monday night meetings, please email the council at Council@ci.billings.mt.us and Mayor at HanelT@ci.billings.mt.us and thank them for their willingness to help Billings make this great stride towards being a sustainable, local-foods city!
Requested Urban Chicken Ordinance
(from Missoula, MT and Ft Collins, CO)
The prohibition to keeping chickens in this section does not apply to the keeping of up to 6 female chickens while the animals are kept in such a manner that the following standards are complied with:
- The chickens must be kept on a single-family parcel(s), and chickens may be kept on a parcel(s) under one ownership with more than one dwelling if all residents and the owner consent in writing to allowing the chickens on the property. When chickens are kept on a multi-dwelling parcel(s) the owner of the chickens shall keep a copy of the signed approval document for inspection upon request by animal control personnel.
- The owner must obtain an annual permit from the City Treasurer. The permit shall be $15.
- The chickens shall be provided with a covered, predator-proof chicken house that is thoroughly ventilated, of sufficient size to admit free movement of the chickens, designed to be easily accessed, cleaned and maintained by the owners and be at least 2 square feet per chicken in size.
- No chicken house shall be located closer than 20 feet to any residential structure occupied by someone other than the chicken owner, custodian, or keeper.
- The chickens shall be shut into the chicken house at night, from sunset to sunrise.
- During daylight hours the adult chickens shall have access to the chicken house and, weather permitting, shall have access to an outdoor enclosure on the subject property, adequately fenced to contain the chickens and to prevent access to the chickens by dogs and other predators.
- Stored feed must be kept in a rodent- and predator-proof container
- It is unlawful for the owner, custodian, or keeper of any chicken to allow the animal(s) to be a nuisance to any neighbors, including but not limited to: noxious odors from the animals or their enclosure; and noise of a loud and persistent and habitual nature. Animal Control will determine whether or not a nuisance exists on a case-by-case basis.
- Enforcement Upon receiving a complaint of a possible violation Animal Control will investigate, determine if a violation exists and when appropriate leave a notice of violation and order to take corrective action with the owner, custodian, or keeper and provide them with written notice of the violations that require correction. Animal Control will revisit the owner’s address 10 days or more after the notice of violation is issued. If the owner, custodian, or keeper has failed to comply with the ordinance, Animal Control may issue a citation to the owner, custodian or keeper for failure to comply with any applicable requirement of this section.
http://www.pinejournal.com/event/article/id/26577/group/News/ Cloquet, Minnesota
http://wauwatosa.patch.com/articles/chickens-479a4bac Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
http://www2.journalnow.com/news/2012/may/07/smithfield-considers-allowing-backyard-chickens-ar-2252484/ Smithfield, North Carolina
Interesting article on urban agriculture, from Jacksonville, Florida.
Quoting: “What is urban agriculture? As a national movement, urban agriculture is growing rapidly across the US. According to the USDA, around 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas. City and suburban agriculture takes the form of backyard, roof-top and balcony gardening, community gardening in vacant lots and parks, roadside urban fringe agriculture and livestock grazing in open space.” Amid escalating concerns about the environment, pesticides, and food safety, urbanites are turning to community gardens to supply their fruits and vegetables. Cities are also creating gardens to address “urban food deserts,” or areas where access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited. Animal husbandry, of which urban hen-keeping is the most popular version, forms a significant part of the urban agriculture movement.”
Great article about a group of 5th graders in Casper, Wyoming who educated themselves on urban chickens and approached the Casper City Council with their request.
5th grader Hunter Cole participated in the project. Quoting from the article:
“Cole, who said he has owned chickens before and liked raising them, was tasked with gathering information from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. After speaking to a representative from the Casper office, he learned it was unlikely that wild animals would prey on urban chickens.
“There is not currently a problem with wild animals coming into town to eat domestic animals,” Cole reported to the council members. “So there would not be an issue in the future for chickens.”
Do you suppose we could get these kids to come to speak to Billings City Council for a field trip?
HENHOUSE Coaching Network
South Central Montana Coaching Clinic
Are you interested in learning how to breed, incubate and grow your own flock of heritage poultry? A growing group of farmers are networking together to develop a Montana Heritage Poultry Coalition. You can join in on the excitement.
We are excited to provide these coaching clinics for education for small local, sustainable poultry farmers throughout Montana.
April 27, 2012 Billings Association of Realtors: As a long standing member of the Billings Association of Realtors, I vehemently disagree with your letter recently submitted to the Billings City Council urging them to ban the backyard chicken. Throughout our country people are seeking various ways to have live a healthier, green lifestyle and to be more self sufficient. The idea of the backyard chicken is not a radical one and is actually a widely accepted practice in 93 out of 100 of the largest cities in the country. https://billingsbackyardhens.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/percentage-of-major-us-cities-allowing-urban-hens/ Communities throughout Montana, including but not limited to, Missoula, Bozeman, Helena, Butte, Kalispell and Whitefish have also adopted this healthy lifestyle choice. Great Falls is currently working on getting an ordinance passed. I have spoken several times before the city council in support of this issue. It brings to the forefront an important opportunity to better feed our families and also return an individual right to the people as our countries founders intended. My professional opinion regarding the effect that having backyard chickens would have on property values is that it would not have a negative impact and the chicken coop could in fact become a negotiating tool in a home purchase or sale. The hundreds of people who are in support of this issue are dedicating their time and energy to the success of this program. The chicken requires constant care and nurturing and as it is estimated that less than 2% of the population will even be interested in pursuing the work required to properly keep backyard chickens, your odor and drainage concerns become a non-issue. When our city is filled with backyard barking dogs, your concern is with a few chickens??? I have checked with the Magic City Hens Association here in Billings and learned that they have never been contacted by the Billings Association of Realtors. What information did the association use to arrive at their decision? Please set aside personal opinions and do what is best for our community and retract your letter of asking for the Billings City Council to deny our residents the freedom to become better. Sincerely, Bill R. Iverson Broker/Owner Town & Country Properties 1311 11th Street West Billings, MT 59102 email@example.com cc: Magic City Hens Association Billings City Council Mayor Hanel Montana Association of Realtors National Association of Realtors
While, especially as a parent, I would never advocate doing something simply for the fact that “everyone else” is doing it, as a municipality it behooves us to consider that circumstance when we’re looking at the viability of a change in our own city.
Saying “nay”: Last week newspapers reported that East Helena, MT, which has just begun the “discovery and education” process of looking into an urban hen ordinance, voted down the proposed change in City Council. http://helenair.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/east-helena-says-no-to-chickens-in-town/article_f625d354-8ab2-11e1-b39c-001a4bcf887a.html.
East Helena (population 2,134) is not the best comparison to Billings (population 104,934), but it is in Montana, if that makes any difference. Helena itself (population 28,180) does allow urban hens quite successfully.
But along with the report of one township voting it down came three cities voting hen ordinances forward:
http://freshwatercleveland.com/devnews/backyardchickens041912.aspx Cleveland Heights, Ohio (population 46,121) is a suburb of Cleveland, as suburbs begin following the lead of their primary local city in allowing well-constructed hen ordinances. A great quote from the article: Despite the widespread flaps about backyard chickens, Jaime Bouvier, a Visiting Legal Writing Professor at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, says that genuine problems are actually quite uncommon.
“In cities across the country, backyard chickens are always very contentious,” she says. “Yet the issue causes more concern than warranted. Typically, there aren’t huge amounts of people that do it, and it doesn’t get out of control.” Bouvier has written extensively about the legal issues surrounding backyard chickens and aggregated model practices around the country.
Cary, NC (population 141,019) is joining the widely pro-chicken Raleigh/Research Triangle area in urban hen-keeping: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/04/19/2012336/cary-council-endorses-backyard.html
And in Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania (population 25,670) http://upperdublin.patch.com/articles/planning-commission-passes-motion-to-allow-backyard-chickens
Considering that as of 2012, a vast majority of major cities now already allow urban hens, it becomes more of a search to find those cities, townships and suburbs still discussing the issue! But those who already do it successfully are finding ways to do it better: http://www.ktvb.com/home/Boise-city-council-backs-urban-farming-147866495.html. The gist of the article is that Boise (population 198,312) is considering more and better ways to support urban food production, including increasing from 3 to 6 hens in city limits. Interesting to note: the Urban Agriculture program was initiated by city staff, and was voted forward unanimously, 6-0. (“>
Montana IS the last best place. “The trailhead to the West”… we are actually the bulk of the remaining Old West in America. Montanans are known to be self-regulating, trailblazing, get-your-laws-off-me sort of people. They prefer to do it themselves, as befits the progeny of the pioneers and cattlemen who first settled this area.
Montana likewise draws those sort of people from other states, much to native Montanans chagrin I’m sure, but those of us who weren’t blessed enough to be born here got here as quickly as we could. We are proud of the Montana heritage and appreciate our adoptive state.
This very independent-minded pioneer spirit is why I find it so confusing that Billings, Montana has a few residents (and a few elected officials) who are so adamant against giving us the right to raise a few hens in our own backyards. Seriously? They find it somehow better and more admirable to trundle up to the grocery or big box store to fork over greenbacks for eggs, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce. Ignoring entirely the sheer and scientifically provable inferiority of those store-bought versions of what we can actually produce ourselves, the fact that they are willing to be told what they can eat by the grocery store chain (probably home-based in New Jersey) is just absolutely confusing.
The whole thing just strikes me as, well, laziness. Sure, it’s easier to go buy something ready-made, even if it is of known lesser quality. But does “easier” make it right? Is it right to be willing to sit back and accept the horrific and inhumane living conditions of battery-cage hens, to pay good money for chemical-laden produce shipped from thousands of miles away, or to prevent ourselves and our neighbors from having the ability to produce some of our own foods in an urban setting, simply because it is easier?
There is a whole Chicken Little “the sky is falling! The sky is falling!” mentality with these folks. From worst-possible-case-scenarios to just blatant disdain to the point of hatred, they are willing to use any excuse to try to browbeat others into submission. “Line up and take your handout like the rest of us, quit trying to do something better with your life!” This is not our heritage, Montana.
I guarantee that when our forefathers started packing the wagons and saddling the horses to head out to Montana, they heard a lot of their neighbors squawking about how much easier it is to stay in “civilization” where there are grocery stores and butcher shops. And as we can see from looking at any current census map, there are many more folks in our United States who decided against trying their own hand at providing for themselves and their families, and chose to stay with the crowd where they could be safe. But for the million-or-so there are of us in this great state, being told where to live and what to eat and what we can do with our own property wasn’t acceptable when it was the 1800’s, and it isn’t acceptable now. You don’t want to get a pair of gloves on and grow your own vegetables or raise a few hens? Fine. You’ll keep Walmart in business. But for those of us who do… keep your laws off our hens!
No votes were taken last night, nothing was officially decided… but we had a great turnout (particularly for very short notice! Thanks you guys!) and quite a few speakers. There were around 24-25 hen supporters in attendance, and 2 opponents.
The (city staff) proposed ordinance was presented to the City Council. They were told to base it off the ordinances forMissoula andBozeman. For the most part it is reasonable, although there are a few things we are concerned about:
1 – An additional 4′ fence around a hen owner’s property line in addition to the enclosed coop, if the owner does not already have a perimeter fence (for a HEN? Is this required for pit bulls and/or other animals known to be aggressive?);
2 – Pre-permit inspections by Animal Control Board (they don’t have the time or budgetary resources to do this – and if the inspection is pre-chicken, what are they going to be inspecting?);
3 – A 20′ property line easement for any part of the coop or enclosure. (Bozeman requires 5′, Missoula NONE);
We recognize that this was their first draft, and compromises must be made on both sides. We’re willing to make concessions in many areas (and are doing so with other aspects of the proposed ordinance), but these we are pointing out seem a little bit much… more punitive and restrictive, designed to limit people from being able to have urban hens, than anything else.
The Council is set to vote during the Monday, 4/23/12 6:30PM meeting. Please help us keep up the discussion with Councilmembers and work this out to be a reasonable ordinance for everyone concerned!!
We’re having difficulties converting this file to a readable format we can post here, so with our apologies… link on the URL below to read the urban hen ordinance being proposed by city staff for a one-year trial period.
Note that you will have to open the pdf file attached to the document. It’s a 6-page document prefaced by a memo.
While this is certainly much more complex than the BBHI-proposed ordinance that works so well in many other cities, we find that many of the concessions are reasonable. We recognize that compromise works both ways. One issue that concerns us though is in regards to pre-permit inspections by Animal Control Officers.
City staff and council members have expressed repeatedly their concern that an urban hen ordinance not cause extra work to staff, from Animal Control Officers to Code Enforcement Officers. Why then would they volunteer ACO’s to take valuable time to go inspect coops and hen pens before approving permits?? This sends their estimated work load from basically none (according to the other cities polled in regards to the calls on urban hens that their staff must respond to) to, possibly, an hour per permit? It is illogical. The likelihood of there becoming a problem (with noise, odor, etc) will only be AFTER the people already have their hens, and if a permit is required in advance, they would be inspecting an empty and brand-new chicken facility. Sillier than shutting the barn door after the horse has escaped, this is the equivalent of shutting the barn door before the horse even gets there. ??!
Logic aside (which pains me to even write), the issue of “fairness” comes to mind. We pose the question: Are dog owners, cat owners, rabbit owners, ferret owners, fish owners, cockatiel owners, pet snake owners, hamster owners, or lizard owners required to have pre-permit inspections? Even for a kennel permit for owners of more than 4+ dogs or cats? We have provided information ad nauseum regarding the comparatively minor volume of (compostable) manure provided by chickens, verses the (vastly more odiferous and highly NON-compostable) manure provided by dogs and cats, so it can’t be a manure issue. My pardons for digressing into logic again…
So Billings! What do you think? Care to show up at City Council chambers tonight, Monday 4/16/12 at 5:30PM, to share your thoughts during agenda item #2 - Urban Chickens – Public Comment?? Even if you don’t wish to speak, if you are a Billings resident and are in support of the issue, you could attend and simply stand up in support of the issue with our speaker when requested.
If you can’t make the meeting, please email the city council at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know your viewpoint! (“>
OK if you really CAN’T be there, please send an email to the council at email@example.com and let them know you are a city resident and in support of urban hens in Billings.
If you DO come and don’t wish to speak or sign in, we’ll ask everyone in support to please stand, at one point. We would love that to include you!!!
Please share this with anyone in city limits you think may be interested in supporting this issue! Power to the peeps! (“>
Whoa, we missed lots more urban chicken reports this week from CNN:
Click on the link above for a new report on CNN about the backyard hen movement, this time focusing on Winter Park, Florida.
Funny how the comments go, whether it’s on CNN.com or BillingsGazette.com… naysayers are abusive and anonymous, while the other folks have their photos posted with their account, aren’t cursing to make their point, and sound reasonable. Makes you wonder.
Great article here about East Helena, MT, where they are currently considering an urban hen ordinance. Council member Kit Johnson said, “I think raising urban chickens is part of this trend to return to our roots and know where our food comes from, kind of an urban green thing.”
Billings’ own nonprofit 501(c)3 for the education and support regarding urban hens in the Billings, Montana area is announcing upcoming classes in CHICKENS 101:
4/14/12 from 10AM-12noon at Harvest Church Lockwood
4/28/12 from 10AM – 12noon at Harvest Church Lockwood
Classes are 2 hours each, handouts are provided, and they cover the basics of what you need to know to have a safe, healthy backyard micro-flock. Breed selection for our climate, winter and summer care, health and diet, eggs-pectations, and more. Fun and informative! $15/person or $20/family.
RSVP or query MagicCityHens@hotmail.com for more information!
COOP GLEANINGS! Magic City Hens is also asking for your Spring cleaning coop gleanings (aka chicken poo, bedding, etc)… if you don’t compost and you’re not already being contacted by people who do and want your chicken poo, give them a holler. Composting of this “black gold” is being held at a local community garden on the west end, and downtown at Salvation Army’s compost area. If you are a gardener and want to be added to the list of locations for donation (of raw compost materials, please note that these will not be completely composted yet), likewise email MagicCityHens@hotmail.com!
Click on the above for an interesting article in the New York Times regarding backyard eggs. You know, New York, New York? The epitome of a backwards, backwoods, out-in-the-country, redneck, (animal) predator filled city? Oh wait… maybe not. Hello folks, green is the new black, and urban hens are a sign of progressive times, not a throwback to your granddad’s chock-full-o-chooks chicken house.
We do take note that NYC allows up to 25 hens per household, so thus they may indeed find themselves in a surplus of eggs, around 2 dozen per day with that hen count! Alas, in Billings, we are asking for a max of 6 hens, so more like 5-6 eggs per day. With hungry families eager to eat french toast, eggs over easy, scrambled hen apples, luscious orange-tinted pound cake (from the extra beta carotene and vitamin K in the backyard eggs), Egg Foo Young, frittata, quiche, hard-boiled eggs diced over a salad or just sprinkled with salt and devoured… you get the picture. Not much surplus! (“>
For those who worry about the “coop gleanings”… this says it all: