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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:02 am 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:45 pm
Posts: 53
Hi everyone

Please, please help!!!

My local council currently has a draft policy to restrict chicken ownership to only 5 chickens per home. The council is requesting submissions from the public. I would really appreciate it if you could take just a few minutes to write a submission saying that 5 chickens is not enough. That you can't feed a family on the eggs from just 5 chickens. I think we should be allowed up to 20 chickens in a suburban area (obviously more in rural areas, but my council is in a suburban area). You don't have to live in my council area, you can write a submission from anywhere. Even if you don't live in my council area don't assume that it won't affect you because council often look at the policies of other councils to help them determine their own policies.

Here is a link where you can quickly and easily write a submission:
https://yoursay.northernbeaches.nsw.gov ... licy-draft

I have 15 chickens. They do not produce enough eggs to feed my family. We are a family of 5 (we have 3 sons). We have one teenage son, two adult sons and my husband and I. Five chickens would only produce about 4 eggs per day (not in Winter) when they are in their first few years of laying and thereafter egg production drops off. Any one of my sons would happily eat 6 eggs for breakfast all by themselves. We could easily eat 26 eggs per day if we could produce enough (6 each for our sons and 4 each for my husband and I). Having only 5 chickens and only 4 eggs per day (at best in peak production) is practically useless for us.

We eat a very healthy diet (eggs are no longer considered unhealthy due to cholesterol issues) and I refuse to eat store bought eggs because off all the chemicals that production chickens are fed that could get into the eggs. If I am restricted to only 5 chickens there is no point in keeping chickens any more. We would have to get rid of our chickens and we wouldn't be able to eat eggs at all because I don't want to eat store bought eggs. I have owned chickens, for egg production, for almost 20 years. I am very distressed at the prospect of only being able to own 5 chickens.

I would really appreciate it if you could write a quick submission to say that this number is insufficient.

In my own submission I am going to raise these points (if you can think of others please let me know):

- 5 chickens is not enough to feed a family. At best, for only about two years when in peak production, 5 chickens will only produce 4 eggs a day. Once out of peak production it will be less and less eggs per day. Have you ever tried to feed teenage or adult sons? They can easily devour lots of eggs. My sons can easily eat 6 eggs each per day. My teenage son has a 15 year old friend who eats 5 eggs per day. Even if you only ate 2 eggs for breakfast each day, 5 chickens would only produce enough eggs for two people. So a family with a mum, dad and 2 kids couldn't live on the eggs from 5 chickens.

- Chickens are great for the environment. Chickens help to prevent waste going into landfill. Chickens eat lots of kitchen scraps that would otherwise go into landfill. The more chickens a house can keep the less food ends up in landfill.

- Chickens are great for the environment. Chickens produce manure that can be used on gardens. It's better to use chicken manure than to purchase fertilisers.

- Before we had chickens we had lots of paralysis ticks in our garden. Ticks killed two of our dogs. Our children could end up covered in tiny ticks. Once we got chickens the tick problem went away because chickens eat ticks. The more chickens you have the less dangerous ticks you have. Using chickens to control ticks and other bugs reduces the use of chemicals and insecticides. 5 chickens is not enough to control the ticks in my garden. Our area has the most deadly ticks in the country according to our local vet.

- Chickens are quite at night. They go to sleep when it gets dark. They don't bark all night like dogs. As I'm writing this right now it is the middle of the night (12:30 am and I can hear a cuckoo bird calling repeatedly, whereas my chickens are sound asleep and quite. Yes, chickens can sometimes be heard in the morning but they are no more noisy than several other birds like the kookaburras. I would prefer to hear chickens clucking happily in the morning than someone's leaf blower or lawn mower.

- I don't believe it is fair to restrict the number of chickens to 5. That is ridiculously low. Council encourages residents to keep chickens and runs workshops on how to keep chickens. That is great. People don't, however, just want chickens as pets, they often want them to feed eggs (and meat) to their families. Restricting the number of chickens to a number that wouldn't even feed an average family is unfair. I believe that a more reasonable number should be 20. The only reason to restrict the number at all is because of issues such as noise, smell, attracting vermin, etc. I would suggest that there be a limit of 20 chickens (no roosters in suburbia) and then, if there is an issue and neighbours are being inconvenienced, Council can address those issues with the owners. My chickens are quiet and do not attract vermin because their coop and chicken run are fully enclosed in wire mesh that has 6 mm holes (including roof and floor). No rats or mice can enter so the chickens' food does not attract vermin. My coop is healthy and hygienic and you cannot smell them at all unless you are within about a metre from the coop. In almost 20 years my neighbours have been fine with my chickens and I live in suburban Sydney (Northern Beaches Council).

Thanks for listing to my complaining. I'm scared that I am going to lose my chickens and scared that I can no longer feed my family with healthy eggs.

Thanks

Anne


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:00 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
Posts: 239
Location: NSW Southern Highlands
hi Anne,
I had previously pm'd you about this - I put in a submission.

Then, a few days ago, I was asked if I would be willing to donate some chickens to an organisation running services for people with disabilities - and who want to raise chooks as an activity for their service participants. I thought it would be a good idea to check their council requirements before committing. The poultry keeping regulations for Campbelltown (Sydney suburb) also already imposes a limit of 5 for residential blocks and 10 for rural blocks.....

Luckily, it looks like my local council (Wingecarribee, Southern Highlands) has a more "be considerate of your neighbours and cooperate" attitude, rather than imposing a specific limit. ;-)

here's the info for Campbelltown
https://www.campbelltown.nsw.gov.au/Ani ... inganimals

The maximum number of poultry (chickens or Guineafowls) that can be kept on a residential premises is five. The maximum number of poultry that can be kept on a large lot on rural residential premises is ten, in accordance with development standards: s.2.42 State Environment Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. (Those development standards are general things the councils can draw from, but individual councils can set their rules.)

any way - just for info.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:53 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:45 pm
Posts: 53
Hi Okaru

Thanks for the information.

It's crazy that our council is trying to encourage people to own chickens and to live sustainably and they even run workshops on keeping chickens but won't allow more than 5. Council is really concerned about the amount of waste going into landfill but won't allow us to have more than 5 chickens. The more chickens people have the less kitchen and garden waste ends up in landfill. A lot of people wouldn't bother keeping chickens if they could only have 5 because they would still need to buy store eggs anyway so it's counterproductive to their own goals.

Chickens that are well managed don't smell or attract flies, rats or mice.

So far 126 people have looked at my post but you are the only one who said they have written a submission.

If anyone else would like to do so that would be great :)) Just a couple of sentences would be enough. It's more about numbers than having to write a long submission. Submissions close on Sunday so it really needs to be today or Saturday.

Thanks Okaru. I really appreciate your help.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:18 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
Posts: 239
Location: NSW Southern Highlands
Well, apart from being willing to help, i am not an advocate of rules for the sake of rules. 5 chooks can be living in luxury or squalor, clean or vermin infested, exactly as could be the case for 50 chooks.
While I can see the need for some kind of defining principle, there is no point in setting a number as something to enforce. Makes no sense to me while there are many other important considerations besides the number of heads.

Unfortunately, this doesn't only apply to keeping poultry.
The more specific rule setters get, the more responsibility they take on themselves and the more loopholes they create to slip through. Whenever something so specific arises as "5", one needs to question whether this is arbitrary or has some science behind it.
Good luck with your fight.


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