Ruffled feathers: the debate over backyard chicken coops
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 | 10:36 AM ET
by Jessica Wong, CBCNews.ca
Having spent my whole life in Toronto, I haven't had much opportunity to encounter live chickens, but the idea of keeping a few hens in one's urban or suburban backyard fascinates me.
Vancouver is the latest city to tackle the issue, with city councillors voting last week to study the situation and draft a bylaw amendment, but the concept that residential chicken coop-proponents and opponents have been fighting over for years — from Summerside, PEI to Halifax to Chicago.
Currently, Vancouver residents can raise chickens in their backyards if they own a minimum one-acre property. (CBC).
While some backyard coop fans cite the recent trend of eating locally as their impetus, the current recession also provides a thrifty new argument for keeping a few hens kicking and scratching out back.
Still, concerns over noise and predators (having lost many a battle for backyard dominance to aggressive Toronto raccoons), are valid. And, come winter, is it simply time for chicken stew (or a roast dinner)?
Would you consider installing a backyard chicken coop? Why?
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From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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