Commerce City, Localize it! Allow Chickens!

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Commerce City restricts residents from raising chickens in their backyards. Please sign this petition asking the city to update the ordinance to allow its residents to keep chickens. As an agrarian, hard working, family-oriented community it only makes sense that Commerce City should embrace the practice of urban backyard chickens! 

Raising chickens is a wonderful family activity and an excellent opportunity to teach children that their food doesn't grow on a grocery store shelf. It’s important that kids have a connection to their food (preferably healthy food) and understand the farm-to-plate chain. You’ll be able to raise your own chickens organically, free of hormones and antibiotics, and let them enjoy a grassy backyard instead of the terrible conditions so unfortunately common in factory farm chickens.

Not interested in owning chickens? You can benefit from having neighbors who do! Barter with your neighbors for their fresh eggs with something from your garden or a helpful service. They’ll have plenty- one hen lays around 300 eggs per year!

A common concern is based on the misconception that chickens are noisy. Hens are very quiet animals. It is ROOSTERS that can be loud – crowing at the break of dawn. You don’t need a rooster to keep backyard chickens. They lay eggs just fine without them; eggs that won’t ever hatch into chickens. This petition is only to allow docile/quite hens into our families.

Commerce City ordinance regarding chickens prohibits probably 99% of residents from having chickens. As it stands, the ordinance is as follows:

 "It is a civil infraction for any person to own, keep, possess, harbor or maintain any livestock within the city except in districts zoned in accordance with the city's land development code as "agriculture" or "public."

If you still need convincing, let’s continue the conversation around how wonderful the practice of backyard chicken keeping in the suburbs is.

Eggs from happy backyard organic hens are more nutritious and tasty! In contrast to factory farm eggs, eggs from backyard chickens have 25 percent more vitamin E, a third more vitamin A, and 75 percent more beta carotene. Not to mention more omega-3 fatty acids than factory farmed eggs.

Grocery store eggs can be there for days and even weeks. Air seeps into the porous eggshell and affects the nutrients, taste, and consistency of the eggs. Fresh eggs should have firmer whites and super bright orange yolks.

It’s a bonding family-experience: you get a new outdoor pet, without the hassle of house training and such. And children can learn responsibility by pitching in! Whether it’s gathering the eggs, feeding, watering, or cleaning out the hen house, there’s productive work to do every day with chickens.

You could earn some money! Sell your extra organic; free-range eggs. With just a few chickens, at $4 a dozen (which is well below market price), you could make a nice little bit. Or make friends with neighbors, co-workers, and family by giving them away as gifts around the holidays or at special events!

Not to mention, chickens are great for your compost. Chicken poop is high in nitrogen which is great for your compost bin and you can even compost the used egg shells.

Chickens will improve your garden. They are natural foragers so free-range chickens will scratch the soil looking for yummy bugs like grubs, earwigs, and the same bugs that eat your summer fruits and veggies. Plus, as they turn the soil, it’ll aerate, breakup weeds, and accelerate the decomposing process.

Commerce City residents, join me in asking the city to update the ordinance and allow us all to enjoy the many benefits of back yard chickens.  



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