City of Hampton, Virginia: Allow Chickens without "distance from dwelling restrictions"
Allow Residents to raise up to 5 Hens at a time without the current "distance from dwelling restrictions" These are my reasons why: Fresh, healthy, delicious eggs, free of pesticides and antibiotics. Cruelty free raised food. Chickens eat table scraps, reducing municipal solid waste. Chickens produce a rich fertilizer by-product, high in nitrogen, eliminating the need for petrochemical fertilizers. Chickens eat bugs, reducing our backyard pest population. Keeping heritage chickens increases numbers of endangered breeds that have been replaced by industrial breeds; we need to preserve our genetic diversification especially in food production livestock. Backyard chickens contribute to a zero mile diet as they are as local as your backyard. Keeping chickens is an efficient food source as eggs are rated by the UN Food and Agriculture as a more efficient source of protein than the other four top sources, higher in value than cow’s milk, fish, beef, or soybeans. A chicken coop can be as small as 1 square meter (10 square feet) for a confined full grown large breed; eight chickens can fit in a coop that is only 10×6 feet. Keeping backyard chickens puts you in control of your own food source and we can access eggs year-round even when we cannot garden or in the event of disruptions in the commercial food delivery system. The UN FAO has stated that the right to food is a basic human right. Chickens make great pets as they are affectionate, intelligent, and entertaining. Children and adults receive a rich education about food sources and responsible animal keeping when they keep livestock and that teaches a positive relationship and respect for food. Knowledge and respect for food encourages healthy weight maintenance. Keeping backyard chickens is a historic tradition that has been recently phased out in favor of profit driven commercial food delivery. Keeping livestock is a traditional and basic survival skill. Common knowledge of basic survival skills increases the recovery of a population after a disaster.