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Change Chicken Ordinance Laws - Cedar Park, Texas

This petition had 223 supporters

Cedar Park is behind the times.  It is time for this to CHANGE!  Please sign this petition to bring awareness to Cedar Park, Tx the benefits of raising our own chickens!

Here are five reasons why chickens belong in the city:

#1. Urban chickens as bargain-basement backyard city workers.
Foreman concludes that the most economic and politically compelling reason to keep hens is to recycle food and yard waste, therefore keeping it out of landfills as it composts into an invaluable organic soil builder for your garden. The idea is that you feed your chickens kitchen scraps, they poop out a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, and you compost it with leaves and other untreated yard waste.

In fact, in Belgium, one city is actually giving three laying hens to 2,000 homes in an effort to reduce landfill costs. City officials expect to recover a significant portion of the $600,000 a year the city spends on dealing with this type of household "trash." According to Foreman, a single chicken can biorecycle about seven pounds of food residuals in a month. If just 2,000 households raise three hens, it could divert 252 tons of waste from landfills annually.

#2. City chickens as a backyard organic exterminating service.
Chickens love to eat protein-packed insects, which works out well because they can serve as the organic pest-cleanup crew in your garden and devour ticks on your property. They also love to eat many weeds, and serve as post-harvest garden bed gleaners, potentially making your work as a gardener very, very easy.

#3. Urban chickens as soil savers.
The health of our food is tied directly to the health of our soil. And chickens perform multiple functions that can turn parts of our boring old yards into fertile garden patches. Their natural scratching and digging tendencies serve them well and can help you create top-notch garden beds. They are expert in mixing manure with mulch to create raised beds, which allow you to grow more produce in a smaller space and use less water, which is particularly useful to urban gardeners. They also act as gasoline-free, noise-free tillers, mixing the top layers of soil with compost or other mulches. (OK, they're not completely noise-free, but hens sure do make cute noises, adding entertainment value for the whole family!)

#4. Heritage-breed city chickens as an extinction-prevention task force.
Because factory-farm operations prefer pretty much the same type of high-volume laying breeds (or in the case of meat, heavy, fast-growing meat birds), the preservation of rare, heritage breeds is threatened. If we lose these beautiful breeds, we wipe out genetic material from a species, perhaps losing genes that could save the poultry industry one day if the standard production breeds fall susceptible to illness. To learn more about heritage breeds, check out What's the Best Chicken for You.

#5. Urban chickens as antidepressants.
Ever hear of oxytocin, the love hormone? It's a stress-lowering chemical in your body that's unleashed when you hug someone you love, or even pet your dog or cat. And anyone who has raised backyard chickens can probably contend the same effect holds true for hens. Believe it or not, Foreman says, there are actually hens employed as therapy chickens! That's something to cluck about!

----------------CITY ORDINACE-------------------

Sec. 2.05.002     Keeping of fowl
No person shall possess, harbor, or maintain any type of fowl in any area of the corporate limits of the city that is not zoned such as to permit the keeping of fowl (see chapter 11 of this code). Where permitted, all fowl shall at all times be confined in a fully enclosed and ventilated or open-air cage, pen, coop, or enclosure and be provided adequate shelter from the elements and a minimum of three (3) square feet of covered floor space per animal sufficient to allow each animal room to move around and stand without crowding each other; however, where permitted on lots of one (1) acre or more, fowl may be kept or harbored free of such confinement, so long as the fowl remains on its owner’s lot. All cages, pens, coops, or enclosures and areas within which fowl are kept or harbored shall contain clean water and suitable food accessible to the fowl and placed such that the fowl cannot defile their contents, shall be at all times kept clean and sanitary in accordance with the health and sanitation laws of the state, shall not expose the animal(s) to undue heat or cold, and shall be a minimum of twenty-five (25) feet away from any property lines.

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