There are several reasons that backyard hens are an important issue of the day. As concerns continue to rise with regards to the economy, the environment, and food safety, many individuals are looking to their own backyards for solutions.
In a nutshell,backyard chickens are pets with benefits. They are typically raised from day-old chicks by their owners. This immediate interaction bonds the bird to the owner so that it is used to, and enjoys, human contact. Unlike their counterparts on large-scale farms, backyard hens are bred more for their temperament and uniqueness than for egg production. Don't get me wrong, the freshness and taste of backyard eggs can not be compared to those at the grocery store. It is just that unlike commercial hens, the end of egg production does not bring on the end of life for a backyard chicken.
Backyard chickens are pets and you don't kill your pets. They are affectionate, entertaining, low maintenance, small and inexpensive to keep. They serve as natural pest control (eating unwanted insects and decreasing the need for pesticides), reduce waste (by eating food and yard scraps that might otherwise end up in the landfill), and produce a wonderful source of fertilizer (composted chicken manure is one of the most efficient natural fertilizers). Chicken-keeping also offers people the opportunity to learn where their food (eggs) comes from and see first-hand how kitchen scraps become fertilizer, which in turn becomes beautiful vegetables.
In conclusion, the Ordinance that we are proposing is a "win-in" for the City of Cranston. Based on the City of Providence, Rhode Island's Ordinance that was passed in 2010, it is very comprehensive in scope. It requires the chicken keeper to maintain proper upkeep of both his/her chickens, as well as the environment in which they reside. Properly maintained coops and chicken enclosures ensure that both the neighbors as well as the chickens will be happy and healthy.
Thank you for your time and consideration.