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Give Peeps a Chance AGAIN - Keep Backyard Chickens in Peterborough!

This petition had 1,704 supporters

We LOVE our chickens. They are members of our family and they provide us with nutrient-rich, high-quality protein! The City of Peterborough is banning our fluffy friends. Give Peeps a Chance and sign our petition to KEEP BACKYARD CHICKENS in PETERBOROUGH! 


Response from Parnell

"I am sorry that you are disappointed in the hen decision, however, Dan and I had to go with the majority of concerns we encountered. We are listening. Plus add in the possible health issues, more predators coming into our residential neighbourhoods from our significant green spaces plus the costs and fact that the Humane Society did not want to take on the task. Unfortunately we cannot even get the majority of cat and dog owners to comply with by-laws so adding another task was deemed too difficult to enforce.

No doubt there are some very responsible owners, as with dogs and cats. Unfortunately they are not the majority. In fact, one of the most responsible owners I know had her own hens killed by her own dog. Very tragic! We do have evidence of coyotes, foxes, raccoons, cats and rodents roaming around.

Although it would be nice to have, it is just not practical as we intensify and develop smaller lots going forward. Residents are truly concerned about smell, predators, and the cost. These by-laws are complaint driven and no one likes that role either.

I am personally hoping to use that money for rent subsidies to keep people from becoming homeless. $50,000/year.

I understand this is not what you want to hear and I am truly sorry for that. No vote will satisfy everyone and we do have to take into account the best interest for the majority of our taxpayers.
Again, I'm sorry." - Lesley Parnell



Getting to know the neighbours - "We moved in a year ago and it wasn't until we added chickens to our backyard that we met our neighbours. We had seen each other occasionally but no one really popped over the fence to say hello. Once they saw chickens, they got excited and interested in what we were doing. We now know all of our surrounding neighbours. None of them have complained. They've only shared fond stories of growing up on the farm raising their own chickens OR they've been excited to start their own coop and add another urban backyard chicken coop to our vibrant city. Plus! We share eggs with them almost every week."

Food Security -  Backyard chickens allow all people at all times access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy active lifestyle (as defined by WHO's Food Security definition). Backyard chickens provide educational interest on food security and the origins of our food.

Fight Factory Farming with fresh, high-quality protein eggs - Knowing exactly where our food comes from, what conditions our chickens are living in and what food they've been eating to produce our eggs is incredible!

Natural Pest Control for the Garden - Rather than using harmful chemicals or pesticides, use chickens instead. Chickens are known to reduce or eliminate grasshoppers, termites, fire ants, slugs, fleas, and even rodents by cleaning up food sources that might attract them.

Reduce waste in our city - Chickens consume kitchen scraps. No more smelly garbage days, give the scraps to the chickens! Whatever scraps and weeds chickens eat end up being very valuable manure for our gardens.

Organic Fertilizer - Poultry manure contains all the essential nutrients for plant growth and offers a rich source of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous in the garden. Because of the high nitrogen level and nutrient balance, chicken manure is considered the best type of manure for garden use.

Reducing Carbon Footprint of Peterborough - Having a free source of organic fertilizer that doesn’t have to be packaged or transported is not only valuable to the home gardener, it is an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical fertilizers and good for the earth. Every time you clean the coop, the resulting byproduct is a fresh pile of manure that can be recycled in your backyard ecosystem.

Reducing Stress - Studies have shown that tending chickens releases Oxytocin, a stress lowering hormone. Not only that, it reduces blood pressure and decreases feelings of loneliness, which further contribute to decreased stress. chicken watching increases our mindfulness skills. Caring for chickens gets us outside regularly, and watching their methodical scratching and foraging around the yard slows us down and grounds us in the present, providing a meditative experience that can be difficult to achieve in our busy day-to-day lives, particularly in urban settings.

Chickens as Therapy - Chickens are now being used as therapy animals for people of all ages to address a wide variety of issues including dementia, Alzheimer’s, psychiatric illness, depression, and autism. Their calming effect helps with symptoms like anxiety, emotional distress and social frustration. Chickens have also been shown to reduce loneliness and depression for the elderly. For children on the autism spectrum, chickens have been registered as emotional support animals for their soothing effect. Not only that, they have been shown to increase social skills and play skills, enhance conversation abilities, and promote self-care and independent living skills through daily chores.

Why Not?

Chickens Smell - With proper bedding and ventilation and care of our chickens, there is no chicken smell. Does poop smell? Yes. Poop is stinky. But, chickens scratch in their coops and turn over the bedding to compost their own waste which immediately masks the smell of a fresh poop and turns into extremely valuable organic fertilizer.

Chickens are Loud -  Children playing in the backyard, a barking dog, and the crows who circle the neighbourhood are likely 10 times louder than backyard chickens. Chickens do not require roosters to lay and we do not advocate for roosters in our City.

Chickens carry Disease - Like all animals, including cats and dogs, there is a chance that they could pass on disease. The CDC recommends the following to protect yourself from getting sick

"Thoroughly wash your hands with running water and soap after contact with birds or their droppings. Although running water and soap are best, if you aren't near a sink you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer until you can get to a sink to wash your hands thoroughly."


CDC - Backyard Poulty

Meet Real Free Range Eggs – Mother Earth News
Gardening with Chickens for Fantastic Natural Pest Control – Mother Earth News
The Health Benefits of Pets – NIH
Autism and Therapy Chickens – Autism Daily Newscast
Local Mother Fights to Keep her Autistic Son’s Therapy Chickens – Fox 59
Chickens Provide a New Form of Animal Therapy for Memory Loss Patients – Boston Globe
No Spring Chickens, Hens Help Heal Elderly – Modern Farmer
I Love My Chickens – Discovering my Own Personal Recovery – Psychology Today

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