We are kindly requesting that the Town of Ayden revise the current livestock ordinance to allow residents to keep chickens (hens specifically) responsibly on a single lot or tract within the town limits so long as the fowl do not become a nuisance or health hazard.
The increase in support over the past several years for the chicken movement is motivated by several factors including the public's interest in healthier, locally-sourced food, better control over and knowledge of food sources, and a increased concern for the humane treatment of animals that are raised for food. Environmental factors are also a consideration for many people. One hen can eliminate up to nine pounds of kitchen waste a month reducing a resident's impact on the local landfill. Chickens are living composters. They will eat virtually anything—bugs, worms, slugs, mosquitoes, pork products, shrimp tails, etc. They also eat many types of weeds including chickweed, preventing the need to treat residential yards with herbicides and/or pesticides that create unnecessary environmental runoff.
Other benefits for those raising a small low maintenance number of chickens include an excellent source of natural fertilizer beneficial to the home gardener's compost.
There are many people who would like the opportunity to own a chicken, and whose health and environment would benefit from owning even a small number of hens. Please understand that we have no intention of exploiting this updated ordinance for commercial gain, should it meet with your approval. We are simply interested in benefitting from and enjoying this liberty on a personal level.
Many fears people have regarding allowing chickens in residential areas stem from experience with or knowledge of large-scale chicken farming, which in no way reflects small-scale chicken keeping. Hens are no more disruptive to residential tranquility than a dog that barks occasionally, and more often are less disturbing. Living next door to someone with a dog is not comparable to living next door to a dog kennel. Backyard small hen flocks do not pose the same nuisances as the infamous chicken farms, and on the contrary, would offer many benefits to the residents of Ayden.
Several towns across the great state of North Carolina have ordinances that allow for chickens and have proven the benefits of keeping chickens can be immense. Winterville, Jacksonville, New Bern, Greenville, Raleigh, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Wake Forest, Charlotte and Asheville just to name a few. Research of these areas indicates that the initial concerns over allowing chickens in residential areas have largely proven to be unfounded.
We feel that changing the ordinances to allow chicken ownership in Ayden would encourage sustainability, organic waste reduction, local healthy food production, home composting and reduce the need for pesticide, herbicide and artificial fertilizer use. It would also increase support to local businesses, expanding patronage to local hardware, garden, feed and grocery stores. Most importantly, it promotes a healthy, organic lifestyle.
We urge you to consider these proposed changes, and very much appreciate your attention to our request.