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Help Us Bring Back Chicken Hens To Alexandria | Home & Garden

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Help Us Bring Back Chicken Hens To Alexandria
Home & Garden
Help Us Bring Back Chicken Hens To Alexandria

It is time to allow chicken hens back into Alexandria.

The City of Alexandria is seeking public input on what would be the most green and sustainable idea for the community. The top voted idea will win a chance at a mini grant to turn the Green Idea into a reality. Please register and vote for Chickens! http://www.actionalexandria.org/challenge/make-alexandria-greener-more-s... A total of THREE votes can be made by each person. Hit the button three times for Chickens!

The current code only allows for one property owner in the entire city to be in compliance. The space requirement indicates that a chicken hen is some type of biologial hazard. It is time to understand that chicken hens are a sustainable food source for homes across the city. Cities across the United States have all updated their codes to reflect this new sustainable food source interest, including

* New York – No roosters, unlimited hens
* Burlington – 3 fowl per household
* San Fran – 4 hens, 20 ft from door
* Miami – 15 hens, 100 ft from neighbors
* Boise – 3 hens 
* New Orleans – Hens kept clean, sturdy home
* Ann Arbor – 4 hens with permit
* Las Vegas – No roosters, kept in coop

Benefits include: * Provide natural pest control* Introduce a natural fertilizer * Helps process compost* Provide fresh eggs * Backyards as a food resource* Egg sharing fosters a stronger community

Facts include: There are over 25 homes in Alexandria that currently have backyard chickens who do not have the required space. Code Enforcement has never received a complaint call about any illegal chickens. Free ranging hens eating bugs from backyards produce eggs that have: * 1/3 less Cholesterol* 1/4 less Saturated Fat * 2/3 more Vitamin A * 2 times more Omega-3 Fatty Acids * 3 times more Vitamin E * 7 times more Beta Carotene

Support: The neighborhood associations of Del Ray, Beverley Hills, Seminary, and Rosemont are in support of the code update. A code change directly supports Alexandria’s Eco City and healthier residents.

“Backyard chickens are less of a concern than factory-farmed poultry for causing any illness to humans.”  - Owen Taylor, City Farms

Concerns Addressed: * Noise - Roosters are restricted. Chickens make minimal sound.
* Smell - Chicken areas will require cleaning, just like any pet.
* Housing - Chickens will need property line containment and protection from predators.
* Avian Influenza - While research shows this is a minimal risk, preventing a sick chicken from impacting the health of humans requires:     
1. Using a specified pair of farm shoes.     
2. Washing hands after touching chickens.     
3. Brushing and washing manure debris off farm tools.Best way to maintain a healthy chicken from disease and illness is to provide sunlight and good air circulation.
* West Nile Virus - Chickens do NOT get sick from West Nile. However a blood test can confirm if a chicken has been bit by an infected mosquito. In California, 206 chicken flocks throughout the state are tested to monitor the virus while prevention is studied. In Contra Costa County, tests are conducted on five flocks twice a month.
* Animal Shelter - There are concerns the shelter will be forced to handle additional animals. The following measures have been taken to address this issue:    
1. The Kindrick Farm in Charlottesville and Green T Acres in Roanoke have agreed to adopt any roosters.     
2. Adoption homes in the city for unwanted chickens were created. We currently have three homes.
* Property Values - We can not find one city that has reversed their city code to allow chickens for any reason. Any home with pets that are not cared for will run down property values. We should not assume all chicken owners would be bad pet owners.
* Rainwater Run Off - Yards with chickens would not and could not have harmful lawn chemicals applied, which cause far more damage to the bay and local waters.
* Chicken Coops - The type of coop will remain the choice of the land owner, just as their shed is their choice.
* Veterinarian Access - Pender in Fairfax specializes in backyard chickens and turkeys.
* Chickens Care - Caring for a pet is a learning process and can be accomplished by books, internet, and other neighbors.

Backyard Chickens in Alexandria has its own Facebook page since early 2010. It is time to move forward. A chicken hen pet is a safe food source. Factory farm eggs are not as healthy and many times are not safe to eat. Please vote to bring back Chicken Hens to Alexandria, VA. Thank you!

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