Photo credit: Tracy Halladay

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

City Council to Meet This Week!

The city council is meeting this week.  One of the items to be disucssed will be the chicken ordinance.  They are meeting Thursday the 17th at 7pm.  Please come to support this effort!  The planning commission passed it with 3-2 votes, I have heard there is opposition from the city police department. 

Here is a link to the agenda for Thursday's meeting:  Agenda

"Where ever chickens are outlawed only outlaws will have chickens!"

Update 3/24/2011

Brigham City has not yet posted minutes from the city council meeting on the 17th.  I have not heard if a decision has been made and when it will go into effect.  If anyone has an update, please post below!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


In celebrating the fact that my 6 lovely hens gave us 5 lovely eggs today I thought I would write a bit about one of the biggest advantages of having hens...EGGS!

A 5 egg day is a good thing

I have a mix of breeds, which gives me a mix of colors and size of eggs.  I get big white eggs from a leghorn (her name is Henrietta, we call her Hen).  Leghorns were specifically bread for egg production.  She's consistent and the eggs are large...I mean larger than the store's jumbo size eggs.  I get brown eggs from Rosie and Red (both Rhode Island Reds).  I get brown eggs from Wheezy, who is a Black Orpington.  I get skinny white eggs from Olga, our Polish hen...she doesn't lay often.  Her breed isn't a laying breed, and she's old...so we're just happy when she lays for us.  Last of all, I get green eggs from Sam (aka Sam-I-Am).  She is an Ameraucana or some call them easter eggers.  She has a beard and is quite pretty despite the fact that breeders consider them mutts as they are often a wide mix of different breeds.

I want to share a great resource I used when I was researching various breeds trying decide which kinds of chickens to get.  Different breeds come in different sizes, have different personality traits, cold hardiness characteristics, and egg production qualities.  Click on the following link for "Henderson's Handy-Dandy Chicken Chart".  You will be amazed to learn the differences.  Some people say not to mix breeds as they may not get along.  Maybe I'm lucky.  Mine get along...  Having said that, just like people, I recognize I have hens with very different personalities, some are bossy, some stick to themselves, some are sweeter and some are more flighty (scared).

Rosie checking out a load of dirt

Raising your own hens can give you an ongoing supply of eggs.  Just like much in life, the more you put into something the better the outcome.  If you feed your hens right, keep them with fresh water and keep them happy (including enough room to play) you will be very happy with their egg production AND the quality of the eggs (see link above-don't expect an egg a day from a breed that can't deliver).  Think of it this way, if you average 3 eggs a day, that is 21 eggs per week!  That is almost 2 dozen per week!  Not shabby.  One other factor that weighs heavy in egg production is the amount of light a hen receives.  Commercial producers have lights on their hens day and night.  I have read a bit about this and the excessive light tends to burn the hen out and shorten her life.  As the seasons change, egg production decreases during the winter months with shorter daylight hours.  Hens moult (they stop laying and loose feathers), this is a time of rejuvination for them...its like their system does a reboot...yes, I work in IT.  But they come out of this ugly time productive and healthier.  Spring and summer come, days are longer and hens will produce more eggs.


Since I've moved on to eggs and breakfast, you should know that the USDA just released a report earlier this year that states eggs are 14% lower in cholesterol and more vitamin D than previously thought.  So enjoy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Please support the cause- Public Hearing tonight (Tuesday 3/1/11)

Tonight's the night for the 2nd and probably final public hearing with the city Planning Commission.  My guess is final touches will be put on the draft code (see previous blog post), public input will be allowed (pro and con) and then it will go to a vote by the planning commission.  Unfortunately, my personal life calendar and my work calendar did not interface in my mind and I will be unable to attend the meeting because I will be doing a phone system upgrade at work.  I have heard rumors that the police will be at the meeting to speak against having a code.  They probably perceive them as nuisance animals.  Unfortunately that is a misconception.  Dogs are noisier and smellier, cats can seldom be kept only in an owners yard.  I just think that chickens are not a big threat. 

The ordinance should be welcomed by city personnel because it gives them the capacity to control the households with chickens based on rules of the ordinance.  Without it they are stuck with a vaguely written code (see portion of city code below) which I easily interpreted as allowing home owners to possess them.

Chapter 4.01. Definition of Terms.
Terms set out in this chapter have the meaning designated when used in this title unless otherwise
indicated by the context.
1. Animal. Any and all types of livestock, dogs and cats, and all other subhuman creatures, both
domesticated and wild, male and female, singular and plural.
2. Animal Boarding Establishment. Any establishment that takes in animals and boards them for
3. Animal Grooming Parlor. Any establishment maintained for the purpose of offering cosmetology
services for animals at a profit.
4. Animal Shelter. Any facility owned and operated by a governmental entity or any animal welfare
organization which is incorporated within the State of Utah for the purpose of preventing cruelty to animals
and used for the care and custody of seized, stray, homeless, quarantined, abandoned, or unwanted dogs,
cats, or other domestic animals.
5. Animals at Large. An animal shall be considered to be “at large” when it is off the owner’s
property and not under immediate control, by means of a durable restraint device capable of keeping the
animal restrained; OR an animal that is on the property of the owner and not securely confined by a leash,
building, fenced area, or appropriate transport device.
6. Bite. Any actual puncture, tear, or abrasion of the skin inflicted by the teeth of an animal.
7. Cat. Any age feline, of the domestic type.
8. Cattery. Land or building used in the keeping of three (3) or more cats, six (6) months or older.
9. Dog. Any Canis Familiaris over six (6) months of age. Any Canis Familiaris under the age of six
(6) months is a puppy.
10. Domesticated Animals. Animals accustomed to living in or about the habitation of man, including
but not limited to cats, dogs, rabbits, fowls, horses, swine, goats, sheep, mules, donkeys, lamas, and cattle.
11. Government Working Dog. A dog trained to assist officials of government agencies in law
enforcement exercises.
12. Guide Dog. A dog trained and certified by a nationally recognized training establishment to assist
persons that are “visually-impaired,” “hearing-impaired,” or ”mobility-limited.”
13. Kennel. Land or buildings used in the keeping of three (3) or more dogs older than four (4)
14. Livestock. Any normally domesticated animal that is ordinarily kept on a farm, such as cattle,
swine, sheep, goats, mules, burros, horses, geese, ducks, turkeys, llamas, etc.
15. Owner. Any person or persons, firm association or corporation or other entity owning, keeping
or harboring the animal in question, or any person having charge, care, custody or control of such animal.
16. Pet. Any animals ordinarily permitted in Brigham City residences and kept for the company or
pleasure of Brigham City residents, such as domesticated dogs, domesticated cats, and domesticated birds.
Pets also include tropical fish, amphibians, reptiles, or invertebrates of a number that do not constitute a health
hazard or nuisance, and can be safely and humanely kept in aquariums, cages, or enclosures, the cumulative
size of which shall not exceed fifty (50) cubic feet per household. Pets shall not include exotic, pygmy, or
dwarf variations of animals defined as either “wild animals” or “livestock,” including but not limited to, miniature
horses, pygmy goats, and Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, notwithstanding that such animals may be kept as
household pets by residents of other communities.