Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Chicken or Egg? Which Came First? July 26, 2011

CFN – What came first? The egg or the chicken?  People are becoming more concerned about where their food is coming from and how it is raised or treated in the process.
There seems to be a shift away from the large commercialized chicken, beef and vegetable farmers to the regional, local community farmer who works with concern for the earth and with respect and love for the animals.  A shift to a food producer who puts health and respect before profit is an appreciated and sought after entity.
Of course making a profit is important, however not at the expense of flooding our soils and the bodies of animals we ingest with chemicals, hormones and antibiotics to increase growth, yield or their so called wellness.People are becoming more aware of genetically modified organisms, of the cramped quarters and sad conditions some animals are raised in before slaughter for our stomachs.

There is also increased awareness of the distances some foods are shipped before they reach our dinner tables.  With the continuing rising cost of fuel oil and the awareness of what a border lock down can have on our access to food, people are prepared to take on some responsibility for insuring their family has access to food that is sustainable, healthy and nutritious.Cities such as Montreal and Toronto have been trying to persuade their City Councils of the benefits of allowing them to raise some of their own backyard chickens. Chickens are permitted in Westmount, an upscale area in Montreal, although raising backyard chickens remains a backyard movement in most American and Canadian cities.  As people are seeking out a closer connection with the food they eat a growing number of cities such as Vancouver and Niagara Falls are allowing chickens within their city limits while others are giving the idea consideration.

The chickens could alleviate urban poverty by giving people a healthy food source from eggs.  The hens could also produce fertilizer for the home gardens, be partially sustained on food waste we might throw in the garbage or compost and they can help to keep pests such as slugs and beetles out of your garden and additionally serve as loveable pets for the children or the house dog.  Personally I find watching hens happily pecking around the garden peaceful and relaxing.  According to a quote from a Mr. Gary Marvin who was visiting Montreal from the UK,

“We keep chickens and we live in a city. Looked after, they are hygienic and make excellent pets. They have their own little personalities and have the benefit of fresh eggs at little cost.”
If you are interested in having your very own backyard chickens, it is advisable to contact your local municipal office to find out the regulations concerning such an activity.  The rules are different from one municipality or city to another.  There are many resources on line and in your library to help you house, nurture and select breeds for your climate conditions in your backyard chicken project. is one of many.

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