Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

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organic chick
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Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by organic chick » 21 Jan 2013, 17:15

I am hoping someone can help me in my quest to keep chickens next to our organic allotment. The problem we have is that all the land we work on is leasehold and the board of directors have turned down a request to keep chickens a year ago. They gave no valid reason which is most annoying. What I want to do now is present a carefully researched case on the positives, whilst acknowledging any potential problems and addressing measures to counter them. Any help. Will be most gratefully received.
Penny and Freckles - the WArren Girls'
Star and Flopsy (the latter of the floppy comb) both members of the White Star Faction.
Fedora and Florence the Cream Legbars
Emily (see Emily lay) and Erica the Light Sussex babes
1 current husband aka the structural engineer
1 large organic allotment
The Lady Isabella Pickford-Fiennes, a feline of distinction and excellent mouser

chuck1

Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by chuck1 » 21 Jan 2013, 23:56

If you feed them organic feed, there isn't much more organic than chickens. Organic eggs, chickens fed on the organic leftovers on the allotments. Lots of manure - there's nothing more organic than dung ! This gets put back onto the organic allotments etc. etc.

tyncat
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Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by tyncat » 22 Jan 2013, 18:46

Ive just signed my contract for my allotment purely to keep chickens on, I'm sure that the keeping of them is covered in The Allotment Act 1908, have a look

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Edw7/8/36

This one is the 1950 act, it's specifically aimed at abolishing the restrictions of keeping bunnies and chickens

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo6/14/31

Hope this helps

organic chick
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Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by organic chick » 22 Jan 2013, 19:10

Thank you both for helpful replies. I will keep the PDF of the Allotment Act for interest, but as we are a leasehold property and the allotment is on leasehold land (with permission and agreement of all estate leaseholders) we have no rights under the Allotments Act sadly.

I have been reading many forum posts and have learned much about keeping chickens so thanks to all for that. A friend and I are enrolled in a poultry keeping course in February, so we can hopefully present a better case as we know we have an uphill struggle to influence entrenched and often incorrect attitudes. Please keep your comments coming, they are appreciated.
Penny and Freckles - the WArren Girls'
Star and Flopsy (the latter of the floppy comb) both members of the White Star Faction.
Fedora and Florence the Cream Legbars
Emily (see Emily lay) and Erica the Light Sussex babes
1 current husband aka the structural engineer
1 large organic allotment
The Lady Isabella Pickford-Fiennes, a feline of distinction and excellent mouser

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Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by Bhindi » 22 Jan 2013, 22:04

I don't know if this might be a consideration but you may be asked how do you intend to keep the ground beneath them 'sweet'. As organic allotments they will not want any chemicals used for cleaning.
I 'still' don't eat things that had a face!

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Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by organic chick » 22 Jan 2013, 22:08

Yes, currently an uncleared area that will not be used for food crops.
Penny and Freckles - the WArren Girls'
Star and Flopsy (the latter of the floppy comb) both members of the White Star Faction.
Fedora and Florence the Cream Legbars
Emily (see Emily lay) and Erica the Light Sussex babes
1 current husband aka the structural engineer
1 large organic allotment
The Lady Isabella Pickford-Fiennes, a feline of distinction and excellent mouser

Henwife
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Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by Henwife » 23 Jan 2013, 08:46

If the whole estate is run on organic lines, I can see very good reasons for not allowing additional livestock. Registration is a long drawn out process, and they wouldn't want to risk losing it.
Guinea fowl & a lot of surplus poultry equipment.

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Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by organic chick » 23 Jan 2013, 10:04

Hi Henwife,

No the estate isn't organic. A few of us (6) have backbreakingly cleared an unused and overgrown area and have made a terraced allotment on a south facing slope using raised beds. We also have a greenhouse (full planning permission needed but that is another saga!!) and the whole area is doing extremely well. We garden using organic principles for all crop growing. The area we would like to keep chickens is still uncleared and well away from the cropping area, on the top level so hopefully any girls would have lovely views ;) It is in a sheltered corner and would be perfect. I have read many helpful posts on these fora and now know that chickens and their immediate environment cannot really be classed as truly organic.

Am just about to have another trawl of the fora regarding rats, to see what can be done to discourage them from chicken area. We already have a population here due to the proximity to a river, although our cat is doing her best to reduce numbers bless her. It seems that they, and potential 'noise and nuisance' to neighbours are the main areas of concern for others.
Penny and Freckles - the WArren Girls'
Star and Flopsy (the latter of the floppy comb) both members of the White Star Faction.
Fedora and Florence the Cream Legbars
Emily (see Emily lay) and Erica the Light Sussex babes
1 current husband aka the structural engineer
1 large organic allotment
The Lady Isabella Pickford-Fiennes, a feline of distinction and excellent mouser

Henwife
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Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by Henwife » 23 Jan 2013, 10:34

Ah yes.....rats. If any of the neighbours referred to have bird tables or feed wild birds, then they are as great an attraction to rats as any properly kept chicken run where all spillage is cleared daily. From recent posts on the subject, I gather that treadle feeders keep this to a minimum. Where you have water, you have rats - that's a fact of life. I have chicken, I have water, I have rats - I also have numerous bait boxes and change the bait type regularly. Obviously this cannot eliminate the rat population, but keeps it under control.
Try asking for a 12 month trial of poultry keeping and with an undertaking to cease if there are justifiable complaints. This should give you time to bribe neighbours with fresh eggs! Don't even contemplate keeping a cock as they are as likely to crow throughout the night as during the day. Try to get the board of directors to give you a reason for their refusal - and when you re-apply, refer to vermin control not rats.
Getting a local Primary school involved can sometimes sway a decision - and if they give you a year and then say 'out' the children's reaction makes excellent copy for local papers.
Guinea fowl & a lot of surplus poultry equipment.

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Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by MrsMopp » 23 Jan 2013, 14:46

And also remember we all live near rats regardless of whether chickens are kept. One of the major attractions to a rat, as well as bird food, is the presence of compost bins/heaps which make a perfect nest, together with other dark hiding places like underneath sheds or other temporary constructions. They are particularly keen when the heap contains food waste - which includes raw stuff. Therefore I would imagine that the allotment already has its fair share of the rodents, although admittedly I expect you all try to take all the produce home with you, rather than leaving it for scavenging wildlife :grin:

In terms of positives - food miles, the nutritional goodness of eggs produced well, teaching children the lifecycle and responsibilities of care as well as where their food comes from, efficient use of scarce foodstuffs (recyling the weeds and greens into the beaks), top quality fertiliser, a sense of calm and wellbeing in this frenetic world, the provision of beauty and simple pleasure.

chuck1

Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by chuck1 » 25 Jan 2013, 00:40

I don't understand why you say chickens can't be truly organic. The uncleared area could be have a great advantage as a chicken environment and one thing is for sure, they will clear it for you over a period of time.

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Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by organic chick » 25 Jan 2013, 13:57

From my (very) limited knowledge I am assuming I may at times have to use either veterinary products or treat mites?

Yes, providing we get permission, look forward to hens clearing areas over a period or time. I have just started writing up all the arguments/suggestions gleaned from everyone. So thank you and please keep the comments coming. You are all so knowledgeable.
Penny and Freckles - the WArren Girls'
Star and Flopsy (the latter of the floppy comb) both members of the White Star Faction.
Fedora and Florence the Cream Legbars
Emily (see Emily lay) and Erica the Light Sussex babes
1 current husband aka the structural engineer
1 large organic allotment
The Lady Isabella Pickford-Fiennes, a feline of distinction and excellent mouser

chuck1

Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by chuck1 » 26 Jan 2013, 01:49

There are medical products available for organic systems which are by now, tried and tested. There are some big set ups producing organic eggs and meat. You certainly don't need any of the pollutants that people so many people use. Keeping chickens can be surprisingly simple !

Pekinmum

Re: Presenting a water tight case for keeping chickens

Post by Pekinmum » 26 Jan 2013, 02:33

I should imagine getting all products organic friendly would be quite easy. They must use products to produce organic chickens, sheep, cows, pigs, eggs ect that are accepted but still class the animal as organic??? Best to get in touch with a local organic farm for advise on what they use, it's what I would do.


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