Sunday, August 10, 2008

Our second Farmer's Market visit!

Golden Sebright Bantam Hen

Yet again, the hens attracted a lot of attention at the Wake Forest Farmer's Market this weekend. Folks who were there to peruse the fresh produce, cut flowers, and local honey, also flocked toward the gazebo to see the 6 little bantam hens in the Bissette's chicken ark. I made sure to purchase my 2 jugs of 'front porch' honey and some loaves of bread early in the morning so I wouldn't miss out.

We borrowed some Bantams for visitors to see at the Market. There were 4 different varieties in the coop this time, 2 Seramas, 2 Golden Sebrights, a White Crested Black Polish, and a Spangled Old English Game Hen. Many folks thought the Crested Polish Hen was the neatest looking hen they had ever seen. The question "What's that fluffy-headed one called?" was heard several times Saturday morning. Others remarked about the beautiful plumage on the Golden Sebrights and the white speckled Old English Game Hen. Visitors also remarked about the tiny egg size these Bantam birds lay.

Dave Bissette was often holding one of his friendly Ameracauna hens. He brought 'Skunky' and 'Goldy' for market goers to pet, since the bantam varieties can be a little 'flighty'. Skunky's name surprised many visitors, because she doesn't look (or smell) anything like a skunk. When she was a tiny chick, though, she had a black stripe down her head and back so the Bissette's named her 'Skunky'. She is now one of the most friendly birds in their flock.

We were able to get more than 100 additional signatures on the petition again this Saturday. It was great to see the swell of support for Backyard Chickens in Wake Forest, and many folks were pleased to read a poster listing the suggested amendments that will be presented to the Town Board of Commissioners in the near future. They had to be finalized to be included in the packet I turned in at town hall. I hope they're written with enough 'legalese' to make sense to the Commissioners and the Mayor.
We ARE on the agenda - and we WILL be there to make our presentation to the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners on August 19th. Please come and show your support! The meeting starts at 7pm. (I think I'm going to show up early!)

Suggested amendments and requirements to Code 1985, § 3-26 include: (changes in italics)

Sec. 6-51. Required.
No person shall stable, tie or otherwise keep within the town, nearer than 500 feet to any dwelling house, apartment or other residence occupied by any person, without first obtaining a permit in writing signed by the town and issued as provided in this division, any of the following types of animals:
(1) Cattle;
(2) Horses;
(3) Mules;
(4) Swine;
(5) Sheep;
(6) Goats; or
(7) Fowl, excluding domesticated hens as stated in Sec. 6-56.

(Code 1985, § 3-26)

(Addition of Sec. 6-56. ) Sec. 6-56. Domesticated Hens.
1) No person shall allow his or her hens to run at large within the corporate limits of the town.
2) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep more than twenty (20) hens within the corporate limits of the town.
3) Domesticated Hens are permitted only in Residential areas with Zoning of R-15 or above.
4) Hens must be kept a minimum of thirty (30) feet from the nearest residence other than that of the owner, unless that neighbor has given expressed written permission.
5) All hen coops and pens must be enclosed on all sides, including the top, using predator proof wire.
6) Enclosures must be clean, dry, and odor free; kept in a neat and sanitary condition at all times..
7) Hen coops and pens must be maintained in an attractive fashion. All coop plan elevations must be submitted to the town permitting office for approval.
8) Hens must be kept in an enclosure or fenced-in area at all times. During daylight hours, hens may be allowed outside of their coop in a securely fenced yard if supervised. Hens shall be secured within the coop during non-daylight hours.
9) It shall be prohibited to raise hens for commercial purposes within the corporate limits of the town without a livestock permit.
10) Processing of animals for personal consumption within public view is prohibited within town limits.
11) Roosters are not permitted within the corporate limits of the town, unless written approval is obtained along with the livestock permit.

1 comment:

Twinville said...

We have polish chickens, too. They are a big hit with our visitors, too. Definetely a great chicken to have for the entertainment value, but not so great for egg laying capabilities. haha!

Good luck with those ordinance changes getting approved :)