Originally Posted by rightkindofme
Is there any possibility of raising your own chickens? I'm going to build a coop out of found lumber and raise my own because I have ethical qualms about the meat industry.
Yes, we want so badly to do this again. As I've mentioned on other threads here, and maybe some on this thread but I'm not sure, we actually did keep free-range chickens for about a year. We have a big, double-lot yard, which is completely fenced in, both front and back, and dh had converted our detached garage into a sort of barn, with hay and everything, which he would clean out and replace on a daily basis, and he kept a space heater in there to keep them warm in the winter, and a big industrial-strength fan to cool them in the summer, and during the day he'd open the door and just let them roam all over the yard.
This went well for about a year, and we even had a police officer on horseback who'd come about some other issue in the neighborhood, stop to admire them and ask to take pictures, so dh got pictures of him on his horse and he got pictures of the chicks...but then, a little over a year ago, some city officials came to see our neighbor who'd been buying old vehicles, taking them apart on our street which is not zoned for business, and selling the parts.
And one of them noticed our birds running around in our fenced-in yard and called Animal Control. And they came and took them because we hadn't gotten signatures from all the neighbors within a 100-foot radius, and they weren't willing to give us a few days to get the signatures because we should have already had everything in order before getting them, and since dh was quite upset, someone radioed the police in case they needed backup, and a police officer got concerned because our girls were very dirty from playing and digging in the dirt all day, and their hair was messy, and she saw that our house was also messy when she looked through our open front door...so she called the child abuse hotline, and a social worker showed up soon after the police and Animal Control people left...
And everything went okay with CPS -- no case was even opened -- but for a long time, I just felt really on edge and didn't want to do anything to attract any more attention to our family. But lately dh and I have been talking about doing everything we need to do to be in compliance, and then starting over again with new chickens, It would be wonderful! Dh would need to obtain some kind of fencing to keep them in just one section of the yard, because Animal Control said they can't just be totally free-range in the city, plus, now that we don't have AC and can't get it fixed anytime soon, we'd need to get a second industrial strength fan because we need one in the house to enable us to sleep on really hot nights. I also think dh said he sold the space heater, so I think we'd need to buy another one. Plus the signatures...this will be a challenge because our next door neighbor is pretty much convinced, for some reason, that dh's been the one who's created all the problems between him and the city...
But hopefully we'll still be able to have chickens again in the not too distant future. And good luck with yours!