Children up the pressure over chickens

Three Cranbrook children submitted drawings including the one above to council to ask it to reconsider allowing backyard chickens. - For the Townsman
Three Cranbrook children submitted drawings including the one above to council to ask it to reconsider allowing backyard chickens.
— image credit: For the Townsman

Three more children put their support behind the city allowing backyard chickens within its limits.

At the July 14 council meeting, council received letters from Iris, Lily and Cianne hoping the city will change its bylaws which prohibit keeping backyard chickens.

The letters also prompted the mayor to announce he would be bringing a motion on the matter to council at the August 18 meeting.

Eight-year-old Iris wrote that she’s always wanted to raise backyard chickens.

“I am writing this letter because I really love chickens,” she wrote. “If I had chickens my family would get lots of fresh eggs.”

Lily, also 8, said raising chickens would teach her about responsibility.

“My sister and I really want to hatch our own chickens,” she wrote. “If you could please let us have some chickens in Cranbrook we would be so happy.”

Cianne, 10, also wrote to council.

“I always wanted to live on a farm but my family lives in town,” she wrote. “I really want to have chickens. I would like to learn how to properly take care of animals.”

She said a family member does have a farm in Jaffray so she already has a source for fertilized eggs. The problem is that chickens are not allowed.

The kids’ letters were also accompanied by artwork that illustrates life with backyard chickens.

“When we look at this issue, I think it has to be part of a larger policy or bylaw concerning many of the issues that we’ve been talking about,” Mayor Wayne Stetski said. “That is an urban farm bylaw, which a number of communities have across British Columbia.”

He said it would look at not only urban chickens, but also things like using vacant city blocks for gardening opportunities.

Stetski will be bringing a motion forward for council consideration around creating an urban farm bylaw for Cranbrook.

“We really appreciate young people taking the time to tell us what kind of a future they’d like to see in Cranbrook,” Stetski said after Coun. Sharon Cross decided she would be hanging one of the drawings on her fridge.

In 2012, a resident requested that the city put in rules to allow certain livestock, such as goats, turkeys and chickens, to be raised in Cranbrook city limits. That was voted down.

Then, last month, the backyard chicken issue reemerged when 12-year-old Sierra brought it forward in a letter to council.


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