Regarding the Boulder City Council’s proposal to limit residents to a maximum of six chickens (Boulder Monitor, Mar. 1): My husband Dean and I have been raising chickens off and on for many years, including when our youngest was in grade school. He cared for ducks, geese, rabbits and quail. We typically go to each of our neighbors’ homes – especially new neighbors – and tell them about our birds, especially roosters. We have not had any complaints that I am aware of. I know of a few other people in town who raise chickens. We have been called if a chicken “escapes” or is found to help capture and return. Even that has not happened in many years.
I really disagree that chickens at large are a problem, especially while we still have dogs at large, deer, coyotes, skunks, etc. We were once approached on the need for a city license, as we sell eggs to friends. That permit refers solely to any business that makes a profit. Well, I keep track. We do not make a profit so we did not get a permit.
In regards to statements made by City Council member Bear Taylor, quoted in the Boulder Monitor’s March 1 article on this topic, I think “if a guy wanted to open up a chicken farm in town we couldn’t stop him” cannot be true. That would certainly be a business and fall under a different category than poultry license. I really wonder what Taylor means when he said,” I’ve had enough people asking about it to where there’s reason for concern.” I do not understand what people are asking about or what the concern is. I also do not understand what “uncomfortable situations” need to be prevented. Is the City Council stepping in for neighbors who should talk to each other?
Considering the average size of yards in Boulder, I do not agree that there needs to be a limit. We are not side by side, as in Butte. We have over 20 hens. Last summer we had seven roosters. That was not by choice, and during that time there were no complaints. We have since moved them to a country setting.
In regards to the Boulder Monitor article quoting Taylor as saying owners are “required to contain the amount of feces on the property,” this is not measurable. It takes up to 90 days to compost chicken manure. We also compost food scraps. That “soil” goes into the garden when we plant. The article also stresses the significance of “maintaining a clean and healthy environment,” which I agree is important to all animals and people. However, this is the individuals responsibility. As reported, we “want people to be responsible for themselves.”
Finally, We will pay a license fee and in good faith expect the money to support the Boulder Community through services, i.e. fire, snow plowing, ambulance and parks, etc.
Connie Grenz is a resident of Boulder.
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