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Californian Chicken Could Come Home to Roost

by 5m Editor
4 July 2008, at 9:02am

US - The Californian city of Sonoma has reviewed the possibility of relaxing current restrictions on keeping poultry within the city limits.

Current poultry regulations, which require a minimum lot size of 10,000 square feet, make it difficult for people with smaller lots to own flocks of chickens or warrens of rabbits, as does the required setback from neighboring houses of 50 to 100 feet. However, according to the Sonoma News, the issue came before the council not because of a citizen clamor for more chickens but because Mayor Joanne Sanders believes Sonoma residents should be free to grow more of their own food.

She found an impassioned ally for that cause in Bob Cannard, whose roots in organic gardening and chicken husbandry run deep. Cannard addressed the council to relay advice from his 75 years of chicken raising.

"My earliest memory in life," he said, "is of chicks in a box alongside a kitchen cast iron stove." Claiming that the average distance food travels today "is over 2,000 miles," and that food prices may eventually "quadruple," Cannard told the Sonoma News, "We absolutely have to develop locally-raised food."

According to the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington, D.C.,-based nonprofit agency that promotes sustainable policies, food in the United States now travels between 1,500 and 2,500 miles from farm to table, 25 percent farther than it did 20 years ago.

View the Sonoma News story by clicking here.

5m Editor