Legalize Chickens DIY – Part 3 March 21, 2014

The first part of this blog series on how to work toward legalizing backyard pet chickens in your area can be found here. The second “legalize chickens” post can be found here.

By now, you’ve done some research so you know what the laws are, who can change them, and you have a proposal to do so. At this point, there are two different ways to go.

1. You could present your legalize chickens proposal directly to the council or board members who can change the laws.

Flora the Speckled Sussex shows off her plumage while foraging

Flora the Speckled Sussex shows off her plumage while foraging

Pros: This allows you to proceed quickly. But the satisfaction of quick action isn’t always reflected in its effectiveness.

Cons: It is not always persuasive to go in all alone, as it were. There are all sorts of changes people want to make to their communities: add a stop sign, remove a speed bump. Improve holiday decorations. Change the venue of a fireworks display. Etc. You’ll be speaking to someone who deals with requests like this all the time. For as many people as want a speed limit reduced in a neighborhood, there may be just as many who want it to stay the same or even be increased! If you go in all alone and without adequate preparation, your request just won’t always inspire action. In some cases, it won’t even get you a meeting… or it will get you a meeting just to

2. You could gather local support for your legalize chickens proposal first, and then present the proposal from your group.

Legalize chickens to have access to eggs like these!

Who wouldn’t want a big, beautiful basket of fresh backyard eggs like these?

Pros: You’ll go in from a strong position; you’re more likely to get a meeting, and more likely to be seriously listened to. If you have a group of supporters, you’re more likley to have someone good at the tasks you need to have done for the project to be successful. Seeing bumper stickers like this legalize chickens magnetic bumper sticker start popping up all over your community can be a surprisingly powerful statement!

Cons: This requires a lot of work and organization. It may even require public speaking. Are you up to it? Is there someone in your group who is?

Which way should you go? It depends. If, during the research phase, you found that one or more council persons or board members already previously supported legalizing chickens, it can be a good idea to approach that person directly and immediately. Make an appointment, and simply ask: do you see any problems with this proposal? Does it adequately address the concerns that the opposition had (such as adding a prohibition against roosters)?  Would you be willing to sponsor or support the proposal? 

Alternatively, it can be a powerful statement to go into a meeting like this with the support of a “Legalize chickens in ____” group. 

Either way, you could create a petition to show support, and/or come in with a powerful visual statement: a basket of beautiful, multi-colored eggs from backyard hens, or a single egg to crack and show the difference in yolk color between backyard pastured eggs and factory farm eggs. You can bring in information about how much healthier backyard eggs are!

Next week: Petitions.

 

 

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