Fresh eggs for ur­ban res­i­dents

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

and their early-morn­ing wake-up calls into ur­ban ar­eas at all.

Most coun­cils have spa­tial reg­u­la­tions around the size of a backyard and chick­en­re­lated hous­ing too.

For ex­am­ple, Auck­land Coun­cil states that all chick­ens need to have ac­cess to a solid chicken house that should be at least 10 me­tres from an oc­cu­pied house and at least three me­tres away from any public place or bound­ary, while Whangarei Dis­trict Coun­cil’s re­stric­tions are slightly dif­fer­ent.

The area where chick­ens run around needs to be well fenced to pre­vent your neigh­bours re­ceiv­ing un­ex­pected guests –and sur­prise eggs – too.

Living in the city poses safety is­sues for chick­ens, so coops should have lock­able doors and be raised off the ground to keep preda­tors like cats and dogs out.

‘‘They’re also amaz­ing at destroying a lawn,’’ Jensen says. ‘‘ Give them a large area so they don’t turn your lawn into a dust bowl. If you care about keep­ing your grass in good con­di­tion, make sure you move your coop reg­u­larly; a por­ta­ble coop makes this a much eas­ier job.’’

Jensen says prospec­tive chicken own­ers need to think about the fu­ture too. ‘‘Chick­ens don’t lay eggs for­ever, so you need to think about what you’re go­ing to do when they stop. At some point you may have to part ways with them – con­sider mak­ing a post on Neigh­bourly – you’re bound to find some­one else in the neigh­bour­hood who’ll be happy to take them.’’ Aren’t chick­ens smelly? ‘‘Chick­ens them­selves aren’t es­pe­cially smelly; chicken poo on your lawn is,’’ he says. ‘‘Reg­u­larly clean­ing their coop keeps un­wel­come aro­mas at bay. It’s not a fun job so make sure you get a coop that’s easy to clean.’’

Th­ese days there are com­pa­nies that of­fer a noobli­ga­tion six-week ‘‘try be­fore you buy’’ ser­vice if you love the idea of hav­ing fresh eggs ev­ery morn­ing but aren’t sure if adopt­ing chick­ens is right for you.

They’ll turn up to your place with two chick­ens, a coop, feed, hay for your new friends to roost in, and plenty of ad­vice to get you started. And they’ll take it all away if you de­cide chick­ens aren’t re­ally your thing.

Con­tact your coun­cil to find out if you can have chick­ens at your place.

Rob Jensen says chick­ens are part of his new sus­tain­able life­style.

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