Monday, April 26, 2010

Raleigh's Tour d'Coop

Raleigh's Fifth Annual Tour d'Coop is Saturday 5/15 from 10-4. If you want to see what all this fuss is about, check it out. It's also a great way to get ideas for your own coop. I attended the first one out of curiosity and fell in love with chickens, so beware!

Another booth at IBM

IBM in RTP is home to 10,000 employees, including me. I had a Friends of Hens booth for their "Take Your Child to Work Day" and "Earth Day" event on Thursday 4/22. It was a well organized and well-attended event. Many parents and their children came by to see my white silkie and her golden laced polish chick. Lots of them knew someone with chickens or were planning on getting some themselves. I guess it's not the crazy idea it once was (and I like that).

Monday, April 19, 2010

White Deer Park "Get Your Green On"

We had a successful booth for both Friends of Hens and Garner Grows at White Deer Park on Saturday. Many people came by to see Rosie the Serama hen and her three baby dark brahma bantam chicks (and her sister Rose). Thank you to the Town of Garner for allowing us to bring the hens as an educational exhibit.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chick Days

Hudson's Hardware in Garner and Clayton is having Chick Days now. They have a great variety of chicks! If anyone in the Garner area is interested in keeping pet chickens, we can provide a tour and advice.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hens in Garner - resolution is no resolution

On 2/23, the Law and Finance Committee (composed of two council members) came to the work session split on whether or not to recommend a change to the current ordinance which allows for 4 hens on 1 acre lots or larger. Gra Singleton pointed out that Raleigh has no restrictions and no issues. Ken Marshburn said he wouldn't support it because of HOAs [but that is really a separate issue and disregards all the people in Garner not under an HOA]. Buck Kennedy said that he received more letters about this issue than any other and they were 5 to 1 in favor of chickens, but... he could not support it because there would be pandemonium in Garner if it were to change [I haven't noticed pandemonium in Raleigh, Apex, Wake Forest...]. Kathy Behringer, who told me before the election at the grand opening of White Deer Park that she was in favor of this and her husband wanted to get some hens, now said she didn't support it. She said that although some people [me] are responsible, she didn't think the people in Garner would be. [What does that say about what she thinks of her constituents?] She also said if you were interested in chickens, get a variance from your HOA. [What? They are unlawful but go ahead and get permission from your HOA? That makes no sense]. Jackie Johns didn't seem to have a strong opinion either way, but sided with the majority.

Since there was not enough support for a vote, it died in committee.

I came away from the meeting disappointed at the reasons the council members gave for not supporting it. It was more prejudice and hear-say than anything else. People who don't like hens can't point to a small backyard flock of hens that bother them - they just don't like the "idea" of hens. The fact is there are hens in Garner and no one knows it because they are so insignificant. There is no pandemonium.

We are not giving up. We will keep this campaign going. Unfortunately, no one is up for reelection until 11/2011, not that campaign promises mean anything as I experienced firsthand. We will have to change the minds of the current council, and make them earn our vote next time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Will we even get a vote?

Updated 2/19 with new date and time:
The Law and Finance Committee will present their recommendation on whether or not to move forward with the revised chicken ordinance at the next Town Council meeting Tuesday 2/23 at 6PM. If they move forward, there will be a public comment session scheduled, and then a vote by the town council. If not, this will be considered dead without a final vote.

Although the opposition was allowed to speak at the last meeting, the public will not be allowed to speak at this one. Sorry to all those that have asked me when your chance to speak will be. Hopefully this will move forward and there will be a public comment session.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More coverage

Opinion piece in the Garner Clayton Record

Good synopsis in a Sustainable Living Blog based out of Pittsboro, NC

Infromational Packet

Link to Informational Packet given to the Mayor and Town Council Members. Note - due to size, it is split into two sections.

Section I - Why We Want Chickens

Section II - Myths and Issues Dispelled, Supporting Documentation

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Want to know why we want hens and what the concerns are?

Here is the initial presentation to Garner Town Council and the research document.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Latest! But not the Greatest.

General Restrictions

- Hens allowed in residential areas (HOA restrictive covenants would not be affected)
- No roosters (males)
- Hens are to be pets and not used for commercial activity; no selling chickens or eggs would be allowed.
- All coops and runs must be located in the rear yard and not be located in the side, front, or corner side yards.
- Up to 10 hens are allowed per lot, regardless of the size of the lot and the number of dwelling units on that lot.
- A coop is required to shelter the hens. An outdoor run is optional.
- The floor area of the coop shall be at least 4 square feet per chicken when an outdoor run is provided. If no outdoor run is provided, and the chickens are enclosed all the time, at least 10 square feet of floor area per chicken is required.
- If provided, the run must be at least 10 square feet of floor area per chicken.

Coops and Runs with no screening (attachment C)

- The setback for all coops and runs is 15 feet from any rear lot line. The setback from any side or corner-side lot line is the same as that of the dwelling unit on that lot.
- A total of 144 square feet of footprint area is allowed for the coop and run.
- Hen coops and shelters, including any surrounding cages and runs are limited to 6 feet tall from the ground to the top of the structure including supporting blocks, poles, or legs.

Coops and Runs with screening (attachement D)

This applies to yards that are enclosed with a solid 6-foot fence
- No setback is required as long as all structures and enclosures are located in the rear yard, and the top of any structure, run, or coop does not exceed 6 feet.
- For every foot a structure, coop, pen, or run exceeds 6 feet, the setback is 2 feet. Up to 10 feet in height is the maximum.
- A total of 400 square feet of footprint area is allowed for the coop and run.


- All runs, coops, and pens must be kept clean on a regular basis so as not to create any public health hazard or nuisance issue such as offensive odors to adjoining properties.

Permits & Enforcement

- A one-time Zoning Compliance Permit from the Planning Department would be required ($25). If a fence permit (for screening) is applied for at the same time, there would be one fee.

Town of Garner Documents

These are public record and available for you to look at here. They are original with no changes.

1/6/10 Memo from Town Attorney regarding restrictive covenants and his advice against 1) Requiring HOA permission for chicken permit, and 2) Neighbor consent prior to chicken permit.

1/5/10 Memo from Planning Dept with suggested standards, if the town council decides to go forward with changes to the existing ordinance.

Letter from Animal Sanctuary against keeping chickens, brought to the committee meeting by Council member Kathy Behringer.

11/4/09 Memo from Planning Dept with research and recommendations.

Monday, January 11, 2010

N&O article

The N&O reprinted the article from the Garner Clayton Record in today's paper on page 3B.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Garner Clayton Record article

This article came out today. I'd prefer my garden and compost wasn't on the front page, but at least the hens are pretty.

Friends of Hens t-shirts

Pre-order a Friends of Hens t-shirt to wear around town and to the Town of Garner Public Comment Session. (Pictured here on girl eating chocolate cake batter - chocolate cake not included with tshirt order)

-- Mens, Womens, Childrens, and Toddler sizes in LOTS of colors
-- Locally printed here in Garner
-- $10 each or 2 for $15 or 3 for $21
-- Canvas shopping bags also available

Available colors here:
email me your order and contact information: