For more than three years, Pascale Boutet Michel Phaneuf and collect eggs in the chicken coop they laid next to their house, located in the residential area of Sherbrooke. All this in complete contravention with the law.
Far from raising poultry in secret in September, both residents of the rue d’Orléans are passionate about permaculture and are simply motivated by the desire to eat fresh produce and environmentally responsible manner.
“We did not at all feel like pioneers, Mr. Phaneuf nuance. We are far from being the first to have chickens in Sherbrooke. ”
After having a mobile chicken house, the couple converted part of his shed where he installed nesting boxes and perches in addition to creating an outdoor area with climbing frames. At a rate of $ 140 for making the chicken coop (with lots of material recovered) and $ 30 a month for food, breeding them allows them to get close to 50 eggs a week during the summer and about twenty per time cold, winter.
Never a complaint was made against them.
“The important thing is communication, as in any project a little unconventional, says Ms. Boutet. We must reach out to neighbors, inform them of what we want to do and ensure that if there is any problem or a nuisance, we will make corrections. We always make sure to ask the neighbors to make sure everything is correct, because some might be reluctant to do so to avoid conflicts. I focus on well-being and that of my chickens. ”
Far from disturbing the neighbors, they are even there rather their account.
“There is no smell, it makes no noise at all and they even bring us eggs sometimes mentions Julie, a neighbor. This is a good project that does not bother anyone, and children like to go see the chickens. ”
“You do not buy the silence of our neighbors with eggs! however, warns Pascale Boutet laughs.
“We really believes in sharing, we find it normal to do so and it is a way to promote good values,” says one who cherishes the idea of creating a community garden and a chicken coop eventually.
“Not for anyone”
Even if it is not more difficult to take care of a hen to care for a cat or dog, according to Pascal Boutet, this is not necessarily suitable for everyone.
“It is important to learn, because you can not pass a day without going to the chickens. We must ensure that they are in a good environment, whether water, food, and the henhouse clean. It involves changing the mulch once a week, as a change litter. the person must know what she embarks, this is not for anyone. ”
“We must also be able to dispose of when the end of life, they are sick or they produce more. You can not just give your chickens in town or bring them to the SPA, “notes Michel Phaneuf.
“Not for a year”
Although the record of urban chickens is growing in Sherbrooke and is taken seriously by councilors, it will not be an afterthought in the public consultation on the regulatory overhaul planned in May and June, says Nicole Bergeron.
“It is expected that a brief be filed and that citizens come to us about it, and we will be very open, but it should not be for a year,” says the chair of the Planning Advisory Committee and the agricultural Advisory Committee to the City of Sherbrooke.
In a meeting last Wednesday, the Agricultural Advisory Committee felt it was better to take time to properly adapt the rules and enjoy the fact that Drummondville now allow urban chickens to observe the different issues that could draw them.
“It is open to urban chickens, because we see that this is a trend, but it must be done well and adapted to our needs. It has 70% of the territory of Sherbrooke which is rural and it could include in urban agriculture. There are chickens, but regulations could also include bees, for example. We need to think more broadly, so as to manage and supervise the practice thereafter. ”
Questioned on what would happen urban poultry operators in the territory of the municipality by any regulation, Brompton District Councillor reiterated that it was illegal to keep chickens and that they still face fines, while specifying that “it is not the priority of the inspectors of the City of chasing people who do it are no complaints.”
“What happens with offenders or those who are not responsible? Because that is when there are problems we must rely on a solid settlement. It also requires that the animals are well treated and that no nuisance. Municipalities have already wanted to go too fast in some cases related to animals and had to retract later. what we do not want that to be our case. ”