What will come first?

Parksville to look into allowing chickens in yards

There appears to be a lot of support for backyard chickens in Parksville.

Seven members of the gallery spoke at Wednesday’s town hall style council meeting at Ballenas Secondary School, and the closest to opposition was a man who said he supported the idea, but the city had to do their research and make sure they plan for the negative aspects including noise, smell, predators and irresponsible owners.

The discussion was sparked by a letter from Holly Tillotson asking council to allow people to keep a small number of egg laying chickens within the city.

“Chickens are an integral part of a backyard ecosystem that includes using most kitchen compost as a food source along with some garden/grass clippings, production of fertilizer for the garden, production of eggs which are truly locally grown reducing transportation costs and the carbon footprint substantially,” the letter said.

“We were just wanting to keep a few chickens to have our own eggs,” she told The News.

The benefits would be numerous including chickens being “excellent consumers of garden pests such as bugs and slugs, and can be used to keep weeds in check,” as well as providing learning experiences for children.

Lana Harach with the local 4H poultry club was the first to speak, touting the benefits including getting eggs much fresher than the average 30 day old commercial eggs, cutting down on waste and environmental impact and providing youth with a chance to learn about gardening, animals, self reliance and food security.

She said that raising four chickens would allow children to join 4H which she sold as a valuable experience where she learnt everything from public speaking to science.

Councillor Marc Lefebvre said he was nervous about the idea until he talked to public health officials and councillors in Nanaimo where they allow it, who convinced him it is a good idea.

Coun. Sue Powell said she worked on an industrial chicken farm when she was younger which was a disturbing experience and she stressed that the Island’s limited food production makes raising urban chickens a good idea.

Adam Schug said he is not a farmer or expert, but addressed some of the myths, suggesting the waste doesn’t stink as much as that of other urban pets and can be used as compost and that small groups of bird are much less susceptible to disease than large industrial operations.

While several people cautioned against roosters and suggested limiting the number and planning for dealing with the end of chicken’s life, everyone appeared supportive, including the mayor and four of five councillors present speaking in favour.

Council asked staff for a report on bylaw options weighing the pros and cons.

Tillotson invites everyone to join the Backyard Chickens In Parksville Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/263651297002346/.


Just Posted

The proposed running track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary is now on course. (PQB News file photo)
RDN: Parksville track upgrade project gains some traction

Staff recommends board approve $204,000 funding

The total earnings of Town of Qualicum Beach council and mayor amounted to $186,649 in 2020, including expenses. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Nine Qualicum Beach town employees earned more than $100K in 2020

Mayor and council received earnings totalling $186,649

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read