A few exciting things are happening regarding chickens, specifically laying hens, in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. If you read this blog regularly, you know that our group, 4 Chesapeake Hens, got laying hens legalized in residential backyards in Chesapeake, Virginia, with certain restrictions. If you need details, the ordinance passed was TA-Z-12-07 with changes to allow up to six hens and removal of the privacy fencing requirement. The text of the new ordinance is available online here. There's also a 1-year sunset clause on the ordinance.
Spring is on its way, and fans of our Facebook page are excited. They are ordering eggs to hatch and chicks to raise. Or they are finding sources for pullets and building their coops or chicken tractors. My husband, Don, has been busy fencing in 1/3 of our backyard to protect our "girls" from our dogs. He has also been building a chicken tractor. I promise to post pictures soon. I have two Buff Orpingtons and a Delaware that have been waiting at a nearby farm. Hopefully, I'll be able to bring them home this Sunday!
The change in the law got some positive publicity on a local television station, WTKR. Chesapeake resident Anna Ogle has two children with autism. With the new law, the children can finally have their therapy chickens! Here's a link to the video.
Our group will be presenting about chickens at a family-friendly event at the Chesapeake Central Library on Saturday, February 16, 2012, at 2 PM. There will be songs, stories, and a craft for the kids, and information for the parents about keeping backyard laying hens. That same weekend there will be a Sustainable Living Fair at Old Dominion University in nearby Norfolk, VA, so our group will be working with Portsmouth Hen Keepers, 4 Virginia Beach Hens, and Hampton Roads Hens to run a display and spread the word about laying hens and sustainability.
On March 2-3, Pat Foreman, the author of City Chicks, will give a 2-day intensive workshop in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Successful completion of this workshop will lead to a "Certified Backyard Chicken Keeper" certification. For more information about the Master Chicken Keeper program, visit Chickens and You.
Guess who signed up? First I longed for urban chickens, then I became a chicken activist, now I'm the "Chesapeake Chicken Lady." Why not a Certified Backyard Chicken Keeper to top it all off?