PASSED BY DENVER CITY COUNCIL. ALL LOTS MAY HAVE 8 CHICKENS/DUCKS AND
2 GOATS AS OF JUNE 2011. OUR CAMPAIGN WAS A SUCCESS.
NOTE that Denver Urban Homesteading sells organic chicken
feed, organic goat feed and chicken coops. We host monthly chicken
swaps where you can buy and sell chickens, rabbits and goats.
CHICKENS! was created because of
the belief that Denver residents should have the right to own chickens.
Denver has a 50 year-old law that bans chickens in some areas and allows
them in others, but only after a very complicated permitting procedure and
payment of $150 for a one-year permit. The law was made when Denver was
trying to shed its cowtown image by banning large, poorly-kept chicken
farms. Times have changed, and backyard farmers who want fresh eggs
for themselves and for their families have replaced the chicken farms of
generations ago. We think that every Denver property owner or tenant should
be able to have up to six chickens. We are not advocating roosters.
chickens, or hens, are quiet and only cluck for a few minutes after they lay
an egg. (Roosters are not needed for this process: hens produce eggs
as do other birds and mammals regardless of whether such eggs are fertilized.)
Their waste makes excellent fertilizer, and with 1-6 chickens it rarely
smells with even semi-routine cleaning of their coops, especially if the
coop has a bed of hay, clippings, wood chips, etc.
They produce food which is a
bonus especially during times of economic uncertainty, and which is
especially helpful to low-income families and those who live in "food
· They are good for the
environment. Essentially small biorefineries, chickens take in kitchen
garden wastes, producing eggs and fertilizer.
They make great pets, are
entertaining to watch, and help bring families and neighbors together.
They teach children where food
comes from, and taking care of them teaches the children responsibility and that
there are valuable things in life other than IPODs, text messaging, internet
chats, video games...you get the idea.
Virtually all of the eggs at
supermarkets are from chickens that spend their entire lives in tiny boxes,
never seeing the light of day until their egg production begins to decline
and they are slaughtered. Backyard chickens live much better lives
than factory chickens and
make our elementary schools legal and to encourage them to continue their
great teaching. We’re aware that a number of public and private elementary
schools in Denver raise chicks in the classroom, and one second grade
teacher told us that “it is the most significant educational event the kids
have all year.” While a few get permits, most don’t. It is an absurdity
that these schools are in violation of the law for going the extra mile to
educate our young ones.
one can have chickens without a permit in Lakewood,
Longmont, Ft. Collins, Colorado
Springs, Centennial, Littleton, etc. Nationally one can have chickens
without a permit in New York City,
Miami, Los Angeles, etc.
Denver law currently allows people to own an unlimited
numbers of snakes, an unlimited number of rats, and up to 25 pigeons without
Our goal is to
change Denver’s zoning ordinance by removing the requirement for a permit
for up to six chickens, no roosters. We have worked to convince our
representatives at City Council to change the law for nearly two years when
a campaign was initiated in February 2009 under the name Denver
Backyard Farms to do this. But we have been unsuccessful.
two polls were taken. Denver City Councilwoman Carla Madison conducted
an internet poll and 80% of the respondents were in favor of three chickens
without a permit. Denver City Councilwoman Jeanne Robb conducted an
internet poll and 60% of the respondents were in favor of six chickens
without a permit. We think six chickens is reasonable and likely to be
acceptable to a majority of Denver voters.
have begun an initiative process to change the law. We are exercising our
democratic rights to seek to change the law via the ballot box because our
elected representatives have not done it for us. (Our supporters in
City Council have urgent demands placed on them and they have not dealt with
this issue. We bear them no grudge for this; we simply have different
HOW YOU CAN
sign the petition to get this question on the ballot. If
we get enough signatures quickly, this will be on the November 2011 ballot. The initiative
Shall the voters of
the City and County of Denver adopt an Initiated Ordinance to allow the
keeping of up to six chickens - but no roosters - as an accessory use to
either a residential use or an urban garden use, regardless of whether the
urban garden use is a primary or accessory use in nature, without having to
obtain any special permit or be subject to the Animal Keeping Exception
requirements of the zoning ordinance.
can sign at any of the following locations:
DENVER URBAN HOMESTEADING, 200
Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80223 HOURS: Wed, Thurs, Fri 1-6, Saturday 9-2
FEATHER COFFEE, 742 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO
CRAFTS, 1 S Broadway, Denver
2199 California Street, Denver
also volunteer. We need
petitions signed. You can be an individual who is willing to get
petitions signed in public places or at events, or a business/organization
that can get them signed at your place of business. (Only Denver
registered voters can sign the petition, however.)
us organize the volunteers.
ruffled the City's feathers with our pro-chicken campaign, they claim they
are now serious about passing a law to allow chickens, and unfortunately to
ban slaughtering. Even though chicken owners have slaughtered their
chickens for centuries and still do it today all over the world, this
necessary activity may soon be prohibited here even though there are no
issues with it. And chicken owners will become outlaws when they
dispatch their birds. If Denver bans slaughtering, its citizens will
become even more reliant on the industrial-agricultural complex.