Allow roosters and more than 4-6 hens in North Port with a permit
Hello residents of north port, I am Haley. I want to propose an idea and kind of get the public’s INFORMED view of what I am saying.
Currently, north port allows 4 hens on a single lot and 6 hens if you have 2 lots with roosters prohibited. If you are someone who does NOT keep chickens, please read all of this post before replying.
The reasoning behind prohibiting roosters: public nuisance
The reasoning behind prohibiting more than 4-6 hens: “detrimental to the health, safety, and general welfare of the citezenry of this municipality.”
The illnesses that are being used to claim that chickens are detrimental to the public health are EASILY prevented, or extremely rare.
Things you can do to prevent health problems caused by chickens:
1.) It is very important to wash your hands after going around your chickens, collecting eggs, etc.
2.) follow CDC guidelines to keep a healthy flock
3.) keep your coop clean and wear a mask when cleaning your coop
When these things are done, chickens can be kept safely. It is recommended that you keep 2 chickens per member of your household, because chickens lay 1 egg a day and occasionally skip days. This will help you keep up with the egg production your family needs. Everyone should keep backyard poultry to provide healthy organic fresh eggs for their family. The nutrient content of your eggs relies on the diet and health of your chickens. Unfortunately, the chickens used in mass egg production are not given proper exercise and/or nutrition. The purpose and use of a rooster is extremely important to the health of your flock as well. Roosters will not only fight off predators to protect the hens but they keep hens from fighting each other. They will ensure their hens go into the coop at night to keep them safe from predators.
A quote from Murray McMurray hatchery, a hatchery that has been providing chicks to people and farmers for over 100 years.
“Flocks with roosters have a better social order and tend to have happier hens. Roosters will keep order in the flock, forage and locate food for their hens, protect their flock, and even help them to find locations to lay their eggs. While some may select to have a flock without a rooster due to its noise and aggressive behavior, it is important to note that hens can be just as aggressive. In the absence of a rooster, one of the hens will naturally take on the role of the rooster and the leader of the flock.
Roosters are born with a natural instinct to protect their flock. These guardians of the flock are more alert than their hens, always on alert and taking a high position to scan the skies and surroundings for predators. Their crowing warns their flock of any dangers.
Having a rooster can lead to happier hens. They will forage and locate food and call to their hens to alert them it’s time to eat, then they stand guard while the flock eats.
Another benefit of having a rooster is having fertilized eggs. One rooster can keep as many as twelve hens’ eggs fertilized. These eggs are still edible, and are great for those looking to raise more generations of chickens for food or just expand their flock naturally.
Many breeds of roosters make good meat birds. They mature more quickly than some breeds of hens, and their larger size makes them desirable for roasting. Take a look at our Cockerel Assortments when looking for a mix of meat birds.
For those interested in showing their birds, roosters not only showcase their breed’s features, but it’s necessary to show both the male and female in some competitions. Take note of the rules for entering before ordering your chicks, as many require a trio or a complete set of hens and cockerels.”
While a hen will take role as the leader of the flock, she does not have spurs and will therefore not be able to fight off predators as efficiently as a rooster.
Fertilized eggs do not develop unless incubated or sat on by a hen, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally opening a chick, it just won’t happen. Having fertilized eggs provides families with the ability to replace their hens that have stopped laying (they stop when they get older) with new hens that can provide eggs for their family creating a more sustainable poultry keeping situation.
While any chicken can become aggressive (just like any dog), this can be prevented by choosing breeds that are bred with calm Temperaments meaning they’ll be more friendly towards humans. There are many dual purpose birds that are also friendly.
So if you have made it this far, what I would like to propose is that we keep city ordinances in place BUT allow people to apply for a permit to keep more hens and a rooster. This could be for families who need more than 4 or 6 hens to keep up with the egg consumption of their family, and people living in areas where predators are a threat to their birds even with a secure coop and run. Predators in our area include coyotes, bobcats, hawks, owls, raccoons, opossum, and more. This is what we need to protect our hens from.
On top of all of that, I would like you to consider that a rooster crowing is no different than a dog barking through your fence. It can be heard, but it means no harm. Unlike a dog, a rooster will stay with his hens and therefore will not spread manure throughout the neighborhood, and properly kept chickens do NOT have a detectable odor. All you’d be able to smell is fresh pine shavings :)