Yolanda and her 2 chicken sisters, Roxy and Carmen, moved to Roslindale to live with a dog and 2 toddlers when they were just 1 day old. In May, because their permit to keep chickens in Boston was rejected, they were forced out of their home by Animal Control. Yolanda remains a fugitive, temporarily shacking up in an undisclosed location where being a backyard chicken is legal, anxiously awaiting her appeal.
Legalize Chickens in Boston is working to amend the current zoning laws, which outlaw chickens in residential areas, to create a reasonable, straightforward permitting process that would allow residents of Boston to keep small backyard flocks of hen chickens (no roosters).
Some of the benefits of keeping chickens include:
- Chickens produce a rich fertilizer by-product, high in nitrogen, eliminating the need for petrochemical fertilizers.
- Chickens eat insects, including ticks, reducing our backyard pest population, and allowing for reduced use of pesticides.
- Backyard hens provide an educational opportunity to teach children where our food comes from & demonstrate responsible pet ownership.
- Fresh, naturally raised eggs have an improved nutrient profile compared to conventional eggs.
- Chickens eat table scrapes, reducing municipal solid waste.
- A properly cleaned and maintained chicken coop poses no sanitation risks.
By amending the permitting process to allow residents to keep a limited number of hens in residential zones, the City of Boston will encourage stewardship of the environment and food production on a household scale, in line with the City’s goals for environmental sustainability and support of local food.