Urban chicken farming offers eggscellent solution to food sovereignty

Local carpenter brings urban chicken farming idea to Castlegar city council.

Peter Wulowka brought a couple of friends along for his presentation on Monday to Castlegar City Council on urban chicken farming.

Peter Wulowka brought a couple of friends along for his presentation on Monday to Castlegar City Council on urban chicken farming.

At Castlegar’s city council meeting on April 2, Peter Wulowka gave a presentation on urban chicken farming.

Wulowka talked about the many benefits of raising chickens including, of course, having access to fresh eggs. He also gave a slide show of several different coops for keeping the poultry in your backyard including an A frame model he had built himself.

“I thought the presentation went well,” said Wulowka afterwards. “It seemed like it was well received by the mayor, council and staff. Hopefully, they can accommodate this by allowing people to have chickens without hiding them or their neighbours calling in and them getting a fine.”

A crowd of about 30 people watched the presentation and applauded the young carpenter.

“The response from the community has been very good,” said Wulowka. “I had over 300 signatures in eight businesses around town. I had the chicken tractor (coop) on display at Total Pet for the last month and people have been saying, ‘Hey, this is a great idea. Where can I get one?’ Ideally, I just want to show people a really good idea and if they can do it themselves, great. If not, I can provide that service for them.”

Wulowka would like to see a bylaw addition that would allow residents to have chickens in their yards.

“I understand there is nothing specific in the bylaw about disallowing chickens, but ideally it should be brought up and put it there specifically. that people should be able to have two to four chickens,” he said. “The licence would be $30-40 and the people that are serious about it will get them and have healthy chickens and farm fresh eggs every day.”

Wulowka, who unsuccessfully ran for council last year, said there are many benefits to raising chickens.

“They aerate your lawn, graze it,” he said. “They’re a natural fertilizer for your lawn. It’s a symbiotic relationship with nature. They’re the ultimate garden hoe.”

Council was very receptive to the urban chicken farming idea.

“I thought the chicken presentation went very well,” said councillor Deb McIntosh. “I think he had a lot of good facts. There was a lot of stuff like why you should grow your own food, why you should be allowed an option. I think it’s something we should seriously look at as far as where we’re going to go with sustainability and food security. Those are two top things that come up at every meeting we have, at every conference we have. If we’re going to talk it, we better walk the walk. I support the chicken concept and I think it’s a good thing.”

McIntosh was not surprised by the great show of support Wulowka has received in the community.

“I know there is a very strong contingent that believes in food security and growing your own food,” she said. “People like the option of having the choice. Not that they are necessarily going to choose it, but they like having the choice. They like to be the masters of their destiny when it comes to food.”