Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chicks in summer

A month ago the family made the drive east of the city to Hammond and brought home with us six small cute and fuzzy chicks.

We picked out a pair of black silkies, a trio of black english game chicks and one beautiful belgian d'uccle bantam chick.

Sadly, one of the game chicks failed to thrive and within a few days it was obvious it was not going to make it. We do not know why. She was just small. Had no energy even with an intervention of vitamin drops. She passed away quietly in the hands of my husband and was buried that day.

The remaining five are growing quickly and we are enjoying every moment of their time with us. I have my suspicions that one of the silkies and one of the game birds are in fact roos in disguise but time will ultimately confirm that and if so then I will seek options into rehoming or processing them.

The coop building had been put on hold but we are now re-starting the construction and making some small changes our original design.
Meanwhile the chicks are feathering in. Its amazing how quickly their natural instincts to roost and scratch for feed kick in.

It is a joy to watch them run around the yard chasing ants and moths. They jump about, emit soft happy trills and when they find a warm patch in the dirt all lay down in unison, wings spread and close their eyes for a quick chicken nap. We are all enjoying our summer days. Life is good!

I will post some photos soon of our newest additions.

Meanwhile, I still urge everyone who wants to help bring urban hens back to the city to write their local paper, their city councillor or join CLUCK to help us with public education and within the scope of the urban hen policy writing team and Justfood.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Clucking along.

Update & Info:

Cluck Ottawa's website:

Our site is currently undergoing a revamp and moving soon to a .ca host site. We are accepting donations to help assist us covering the added expense of a .ca designation and hosting fees. If you are interested in making a donation please contact me at for more information.

Meanwhile - you can stay informed regarding upcoming chapter meetings, events and news from our website or via:

Facebook: Cluck Ottawa

Our first public meeting was very well received. We had over 70 members of the public attend our question and answer session along with various media groups in attendance.

Since that time we have strived to keep Urban hens in the news and we can honestly say that if you are in the Ottawa area you have heard someone talking about urban hens. We are thrilled that the citizens of Ottawa are starting to think about food, where food comes from and of course how urban hens are beneficial for everyone and the environment.

Cluck about hens to your friends, co-workers and family. Share our facebook group, petition ( and website!

CLUCK is seeking volunteers!!

Do you have a few spare hours a month to help us? We are seeking volunteers in all areas of our organization. If you feel you can help us out please let us know at

Example of help needed:

Staffing information tables at local farmers markets promoting education regarding Urban Hens.

Staffing a Cluck table at various ecofairs and festivals in the 2010 season. TBA.

Distribution of our written and online petition.

Letter writing and calling your councillor and media outlets. Write the editor of your local paper and voice your support for urban hens. Tell your councillor that bylaw 2003-77 needs to be amended and INCLUDE hens!!

Article submissions. Do you raise hens? Know someone who does? We'd like to do a spotlight on a local henkeeper for our website. Submit a story.

Volunteers needed for the urban hen policy writing team. Cluck Ottawa is working alongside JustFood to help write a policy as it relates to urban hens. Justfood is also expanding this topic to include rabbits and beekeeping. If you wish to be a part of one or both teams please join or suggest someone you might know who would be interested.

Supplies - seeking individuals who are able to help us with printing materials.

and much more!!

Attend a meeting. We are getting organized, building relationships, educating the public and also try to have fun!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

C.L.U.C.K Ottawa First Public Meet N Greet - May 13th, 2010!

Are you interested in raising urban hens?

Want to exercise your right to your own food security and safe access to food?

Do you want to see bylaw 2003-77 amended to allow hens in backyards in Ottawa?

Curious about what is involved in raising a small urban flock of hens in your backyard?

Come on out - we'd love to meet you!

The Ottawa chapter of C.L.U.C.K is having a meet and greet to talk about our objectives in bringing hens back to the city.

When? - Thursday May 13th, 2010 - 7 pm to 9 pm.
Where? - St. Joseph Church - 151 Laurier Ave. East. Ottawa.
Admission is free. All ages welcome. Bring a friend!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The right to food security. Article 25 - Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The right to food security. Food security refers to the availability of food and one's access to it. The right to grow and provide your own food source for yourself and your family.

The right to keep backyard laying hens which provides a reliable, constant food source falls under the protection of the UDHR, article 25.

No one should be denied the right to food. Raising hens contributes to food security, knowing where your food is coming from, providing food accessibility all days of the year regardless of times of economic hardship, commercial food distribution disruptions or war.
1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises in Article 25 that "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."

Bylaw 2003-77 is illegal. The bylaw is mandated and created by the Municipality of Ottawa. The right to food under the Human Right's Act falls outside the scope of the Municipality and thus out of their control and policing.

Recently, in Calgary, two individuals challenged their own municipal bylaws prohibiting backyard hens by caring and keeping hens. Paul Hughes, founder of Cluck in Calgary, is challenging the city on their bylaw.

Recently, Mr. Hughes, carried out this challenge by "turning himself in" to bylaw authorities, resulting in a charge of illegally keeping hens in the city. This was a planned move by Mr. Hughes so that he would have an opportunity to challenge the charge and argue in court that his right to food, as per Article 25 of the UDHR was in violation.

Court dates were set. Prosecutors were not comfortable taking on the challenge of arguing why anyone should be denied the right to food and the court agreed to dismiss all charges and instead did a turn about offering up a pilot project that will allow up to 40 Calgary area families to keep backyard hens while the city studies the benefits or drawbacks of keeping urban city hens.

Why did the court back down? When was the last time you heard of someone being charged and having all charges dismissed without ever stepping in court? The city was aware they would NOT win such an argument countering what is a universal right of every citizen of the world.

Our challenge here in Ottawa is use our pier groups in Vancouver and Calgary and bring home the same argument and continue to challenge the municipality and if need be take that challenge to the judicial system so that our facts and rights can be argued, studied so that an analysis can be made and a decision based on scientific facts and precedents elsewhere in Canada can be presented and ultimately lead them to the conclusion that food security and sustainability is our right and that includes backyard hens.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Why did the chicken cross the road?

Because it was legal on the other side.

From Vancouver to Halifax more and more Canadians are seeking the right to own and raise backyard hens.

There is nothing healthier, or cheaper than raising a hen for meat or eggs. Hens in your backyard contribute to a zero mile diet, provide food security in times where the cost of groceries keeps going up annually, and reliably provide pesticide-free organic eggs that are considerably healthier and cruelty free than store bought eggs.

A recent online poll (March 12, 2010 - showed that nearly 70% agreed that backyard hens should be allowed and supported the idea.

Groups from every province are now challenging local governments to enact or amend bylaws to allow backyard hens.

What can you do? Contact your local MP and tell them you want the right to your own food security and the right to raise hens in your backyard. Support your local online petition to add your signature and get involved in spreading the positive benefits of backyard hens.

Facebook group for Ottawa: Chickens for Ottawans

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Ottawa Chapter begins: CLUCK

Let's get cracking, Ottawans,

with fresh eggs from backyard hens