Wendy McGrew raises backyard chickens and calls the coop "The Taj". Now we can all enjoy their produce. To earn some money over the Summer months, her boys have opened an honor system Fresh Egg Stand at their Home Sweet Home on Freemanville Road, just south of Dinsmore Road.
The eggs are beautiful, in all different colors. Go and support a local farmer, or two!
Andy G. Schneider, the national radio personality known as the Chicken Whisperer plans to give away 500 baby chicks on Saturday, April 11th starting at 8:00 AM at the Greenwoods on Green Street restaurant in Roswell, Georgia, located at 1087 Green Street 30075. The Chicken Whisperer’s plan is to promote the keeping of backyard poultry and to get folks thinking about growing more of their own food with this “Chicken Stimulus Package.”
Schneider, host of the nationally broadcast radio show Backyard Poultry with the Chicken Whisperer, and his station manager at Radio Sandy Springs came up with the idea after the city of Roswell went after one of its citizens for keeping pet chickens in his backyard. According to Schneider, the big chicken give away has the support of citizens and former lawmakers alike.
All baby chicks have been donated by hatcheries across America. Only two chicks will be given away to each family and they will come with a starter bag of feed, care instructions, and a map to North Fulton Feed and Seed in Alpharetta where they can pick up additional supplies. “This is our very own small economic stimulus package for the people of Atlanta,” the Chicken Whisperer says. “In the middle of layoffs, foreclosures, and a poor economy we want to teach people how to become a little more self-sufficient, and keeping backyard pet poultry is a good start.”
As a huge fan of backyard poultry, I am pleased to see that the Chicken Whisperer has been able to put the chicken feed right where the municipal beak is … so-to-speak. With any luck at all, the Chicken Stimulus Package will stimulate local lawmakers to rethink the whole topic of backyard poultry in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Folks, it’s time to take back your right to produce clean safe food … and to keep chickens as pets, of course.
What a great day! Early this morning I went to Roswell City Hall to support Andrew Wordes who had a court case in defense of having backyard chickens. Seems the way the City's ordinance is written he can have them, the City thinks otherwise.
Former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes took on the case and came to represent Andrew. Along with 50 or so of us fellow chicken lovers. It was a great sight to see. Most all of us were dressed in yellow shirts with large buttons saying I Love Chickens.
Also in attendance was every news outlet from every major network, CNN, Joan Durbin of the Neighbor News, Hatcher Hurd of Appen News, and many others. The City had created a chicken stink and we were there to make sure the stink only comes from wet manure in our gardens.
You should have heard all of us talking about our beloved chickens and the joy from raising them for fresh eggs and even companionship. They make excellent pets.
Thee case of the chickens is not over. We must go back in May as the case was delayed in order to allow the City more time to discuss the wording of ordinance and whatever else they do legally. Personally I think it might have to do more with public relations. I'm fairly certain they enjoyed having Barnes in their courtroom.
Thank Goodness for Milton's AG-1 zoning! May it live on forever.
Here are a few photos....
Andy Schneider aka The Chicken Whisperer
Andrew Wordes, "The Defendant" and Proud Chicken Lover
Our Buttons of Support
Our Signs of Support
Kathleen Smith, Milton Resident and Chicken Owner
Denise Moss (in green), Milton Resident and Chicken Lover
Hatcher Hurd, Appen Newspapers (Milton Herald)
Alison Byrnes (in red), Milton Resident and Proud Chicken Owner
Jenelle with her sweet Beauregard
Former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes with Andy and Andrew at Press Conference
Words from The Chicken Whisperer, and why we were there... About a month ago Andrew received a warning from Roswell Code Enforcement that keeping backyard pet chickens was unlawful in the City of Roswell. Andrew and myself looked into it, and noticed that there were no laws that clearly or specifically stated that a City of Roswell resident could not keep backyard pet chickens. After several phone calls and visits to the city regarding this matter, it was determined that the one area in the code it stated anything about poultry was written poorly, and did not specifically state a resident could not have backyard pet chickens. Code Enforcement disagreed so we requested a meeting with the Mayor’s office. During our meeting with the Mayor of Roswell, Jerry Wood (who also happens to be an attorney), he also stated that he saw nowhere in the Roswell code that prevented Roswell residents from keeping backyard pet chickens. Then more City of Roswell officials joined in the meeting, and the Mayor told them the same thing! At one point the Mayor told the city officials “they were really reaching” regarding the current wording of the current code regarding poultry. The Mayor also stated and I quote, “ If I were you (talking to Andrew) I would get my citation, hire an attorney, and come kick the city’s ass.” It was also mentioned that Andrew should try to have the law changed to allow the keeping of backyard pet chickens, but again the Mayor stated, “There is no law to change because according to the current code he can have backyard pet chickens”. At that point we all got up and the meeting was adjourned. Well, as stated in our last posting about this case this is far from over. That became a reality on Tuesday when Andrew got a citation from the Code Enforcement Officer for keeping backyard pet chickens unlawfully.
WEEKLY NEWSLETTER The Chicken Scratch Issue #18 March 11, 2009
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHICKEN WHISPERER™: Hello Chicken Buffs! I hope you’re enjoying this nice weather we are having. I have already seen an increase in egg production from my hens. I hope you have too! If you purchased some ISA Browns from me back in November you might start seeing some eggs! I’ve had several calls from customers that have already started getting some eggs at 17 weeks. Start checking the nesting boxes, and of course all of those little hiding places your hen will find to lay! I’m really eggcited to see how these ISA Browns are going to perform. So far, so good! I will be at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center this Friday, March 13th from 11:00am to 1:00pm for a Lunch & Learn about keeping backyard poultry. I will be at the Dunwoody Nature Center on Saturday, April 4th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm teaching a class about keeping backyard poultry, and I will also be teaching the “Chicks In The City” class at the Oakhurst Gardens on April 25th. There will be an Atlanta chicken coop tour right after this class! You can find more information about all of these classes below. I have temporarily suspended all chicken sales until Easter, and maybe even after. I had to eliminate something off my schedule to free up some time, and it was the most time consuming, least profitable portion of my business. This is not a permanent decision. I will resume chicken sales once things settle down a little bit.
BACKYARD POULTRY RADIO SHOW: The Backyard Poultry with the Chicken Whisperer radio show is breaking records! The show this past Saturday, March 7th broke the record for the most number of listeners ever at the radio station! I could not be more proud! It just so happened that CNN was there filming the radio show for an upcoming special about the growing number of people in America keeping backyard poultry. Thank you so much for listening. We have had e-mails and phone calls from all across this great nation, and they just keep coming. We have three national sponsors, and eggspect many more in the weeks to come. I believe we will break our current record for the number of listeners on Saturday, March 21st when we welcome Dr. Tarah Hadley to the radio show. Dr. Tarah Hadley, DVM is one of about 120 certified avian veterinarians in all of North America, and she will be joining us the third Saturday of every month! Wow!
MARCH SPONSOR: The sponsor for our March meetup meeting is www.CityCoops.net. Meetup member Greg Haney owns www.CityCoops.net, and designs custom chicken coops. Please visit his very informative website, and order your custom coop plans today! They will be providing the door prizes for our March meetup meeting! Door prizes will be $10.00, $20.00, and $30.00 gift cards to Tractor Supply! Wow! Thank you Greg Haney with www.CityCoops.net.
If you know a company that would be interested in sponsoring one of our monthly meetings, or the Backyard Poultry with the Chicken Whisperer Radio Show please let me know! We have listeners from all across this great nation!
MARCH MONTHLY MEETUP MEETING NORTH UPDATE: The March Monthly Meetup Meeting North will be held on Monday, March 16th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. It will again be held at the Golden Corral in Alpharetta. The address, phone number, and directions are located on our meetup website. There is a pretty good chance that CNN will be attending and filming the meeting so we need to have a good crowd! Please remember to RSVP!
MARCH MONTHLY MEETUP MEETING SOUTH UPDATE: The March Monthly Meetup Meeting South will be held at the Golden Corral in Jonesboro. The address, phone number, and directions are located on our meetup website. Andrew Wordes, our Assistant Organizer will be responsible for this meeting. Please remember to RSVP!
MARCH POULTRY SHOW UPDATE: Here is some information about the Carpet City Bantam Poultry show this weekend… Carpet City Bantam Club - Blue Show North Georgia Fairgrounds March 14th, 2009 Dalton, Georgia Contact- Jeff Wilson Phone 706-695-7092
EGGCITING NEWS: If you have not noticed we are STILL the largest pet chicken meetup group in the country with 453 members. Congratulations!
CHICKENSTOCK 2009: Chickenstock 2009 is still alive and well! I have however decided to keep it a statewide event for the first year because of limited resources, and volunteers. I’m working on this daily, and should have some updated information very soon. This will be our first pre-pay meetup event meaning you will pre-pay when you RSVP. All of this will be explained in detail when everything is finalized.
GWINNETT ENVIRONMENTAL & HERITAGE CENTER LUNCH & LEARN: Friday, March 13, 11:00am-1:00pm Food for Thought - Lunch & Learn Series Join us for an insight into the food we eat. Discover the differences between frozen and canned items. Learn the benefits of organically grown produce. Learn about keeping backyard poultry. Visit the recycled art show hosted by the Junior Master Gardener (JMG) home school students currently meeting at GEHC. Enjoy a presentation at 12:00pm by Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Program who will present "Give Peas a Chance"! This performance is suitable for all ages. Cost: FREE, GEHC Admission extra
OAKHURST COMMUNITY GARDEN CLASSES: Chicks in the City: Keeping Backyard Poultry Join the Chicken Whisperer for our popular chicken crash course. An intro to coop design, relevant ordinances, breed selection, care and feeding, and resources with a local keeper of an "urban flock." Saturday, April 25, 12pm -2 p.m. $25 Garden member, $30 non-member You can register online at www.oakhurstgarden.org, call (678) 642-4977, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support!
DUNWOODY NATURE CENTER CLASSES: Andy Schneider, the "Chicken Whisperer," is coming to the Dunwoody Nature Center! Learn how to care for and enjoy fresh eggs from chickens that are at home on your range. Saturday, April 4; 1-3 pm DNC members: $20; General Public: $25 Dunwoody Nature Center is located at: 5343 Roberts Drive Dunwoody, GA 30338 Telephone: (770) 394-3322 Fax: (770) 394-8811 email@example.com
CITY OF ROSWELL UPDATE: The article in last week’s Johns Creek Neighbor was a good one. Andrew’s court date is set for Thursday, March 19th so keep sending the e-mails, letters, and faxes! CNN is calling the City of Roswell to get permission to film inside the courtroom. Wow! Many of our members keep chickens under the radar, and this could be any one of us in this situation! Because this is an ongoing legal battle I can’t comment very much regarding this particular case, however we are making some good progress. We have met with the Mayor, City Officials, Criminal Defense Attorneys, and attended by invitation a Community Development meeting. Thank you so much to those of you who have sent letters, faxes, and e-mails to the city regarding the keeping of backyard pet chickens. Please keep sending them! This is not over! The more the better! I promise to keep all you all posted on the latest details as they become available. I will also let you know when it’s time to really get involved by showing up at City Hall if need be. This could be a huge WIN for backyard pet chicken owners all across the state!
THE END: Well, I guess that’s about it, but I’m sure I will think of something I missed about the time I hit the send button! Please make sure to listen to “Backyard Poultry with the Chicken Whisperer™” this Saturday at 9:00am!
Until next time… Thank you so much for being a member of the Atlanta Pet Chicken Meetup Group!
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing about the bad economy, company layoffs, stimulus packages, foreclosures, salmonella outbreaks, Left vs. Right, and the 14 baby lady every time I turn on the television or radio! Everybody is telling us how bad everything is, but nobody is telling us how to make things better! I have a simple solution. CHICKENS! Not just chickens, but trying to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle using chickens, and other things around the house to save a little money, and to live a better life! Where am I going with this you ask? Well, the general manager of the radio station came to me after the show last week, and asked me if I would be interested in extending the show to two hours because of it’s instant success nationwide. I of course said yes, but now I have two hours to fill instead of just one. So, The first hour or so will be all about backyard poultry, and the remainder of the show will be about ways we can all live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Chickens will be a large part of it, but it will also include composting, water collection, solar power, wind power, alternate heating/cooling sources, gardening, canning, and other cost saving earth friendly backyard projects! I very eggcited about this additional hour of programming, and I hope you are too! Tune in this Saturday from 8:00am to 10:00am!
BACKYARD POULTRY WITH THE CHICKEN WHISPERER™:
As stated above the radio show is popular beyond eggspectations! We have now become a two-hour radio show, and have callers from all over the nation! Here is the best news of all! I have just lined up a certified avian veterinarian to come on the radio show every month to answer all of your avian medical questions! How hard was this? Well, there are less than 150 certified avian veterinarians in the nation! We now have one that will be on the show once a month! WOW! I will let all of you know the start date as soon as I can!
We currently are looking for a March sponsor for our monthly meetup meetings. If you know of a company that would like to sponsor our group please have them contact me!
MARCH MEETUP MEETINGS SCHEDULED:
If you have not yet noticed I have scheduled the March monthly meetup meetings. Yes, I said meetings! Because of our growth over the past couple of months I’m going to try having two monthly meetings each month to allow more members to attend. Currently there is a north meeting and a south meeting. Maybe one day there will be north, south, east, and west meetings as well, but we need to test the waters to see how this is going to work. I hope to set the locations as soon as possible so you can start to RSVP! If there is a member that lives on the south side that would like to be in-charge of the south side meeting please let me know ASAP! I would love to have north, south, east, and west meetings, but it’s all up to you, the members to make it work by participating. Let’s see what happens in March, and we will take it from there!
FEBRUARY CHICKEN SHOW UPDATE:
I received GREAT feedback from the Fifth Annual Chattahoochee Valley Poultry Show in Newnan, Georgia this past weekend. If you were able to attend please fill out the feedback questionnaire on the website! I will keep you posted on all upcoming poultry shows as the information becomes available.
If you have not noticed we are still the largest pet chicken meetup group in the nation with 420 members! Congratulations!
CITY OF ROSWELL UPDATE:
Because this is an ongoing legal battle I can’t comment very much regarding this particular case, however we are making some good progress. We have met with the Mayor, City Officials, Criminal Defense Attorneys, and attended by invitation the Community Development meeting that was held today. Thank you so much to those of you who have sent letters, faxes, and e-mails to the city regarding the keeping of backyard pet chickens. Please keep sending them! This is not over! The more the better! I promise to keep all you all posted on the latest details as they become available. I will also let you know when it’s time to really get involved by showing up at City Hall if need be. There should be a story about this in next week’s Johns Creek Neighbor newspaper if all goes well. The reporter interviewed me today after the meeting. If not you then who? If not now then when? This could be a huge WIN for backyard pet chicken owners all across the state! I have again listed the contacts below for the Roswell City Council Members…
Post 1 Councilman Rich Dippolito firstname.lastname@example.org
Post 2 Councilwoman Becky Wynn email@example.com
Post 3 Councilman David Tolleson firstname.lastname@example.org
Post 4 Councilman Kent Igleheart email@example.com
Post 5 Councilman Jerry Orlans firstname.lastname@example.org
Post 6 Councilwoman Lori Henry email@example.com
The Chickin Feed Story Chickin Feed is a company dedicated to simple, fun and effective ways to improve nutrition for today's modern families. (Chickin Feed has nothing to do with feeding farm animals. It's an affectionate term for children.) Chickin Feed believes that a greater awareness of what makes up a balanced daily diet will lead to better overall eating habits. And hopefully to a lifetime of healthy eating.
Chickin Feed was started by mother hen, Leslie Smith Grant, a mother of two with no good nutrition training to speak of. It began while trying to come up with a simple way to teach her children about what they should be eating each day (and to remind herself as well). "I needed a simple way to keep the important information - what makes up a balanced daily diet - literally in front of my children."
You can find Chickin Feed products right here in Milton at The Broadwell Cottage in Historic Crabapple.
From Andrew of the Atlanta Pet Chicken Meetup..... This is an email I received Tuesday evening from Gulfport City Commissioner Michele King after the City Commission Meeting. Councilwoman King is going against everyone to help change the city ordinances so PET CHICKENS will be allowed.
Hey Andrew, just got back from the council meeting and we did vote 3 to 2 to bring the chicken ordinance back. The key to it passing on next reading will be to make sure Mary Stull votes in favor. I got her to agree to bring it back but I'm not sure when it happens if she will vote in favor or not. So.....anyone interested should call and/or write Mary Stull and get her convinced. Good luck! Michele
Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing
"Bringing it back" merely means they are going to VOTE on it again so we are only HALFWAY there. I recommend that EVERYONE thank Michele King for her support and write EVERY council member and the mayor and let them know how we feel. Michele King feels that MARY STULL is going to cast the deciding vote so we need to convince her.
Here is a condenced version of what I sent to all of the city council and I believe gets right to the point.
ADVANTAGES: You get hormone-free/antibiotic-free eggs that tastes better and are healthier than store bought eggs for less tan $1 per dozen. Provide a use for food scraps which generates fertilizer (manure) for the garden and cuts down on landfill usage. Free organic garden fertilizer allows residents to grow healthier food. They provide organic pest control of insects for your yard. They are entertaining companions.
If you aren't aware the backyard chicken movement is growing nationwide because people want to get back to their roots and live a more simple lifestyle. Having pet chickens is just one way they can do this. No one is saying people should be allowed to have 50 chickens in their backyard (just like I can't have 10 dogs or cats) but allowing a few backyard laying hens seems like a sensible thing to do. Hernando county and Ybor City have looked at and dealt with this same issue successfully as have many other cities nationwide. They have faced this issue and resolved it by allowing chickens as long as they are pets and forbid the raising, selling and slaughter of them.
CNN, ABC, NBS, and the large newspapers have already had articles regarding the "Pet Chicken Phenomenon" and your city's dilemia has nationwide interest.
I kindly ask that you consider these points when you are making your decision regarding the keeping of pet chickens at your next meeting. This isn't only about one families' chickens, but is more a statement that the City Of Gulfport, Florida values personal freedom
If everyone would spend a few minutes to send an email , fax or call, we can insure that Jennifer Conroy and her family get to keep their pet chickens.
Here is a list of the phone numbers and email addresses for the Gulfport, Florida City Council. Mayor, Mike Yakes (Currently voted yes, to bring it back for a vote.) E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org 727-893-1000 727-893-1005 (Fax)
Council Member, Michele King Voted yes. 100% for Chickens! E-mail Address: email@example.com 727-893-1000 727-893-1005 (Fax)
Council Member, Mary Stull Voted yes but must be convinced. E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org 727-893-1000 727-893-1005 (Fax)
A very brief history follows from Andy Schneider (aka The Chicken Whisperer) regarding the Gulfport, Florida chicken case. For more detailed information, the links to the newspaper articles are listed below...
A local police officer was on an unrelated call, and heard what sounded like a chicken. He went to investigate, and saw chickens in Jennifer Conroy's back yard. He took pictures, and gave her a ticket! Apparently the Mayor, and City Council members unanimously voted "YES" to allow Jennifer to keep her chickens. Then it interestingly came up for another vote when two of the City Council members were conveniently out of town. You guessed it! The two council members who voted in favor, and still are in favor of allowing pet chickens were the one's that were out of town.
First newspaper article: http://www.tampabay.c... Second newspaper article: http://www.tampabay.c...
This is where it stands right now...
I sent out a mass e-mail to all of you asking for your help regarding this matter. Many of you responded with wonderful letters, and e-mails. Here is how your letters helped...
Last night at the Gulfport City Council Meeting our letters, e-mails, and even the CBS 46 video about our club was mentioned specifically! One City Council member stated, "I have gotten at least 30 e-mails in support of allowing backyard chckens!" "There is even a video about Atlanta allowing pet chickens!" You should be very proud of yourselves for getting involved. This just shows that we CAN make a difference.
Well, the Gulfport City Council decided to let Jennifer keep her chickens for now. They are going to bring this back up for a vote at the next meeting on Tuesday, February 3rd. So this is far from over!
Again, this is not over! We ALL need to send an e-mail in support of this woman, and pet chickens! Here is the updated info...
City of Gulfport Florida 2401 53rd Street South Gulfport Florida, 33707 727-893-1000 727-893-1005 (Fax)
Mayor, Mike Yakes (Currently voting yes, but not a strong yes.) E-mail Address: email@example.com
Council Member, Michele King (Currently voting yes. All for it.) E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member, Mary Stull (Currently voting yes, but on the fence.) E-mail Address: email@example.com
Council Member, Judy Ryerson (Currently voting no. Strongly against it.) E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Special Note: She claims she grew up on a farm, and has bad memories of chickens.
Council Member, Bob Worthington (Currently voting no. Strongly against it.) E-mail Address: email@example.com Special Note: Claims that if they allow pet chickens they will have to allow pet cows, and there would be no end to what else they would have to allow.
If not you then who? If not now then when? (phillip vera cruz)
We can all make a difference in this city, if you just take the time to send a short letter or e-mail!