Ward House

A cause for Cluckers

Good news! As some of you may know, I am not ‘allowed’ to have chickens where I live (not that this will stop me). There are several back yard chicken owners in R1 areas of the county and I plan to become one of those sometime this year. Neighbors are cool with this and I will definately share eggs. The City of Harrisonburg is voting on back yard chickens in the near future and that article can be found here. I am glad to see a close community finally address this issue. Here is a picture to give you a sense of where I live; the red me marks the spot.

In the meantime, our County has published a comprehensive plan and in several pages they unwittingly make a cause for backyard chickens. On page 38, under housing goals, the County wants to:

Ensure that the County’s natural beauty, environmental quality, and rural character are not sacrificed when planning for future housing opportunities.

Then we move to the Economy objective section:

Revitalize the farming community in Bath County

And then on pg 81 under Land Use:

Since development can either enhance or distract from a community, land use policies must reflect local cultural, natural and historic attributes. They must also provide for fair and equitable treatment of all landowners.

There are additional places within the Land Use section that continue along the protection of the rural flavor of our county. To respond to the above highlighted sentence, my home originally had both chickens and hogs, which satisfies the cultural, historic and natural ‘requirements’. I spoke with our local environmental advisor and he said that a penned or chained dog does more environmental damage than chickens; he is willing to put this into writing. As for fair and equitable treatment of all landowners, you cannot deny someone chickens in an R1 when you spot zone to allow horses. See, it is all about who has the money and who does not. I fall under the ‘has not’ (in case that was ever a question).

Today has been an incredible day for posts – not from me but from other amazing ladies. Matron posted this amazing recipe – easy enough to cook, simple ingredients. I will prepare it this weekend and hopefully have enough for lunch the next day. Now our garden is just getting started so my ingredients will need to come from the store instead of the back yard =( so when we had out, I will grab a few extra items to start towards our food pantry. Sharon makes an excellent point in her post, Friday Food Storage – and Food Pantry – Quickie; pick up just one or two additional items for the pantry on each trip you make to the store. Lastly is Rhonda’s Just do it. She says it so succinctly,

Deliberate living is deciding what you want your life to become, working out the steps you need to take to make that happen, then, as Elizabeth said, just do it. You will still get life throwing the unexpected at you, but when it happens, you work to solve the problem, then you get back on track.



April 17, 2009 - Posted by | Chickens, economy, politics, recipes, self sufficiency


  1. Hi Annette , I hope they pass the ordinance about keeping chickens. I’ve been reading your last few posts , really enjoyed the post about ashes and their uses.You reminded me that I need to separate my worms and start them a fresh bin.~ Spring Blessings ~ JoyceAnn

    Comment by JoyceAnn | April 18, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hi Annette! Thanks for the follow on my blog. I’m happy to have found yours – seems like we have a lot in common! Sure hope you are able to convince local authorities to allow chickens. They are such sweet little productive animals – can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t think they were good neighbors. Problem is – often local authorities aren’t thinking. Good luck with it!

    Comment by Shari | April 28, 2009 | Reply

  3. Yeah, the ‘not thinking’ thing seems to be the issue most of the time. Perhaps uninformed would be another good word choice! =)

    Comment by Annette | April 28, 2009 | Reply

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