Backyard Chickens and Food Shortages

I realized last night raising chickens and goats can provide much needed food after major storms such as Irene and Sandy.

I sent the following e mail to the mayor today:

Dear Mayor Subrizi,

The impact of Hurricane Sandy and Nor'easter Athena have brought to light how fragile our food supply is. The mere threat of an oncoming storm leaves supermarket shelves empty and the interuption of the supply chain causes them to remain that way indefinitely. Even if the supply chain is not broken, local power outages prevent the opening of stores and also do not allow residents to keep perishables at home. The longer these outages and supply disruptions last, the harder it becomes for people to find food to sustain themselves and thier families.

We do not live in an area with a climate that supports a year round growing season, further increasing our reliance on outside food sources. Our climate will, however, support the raising of chickens and goats without the need for electricity. These small animals can be fed kitchen scraps and can also forage in backyards when outsourced food is unavailable. They can provide eggs, milk, and meat for families that would otherwise have nothing. Chickens and goats make little noise and thier waste can be composted and used to naturally fertilize vegetable gardens, thus providing even more food as the seasons permit.

I implore you to speak to the members of the council and instruct the Board of Health to lift the ban on rasing chickens in New Milford so the residents can provide for themselves especially during emergencies. The reality is, these events are becoming more frequent and more taxing on the residents. Wouldn't it be nice for the citizens of New Milford to have one less thing to worry about during these trying times?

Thank you for your time and all you have done these past few weeks. I am sure you will do the right thing.


Jeffrey DelVecchio

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Ulises November 11, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Great letter. I agree with you. If I didn't have to worry about flooding I'd being trying to raise chickens too. At the next M&C I'll ask to lift this ban. I grew up in West New York and my next door neighbor had chickens and rabbits, it never bothered anyone and that's in a urban environment. My other neighbors grew great tomatoes for their homemade pasta sauce and grapes for their homemade wines. We need to go back to a more sustainable way of life.
Jeffrey DelVecchio November 11, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Thank you, Ulises. The predominant misconception is that I want New Milford to be a farming community. The reality is, I want New Milford to become a more sustainable community. If there is a disaster, we should be able to fend for ourselves for at least a couple of weeks until things get back to normal.
Jeffrey DelVecchio November 11, 2012 at 01:12 AM
I met with the mayor today to discuss this matter. After talking to her, I still believe the only way to get the ordinance changed is for people to tell the Board of Health they want to raise chickens. If enough people do this, they have to listen.
Darlene January 03, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Reading today on Better Homes & Gardens (www.bhg.com) "The Top Garden Trends for 2013" -- #13: "Chicken Loving City Folk: Growing chickens on urban farms is a trend that continues to grow in popularity this year. It's so popular, even the kids have forgotten about a pet dog, their hearts are set on a little peeper instead!"
Jeffrey DelVecchio January 04, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Unfortunately, the Board of Health members aren't very trendy.


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