Nevada City may follow GV’s eggs-ample |

Nevada City may follow GV’s eggs-ample

Nevada City is cooking up a draft ordinance to allow backyard chickens within city limits.

City council members directed staff Wednesday to look into an ordinance similar to the one being processed by Grass Valley, which allows up to four hens in the back yard.

It’s about more than a plucky pet, chicken advocates say.

“People should have the right to produce sources of protein, just as they’re allowed to produce their own vegetables,” said Mali Dyck of the APPLE Center for Sustainable Living in Nevada City.

Having a home-based egg source is healthier, Dyck said, because some of the practices of large-scale farms breed food-borne illnesses.

Dyck cited the recent salmonella outbreak, which led to a recall of a half-billion eggs.

The APPLE Center plans to offer workshops in the future on raising chickens at home. An ordinance would allow not only chickens – which are currently illegal – but encourage people to join a growing number of people raising their own.

“We’re encouraging residents to live sustainably and raise their own food,” Dyck said. “We don’t want people to feel they’ll get caught if they have chickens.”

One change advocates would make in Grass Valley’s proposed ordinance: The number of chickens permitted in a back yard.

Four chickens could produce a steady supply of eggs for two people, Dyck said, but would likely not be enough to supply a whole family since most chickens don’t lay an egg

every day.

“You can’t feed a family with that,” she said.

Nevada City’s potential ordinance would need to pass through the planning commission before the council reviews it again.

To contact Staff Writer Michelle Rindels, e-mail or call (530) 477-4247.

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