Last of the Runner Bean Tipis and Keeping Chickens on the Plot

Last of the tipis

Down to the plot late afternoon accompanied by the better half.

As we have no more room in the freezer and a storm may hit tonight, decided to harvest the rest of the runner beans and take down the tipi on plot 29. Took up all the dwarf beans too.

So various relatives will have presents tomorrow!

Even glutted with cucumbers – so they’re in the great giveaway.

On plot 5 we took up a row of dwarf beans to give the Beurre de Rocquencort dwarf beans more room. They’re really nice and the yellow colour quite startling.

Plot 29 looks quite bare now the beans have gone and even plot 5 is looking a little empty at the compost end.

Chicken Controversy

Well the allotment rep came back with the answer ‘no’.

The objections raised were:

  1. That the keeping of hens would attract vermin

  2. That the keeping of hens would occasion a nuisance to the neighbourhood through noise

  3. That the keeping of hens would occasion a nuisance to other plot holders through escaped birds eating produce.

My answer is that, whilst agreeing these are legitimate concerns, they are easily addressed.

There are already rats and foxes within the area (as everywhere) so obviously housing must be constructed to prevent ingress by foxes and foodstuffs such as corn stored in a vermin proof way. This is a simple matter of good husbandry. Keeping hens safe from ingress of foxes will also address the third point as what keeps the fox out will keep the hen in.

There seems to be a misconception that to keep laying hens requires a cockerel, which is generally responsible for creating noise. This is not the case and hens are better kept without the attentions of a cockerel unless, of course, the intention is to breed (fertilize eggs).

Many allotment sites allow the keeping of hens and this is in keeping with the intentions of  Parliament and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. You may like to review the Fifth Report of the Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs where the recommendation is that restrictions (where imposed by a local authority) be relaxed regarding the keeping of livestock amongst other points . 

I wrote stating the above and other points to the head of Direct Services at the council and await, with interest, the reply. 

The allotment rep’s latest argument is that we are all going to die of bird flu? methinks someone is clutching at straws to back up their own preconceptions rather than working for the benefit of those plot holders who want to undertake an activity that will cause no harm to others.

Actually some of his ?points? later became quite surreal and divorced from reality.

This is not a ?spur of the moment? idea and some serious discussion has taken place regarding keeping hens on the site. We have two people with experience and extensive knowledge so we can ensure good husbandry standards are met. Obviously people have holidays and we agreed between ourselves to provide cover to again ensure good standards of husbandry are met.

Oh well, Power to the People!

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