LETTER: Chickens have neighbour ready to fly the coop

Just what is wrong with Saanich council and their ridiculous bylaws regarding backyard chickens? I have been complaining about my neighbour’s chickens for two years now, only to be told that they are in accordance with the bylaw.

It’s a bylaw that states (among other things), that the manure can accumulate to a five-metre square before it is considered unacceptable. That is the size of a car.

This chicken coop houses five chickens. It is about 1.5 metres high by 1.5 metres long and one metre deep. It is situated approximately seven metres from my only windows. I live in a low-income rental apartment, and as such I feel my voice is not being heard.

The chickens are not well cared for, and are often in distress which leads them to start ‘babbling’ at sunrise and continue throughout the entire day. The coop is never cleaned and the stench is unbearable.

We are now in a heat wave and those poor birds are pretty much baking in the sun … as is their excrement.

I have to have my windows open to get some relief from the heat, but I then have to put up with the smell. The ammoniac stench irritates my eyes and throat, and the smell is permeating my whole apartment.

I would like to invite members of Saanich council who think jamming a budget version of Green Acres in an unkempt backyard is a good idea to visit my home and experience what I put up with on a daily basis. Walk a mile in my shoes, so to speak.

Tracey Pretty

Saanich