Farm-Friendly Laws Now on Bay Area Books

Chickens get a thumbs up in Oakley; lettuce sales approved in the City.

By Matt Baume
|  Thursday, Apr 14, 2011  |  Updated 3:00 PM PDT
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Farm-Friendly Laws Now on Bay Area Books

MaryAnn Frist

This creature gets the official welcome mat in two Bay Area cities.

Urban agriculture got a boost this week from some farm-friendly legislators in Oakley and San Francisco.

In Oakley, the city council offered its support to advocates for urban chickens. Pending legislation would allow residents to keep up to three of the birds in their back yard. Currently, there are no limits, and some residents wanted laws that would ban the animals altogether.

Anti-chicken forces argued that the birds can carry fleas, are capable of escape, and pose sanitation problems. Of course, the same can be said of children.

Working in the chickens' favor is their natural capacity to eliminate insects without the use of pesticides, and their docile nature. Chickens are far less likely than dogs to injure a person, and seldom make noise.

Chickens also make good companion animals, and of course, they produce plenty of food.

Council members indicated that they are likely to approve the legislation later this month. The move comes just days after San Francisco supervisors unanimously approved legislation that allows residents to grow and sell produce. Previously, it was illegal to sell any lettuce you grew in your backyard.

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