When I’m at All Souls Church on Plainfield Street in the North End, I often hear a rooster crowing nearby. Although it would be annoying to have a rooster waking you up at 4:00 AM, hearing him always makes me think about how great it would be if locals, especially immigrants, could keep chickens so that they and their children could have fresh, high-quality and affordable eggs.
There’s a big difference between factory-farmed eggs and free-range eggs. Studies have shown that free range hens produce eggs with higher levels of omega 3 and vitamins A and E with lower levels of total fat. But organic, free-range eggs are a lot more expensive.
I was referred to Phil Dromey, the Springfield’s Planning Director at the time, and asked him if it would be possible and he quite emphatically said that zoning laws do not permit this.
In other cities where chickens are allowed, the rules prohibit noisy roosters, which you don’t need to produce eggs. Here’s an article (Vancouver Sun, 3/6/09) about how other cities have changed their zoning laws to allow residents to keep hens so they can produce their own eggs.