Nanaimo confirms farm size large enough to accommodate roosters

CHEK

The City of Nanaimo has confirmed that a bylaw officer attended the family farm and confirmed the property size is large enough to allow roosters.

According to a statement, roosters are permitted on properties larger than 4,000 metres squared. After the Animal Control Officer confirmed the property at Mossy Rock Farm was over this size, it was determined that no further action was needed.

“The City of Nanaimo is happy to support local agriculture and food security, and we will be reviewing our Animal Responsibility Bylaw to see how we can provide greater clarity on matters such as these in the future,” a statement from the city says.

Danyelle Brown from Mossy Rock Farm says she is very grateful for the community’s support.

To address the concerns of the neighbour who filed the initial noise complaint, she will be rehoming 17 of her current 20 roosters.

Brown says she typically has about three roosters, but she rescued 10 and then 10 more hatched on her farm.

Additionally, she will be putting up sound barriers.

 

 

This story has been updated to reflect that the family can keep their chickens. The original story is preserved below.

Danyelle Brown doesn’t want to lose the only way of life her children have known. But on Saturday, the Nanaimo mom was facing losing her family’s income from farm eggs, and the chickens that her daughter has grown up with.

“This could end really quickly and, yes, it’s devastating,” said Brown of Nanaimo’s Mossy Rock Farm.

“She’s attached to these animals and we hand-raised them, you know? It’s painful because this is all I know. This is my life,” she said.

Brown’s husband’s family has owned the 2.5-acre farm on 9th Street for 11 years, and she said it was a farm for decades before that.

“It’s always been a farm. From way back when, when this was all five-acre farms,” said Brown.

But development has built up around the plot quickly, and the area is thick with houses and traffic now. On Friday, Nanaimo Animal Control officers notified Brown that she has to get rid of her chickens, geese and ducks by this coming Tuesday because of a noise complaint over her roosters.

“What changed is someone didn’t like the noises and just one person complaining has just put our life upside down,” said Brown.

Neighbours that CHEK News spoke to on Saturday were stunned.

“I’m shocked. I can’t believe it. They’re absolutely sweet,” said Susan Ranger, who lives across the street from Mossy Rock Farm.

“I don’t think it’s noisy. I think it’s funny and interesting,” said neighbour Etta Chin.

“They’ve got to have a better reason than just one complaint,” said neighbour Amalie Nelson.

Brown has now learned that zoning was changed to residential for all of the housing development happening in the area, and the farm was never grandfathered to let it keep being a farm.

“And even after explaining we’ve been a farm after all these years he doesn’t want to hear it,” said Brown.

When contacted by CHEK News Saturday, Nanaimo Animal Control said that staff received a telephone complaint about the farm and had to act on it because they are in charge of enforcing the city’s bylaws. They referred all of our questions to the City of Nanaimo. Yet, our attempts to do that were denied as no one there was available on Saturday.

“I want to fight it, but how long do you fight it? I’ll be ticketed everyday for $100,” said Brown.

“They’ve got to change the zoning and get rid of those motorcycles that make a lot more noise than those chickens do,” said Ranger.

“And revved up trucks that go barreling down in this area during the night,” said Nelson.

So Brown hopes somehow her farm will be granted a reprieve before Tuesday. If not, she’ll have to say goodbye to all but 12 of her chickens, and the eggs that have provided her family food and income for years.

Skye Ryan

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!