The Powtown Post

Stories and photos from Powell River, BC.

Adventures in Powell River: Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016

Share this!

Out my back door and across the alley live Ioni and Courtney, and Henrietta, Gertrude, and Berta. Ioni and Courtney live in a bright blue Craftsman style house with yellow trim.

Friends in the neighbourhood: Courtney and Ioni.

Friends in the neighbourhood: Courtney and Ioni.

Henrietta, Gertrude, and Berta live in a small wooden coop in the backyard, because they are of course, chickens.

Henrietta and Gertrude, (Berta's a little shy!).

Henrietta and Gertrude, (Berta’s a little shy!).

City of Powell River amended its Animal Control Bylaw back in December 2012 to allow residents to keep up to three poultry (except roosters) on any sized city lot. More and more people are taking advantage this. There’s a very active facebook group called Powell River Backyard Chicken Peeps and the Powell River Farmers Institute is a great resource.

There's Berta!

There’s Berta!

For Ioni and Courtney, having chickens is life-enriching and requires less work than Ioni expected. He built the chicken coop at no cost, using re-purposed materials, and by feeding the hens kitchen scraps and worms along with purchased grain-based feed, the girls pay for themselves in eggs and in fertilizer for the veggie garden.

The no-cost coop where three chicks live.

Henrietta, Gertrude, and Berta’s no-cost coop custom-built by Ioni.

There’s also bedding for the ladies, and with straw being fairly expensive and hard to get sometimes, Ioni and Courtney use garden chaff and wood shavings.

Bedding for chicks!

Bedding for chickens!

Henrietta, Gertrude, and Berta are Buff Orpington chickens, a heritage breed. Courtney likes them because they’re heartier, and heavier so they tend not to take flight all that much.

Fun with chickens.

Fun with chickens.

Ensuring the hens’ safety is important as there are predators in the area, like raccoons, bears, and even ravens and eagles will target smaller breeds.

Having chickens seems like the natural thing to do for Ioni and Courtney, as they are both very earth-based. They actually first met at a farmers’ market in Toronto.

Ioni studied botany at the University of Toronto and besides this, his passions are mixed media and providing information to the public about plants through his Vegetation Station website and radio show on Community Radio CJMP. He also provides plant walks and workshops with topics like Weeds and Alleyways and Backyard Compost like a Pro!

Quicker than humans by just enough.

Catch me if you can!

Courtney studied geography and anthropology as well as herbal medicine. She worked for five years on an organic market farm in Ontario, and then while living in Montreal, she dreamed of a life of crime that involved keeping an illegal roost of chickens. Training chickens for therapy work also really appeals to her.

Happiness in an urban setting.

Happiness in an urban setting. (photo by Ioni Wais)

Henrietta, Gertrude, and Berta each have their own distinct personality and are very curious and social. They just love wood bugs and worms. As Buff Orpingtons, they will each produce on average about 200 eggs per year and produce for a couple years or so.

A still-warm egg...which I promptly dropped! Luckily the ground's soft.

A still-warm egg…which I promptly dropped! Luckily the ground’s soft. (photo by Ioni Wais)

Ioni and Courtney have discussed what happens when the three stop producing and Ioni sums it up best when he says: the hens enjoy being alive and are so happy being chickens, why put an end to that?

A chicken's paradise. All free range here!

A chicken’s paradise. All free range here!

And the neighbourhood is happy to have them! People slowly drive along the lane with their children curious to see how the chickens are doing. And as an across-the-alley neighbour, it brings a smile to my face any time I’m out in my yard and I hear the girls bock-bock-bocking away. Just the other day I heard them get all excited as they sensed Ioni and Courtney’s car returning home.

Have to tell you: it’s got Bob and I seriously considering getting some chickens.

I can't see what you're looking at? Are you sure it was a worm you saw?

I can’t see what you’re looking at. Are you sure it was a worm?

Angie Davey

Angie Davey

I love Powell River, especially my neighbourhood of Townsite. I've built the life I've always wanted here and it's filled with good friends, meaningful work, and fun. Originally from Vancouver Island, I believe home is where the heart is and Powell River is home.
Angie Davey

Related posts: