Monday, March 22, 2010

Quick post replies - regarding laundry and chickens

Thanks to everyone who has been posting comments - while I read them all, I am sorry that I am not always able to take time to comment personally. Here are a few replies to answer some recent questions (hope this is helpful):

Q/ when you "freeze dry" your laundry on the line outside in winter, how do you soften the diapers that are stiff and cold when they come indoors?

A/ Yes, we don't have a clothes dryer and hang dry our laundry all year round. We do freeze dry our sheets and towels outdoors in winter, but have a large wooden drying rack that we use indoors to dry our cloth baby diapers. As we have a wood stove going in the next room, we find the diapers dry quickly within a few hours. This indoor rack actually also helps to humidify our house which can get quite dry in winter because of the wood stove. To brighten them up we do hang them out for a few hours, but this is not necessary.

Q/ I am moving to the kw area in the near future and am wondering about the chicken bylaws?

A/ There are a wide range of bylaws on this topic in our area. Kitchener and Waterloo are two separate cities, and as such have different sets of bylaws. The City of Waterloo recently started a pilot project regarding urban chicken keeping. A Waterloo Hen Association was formed, and people had 60 days to register their hens and be part of this study. The discussion will be reopened by city council in 2011. The City of Kitchener bylaws are a little ambiguous on this topic - one part of the bylaw seems to say no (the class of birds chickens belong to are not allowed), while another part seems to be affirmative (they are allowed for "animal husbandry" purposes). City of Cambridge, also part of the kw area, has a grandfathered clause for some of the older properties that had chickens in earlier years. City of Guelph, nearby, does allow hens. As with all bylaws, it's best to be respectful of your neighbours because if they don't approve then bylaw or not, they can still complain and end your hopes of having hens. We suggest checking in with your neighbours before getting hens, keeping the pen clean and tidy, not keeping too many (and no roosters), and giving away some eggs to help build positive hen relations.


  1. Hi, thanks for the information on local bylaws on keeping chickens. I seem to remember reading and amendment online that the City of Kitchener was also offering small flock owners the chance to register before a certain date in(summer 2009) but that they would not allow any keeping of chickens after that date. Have you heard of anything like that, or am I confusing it with Waterloo?

    I am presently living on a property designated agricultural where I can have chickens but the land (minus our severed lot) will soon be developed into a residential area. I was hoping that I might be able to be grandfathered in to some sort of arrangement- any ideas?

    Thanks again for your great info :)

  2. The bylaw in Guelph requires chickens (hens) are to be kept a minimum of 50 feet away from dwellings (or something to that extent). However, as with most bylaws it is complaint driven - if you have your neighbours on board you shoudl be OK. We have had hens for about 10 yrs in Guelph. We can confirm that even hens can be very noisy (imajine laying a big egg almost every day) but that odour is rarely an issue -- in either case, giving eggs to neighbours is always a good thing.

  3. Anna PrzychodzkiMarch 25, 2010

    Despite your caution that you may be too busy to answer (understandable!) I am dying to know where you bought your greenhouse and for how much. I want to start lots of seedlings indoors but my one southern window is producing very leggy seedlings. Do you use grow lights as well?

  4. thanks for the tips, how to care for our beautiful clothes for the winter season to prevent damage or prevent damage to our skin