NP Town Planner Westcott open to chickens, under certain conditions

NP Town Planner Westcott open to chickens, under certain conditions

NORTH PROVIDENCE - At least one town official is open to the idea of a new law that would allow chickens to be kept in local backyards, as long as it's done the right way.

Town Planner David Westcott said he likes the idea, but wants to make sure officials limit who can have chickens and where.

"It makes sense to me as long as we tie it to the size of the lot," said Westcott.

There are plenty of homes in North Providence that are perched on 3,600-square-foot lots, said Westcott. But with 40 or 50 houses like that on a block, each with two or three chickens, and the town will have big problems.

Any law that's passed should also be tied to health and safety, said Westcott, acting to protect residents and quality of life in the town.

Town Councilor Alice Brady, who heads up the council's ordinance committee, said that the council voted back in June to get an opinion from the town's zoning office about the wisdom of reversing the town's ban on chickens, since that office would be the one enforcing such an ordinance if it passes the council. The ordinance committee still hasn't received a recommendation.

Zoning Officer Kelley Morris has not commented on the matter.

The push for a backyard chicken ordinance is being led by Tim Thorp, a Central Avenue resident who says new rules allowing chickens could bring many benefits to the town, primarily by allowing residents to take advantage of a sustainable and free source of food.

Thorp is urging the council to "be more specific with your prohibitions and more generous with your allowances" when it comes to raising fowl.

Thorp's website, , promotes the benefits of farming and raising chickens for the overall health of the community.

Thorp has said he too would like to see the prohibition against raising fowl on residential property lifted in a responsible way.


Oh God..please no chickens!!! Chickens = rat magnets. There's enough wildlife around this town with the amount of rabbits, possums, shunks and the over abundance of squirrels scouring for food. Chickens do not belong in North Providence..gross! I can't believe this is even open for discussion. Mr. Thorp mentions a "sustainable" food source??? If that were the case, a family of 4 would need a dozen chickens roaming around the backyard to possibly/maybe..get 1 egg per chicken, per day! It's ludicrous.

Hanging feeders!

@cluck it's quite obvious that you've done minimal research, if any at all. Thorp is absolutely correct in saying that having chickens can contribute to living a self - sustained life.
And honestly, do you all think that everyone in the town is just going to run right out and buy some chickens? That's very doubtful. You have no need to worry about people suddenly all jumping up to "overpopulate the town with chickens." I think it's absolutely ludicrous for the GOVERNMENT to have a say in where my food comes from. What is this world coming to? north providence should be a town where the residents have the right to produce their own food. It's absolutely ridiculous to say otherwise. Owning chickens can be easy when rules are applied. Rats are no such problem as long as chicken food is kept sealed, and the smell of the hens can easily be controlled with proper ventilation and cleaning. Also, last time I checked @cluck a family of four does not easy a dozen of eggs every day. Nice try.

WOW how misinformed Debilynnn is! 1st in a properly secure coop and run constructed from HARDWARE fence..not chicken wire NOTHING should be able to get in. If feed is kept in a tin garbage can it will not attract any unwanted vermin.

To eliminate rabbits, possums, skunks and the over abundance of squirrels scouring for food one needs to close the restaurant...keeping garbage INDOORS like a garage or eliminating plastic garbage bins that the vermin can easily chew threw.

Most neighboring towns allow the keeping of hens such as Providence, Barrington. Tiverton, Coventry, Portsmouth -no restrictions. Exeter, Gloucester, Hopkinton, Foster. Scituate, Woonsocket and MORE...HECK you can even have chickens in NEW YORK CITY!!

6 Chickens will provide about 4- 5 eggs a day. Eggs to eat cook and bake with. Extra eggs can be sold or given away, I dont think Tim or any other like minded person wants to eat ONLY eggs as a single source of protein.

Eggs you raise yourself are far better than the crap you buy at the store.

Eggs from hens allowed to peck on pasture are a lot better than those from chickens raised in industrial settings! Most of the eggs currently sold in supermarkets are nutritionally inferior to eggs produced by hens raised on pasture. That’s the conclusion reached following the completion of the 2007 Mother Earth News egg testing project. Testing has found that, compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture contain:

• 1⁄3 less cholesterol
• 1⁄4 less saturated fat
• 2⁄3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene
• 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D

Home grown eggs are very different than what an industrial egg from the grocery store looks like, all clean and uniform in size (even the so-called “free range” or “cage free” eggs). What’s the big difference? Prior to the 1940′s eggs were kept on the counter because there were no refrigerators! What has changed?

Farm Fresh Egg
An egg shell is very porous and has anywhere from 3-6,000 pores covering the entire surface! When the hen lays an egg her body does one last thing to protect the egg before hitting the air: she deposits a natural anti-bacterial mucus membrane called the bloom.

The bloom also serves a purpose of keeping the egg fresh on the inside. The bloom keeps the moisture contained leaving a much bigger, firmer and more bright orange yolk.
Industrial Egg
In large egg producing factories hens are living in crowded and unhealthy conditions, breathing in the ammonia fumes all day, every day and have little to no sunlight. Common sense will tell us that sick hens equals sick eggs. Within 7 days of when the sickly hens (who may or may not have salmonella) lay their sickly eggs, workers take the eggs and wash them to get all the dirt and feathers off of them. Some companies take it a step further and rinse the eggs with a chemical wash. No bloom + chemical wash = chemicals seeping into the egg. Once washed, rinsed and/or sprayed the eggs then HAVE to be placed in a refrigerator to protect them from being infected with bacteria. Well, with industrial eggs since the bloom is washed off, the pores are then exposed. This creates open airways to allow any kind of bacteria (think salmonella) to enter!

SO by all means Debilynnn keep on feeding your family garbage eggs you buy in the store...while I feed my family the best eggs, honey, and produce all from my garden in North Providence. YUP not only do I have a chicken coop with no rats...but I have a BEE HIVE....come on by neighbor lets have a 'gansett. LOL.