Published: Sunday, May 4, 2008
It’s an idyllic scene in a sunny backyard in North Toronto. The forsythia is bright as springtime, and Sally, Heidi and Clucky wander by contentedly. They are plump, vigorous, egg-laying hens that, despite their beauty and utility, are illegal in Toronto.
Nonetheless, their owner has kept them quietly in her backyard coop through the winter and now lets them range freely in the yard, which is shallow but 15 metres wide.
“It makes total sense to me, rather than getting in the car, driving to the grocery store and buying eggs trucked in from a far away farm, to go to the back yard and get eggs,” says “Alice,” who asked that her real name not be used. A middle-aged mother of two teenagers who works at home in the food business, she had identified herself on the telephone as a “renegade” chicken owner. “Besides, I know they are healthy and what they’ve eaten.”