POC POC startup defends urban chicken coops
The SPCA says they are "deeply concerned" about chicken-coop-in-a-box start up POC POC saying it may encourage chicken ownership by people unprepared to care for them.
"Chickens are sensitive, intelligent animals who require specialized and costly care," writes Marie-Ève Fraser for SPCA. "They can live up to ten years after they stop laying eggs. Further, it is extremely difficult to determine whether chicks are male or female, and thus one can easily end up with roosters – who not only do not lay eggs, but can be loud and aggressive."
They say they take in dozens of abandoned chickens each year and fear that if raising chickens becomes trendy they'll be forced to take in more unwanted animals.
Alex Mclean with POC POC says they take responsibility for the chickens they're encouraging people to raise.
"They pick up some hens each year that are abandoned, they weren't from our coops because we offer to pick up the chickens," says McLean. "Over 2016 and over 2017 they've picked up the same number of chickens even though we've introduced this pilot project."
He says that their coops aren't marketed to people who are looking to save money on eggs, but rather as a learning experience for families who want to teach their children responsibility or get closer to the production of their food.
"The idea is to transform your backyard into a bit of an oasis of agriculture and nature," he says. "That's how they look at the cost they don't look at it as price per egg, but price for the experience over a whole year."
The SPCA suggests that those concerned about eating ethically should buy from small, free-range, organic farmers, or eliminate eggs from their diet entirely.