Hen packed: organic recycling

I feel a strongly worded letter coming on. Brighton has Britain’s only Green MP, which you might imagine would put the city at the forefront of environmental initiatives. So how come we’re not being offered two free hens each to recycle waste like people in the Dordogne are?

The recycling union in the districts of Neuvic and Saint-Astier, near Perigueux in the Dordogne, plans to give local households two free hens. The idea is that the birds will eat leftover food, saving it from the déchetterie. Each bird can consume about 150 kilos a year.

Plus, of course, they will lay around 200 fresh eggs each too.

Owners will be given a manual, a bag of feed and a basic henhouse to get them started. The hens won’t be delivered until the autumn, to avoid problems while people are away over the summer.

There’s even talk of offering a sheep to larger homes, to help keep lawns in check.

In Brighton, the Green-led council has focused on transport issues above recycling. They have spent millions introducing cycling lanes and a city-wide speed limit of 20 miles an hour.

Given that the latter is unenforceable, however, they might have been better buying hens.

The city may not exactly lend itself to hen keeping, though. I have what could be considered a large garden by central Brighton standards – it measures about eight metres by five.

I think we can safely say sheep are off limits. Pigs are banned under bye laws from when the house was built in 1865 too.

But a hen? Just maybe…?

This entry was published on Fri, 25 Jul 2014 at 07:17. It’s filed under News and politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Hen packed: organic recycling

  1. People only see what is in front of them. As you will know, it takes less lateral thinking to come up with hens in St Astier than it does in Brighton (I am returning to St. Sernin, near St Astier in a couple of weeks). Perhaps you do need to write that letter – a bit of lateral thought might just be what is needed – although I think that proper segregated cycle lanes are a good idea as well.


    • A town farm might be just what is needed. I can see one proving very popular in the Hanover part of the city where I live – or Muesli Mountain, as it is known by the locals.


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