Feathering a New Nest

You met Marilyn Jesrani in our May issue, along with her hens Polly and Biscuit. In an update to that piece, the chickens have flown the coop, and you can help.

Jesrani, an advocate of backyard chickens, was cited by her homeowners association for keeping the two hens. Because she can no longer keep them at home, the birds and their coop were moved recently to the Holly Springs Food Cupboard.

Jesrani had kept chickens for about four years, but an ordinance passed in February required Holly Springs residents who wish to keep backyard hens to obtain written permission from their homeowners association. In the article “Make Room for Chickens,” Jesrani said she was looking forward to reaching an agreement with her HOA and making her birds legal.

The family was notified that to keep their hens, the neighborhood covenants would need to be amended. That process would cost $850, which Jesrani would have to pay before any changes would be considered. Supporters of the amendment set up a page on GoFundMe.com to raise the money.

A new chicken coop was built at the Holly Springs Food Cupboard.

“We are still working with our neighborhood,” Jesrani said, but acknowledged that it will be a longer process than she initially thought.

“When the opportunity at the food bank came, I just decided to move them. If we get the amendment passed, because we are still going forward with that, I’ll just have two coops. I’ll build another one in my backyard and keep the one at the food bank too.”

The new coop is fully permitted, so Biscuit and Polly can settle into their new digs without fear of being moved again.

“We are very much enjoying having Biscuit and Polly at the food cupboard,” said Pat Haggard, with the Holly Springs Food Cupboard. “It’s fun getting to know them. I didn’t realize chickens laid different colored eggs — Biscuit lays blue eggs, and Polly lays brown eggs. We look forward to having a good relationship, having children come out to learn how chickens help us all, and also having a few fresh eggs for our clients.”

Jesrani, a seventh-grade science teacher, plans to use the coop to educate people about keeping chickens and other sustainability issues. As she was setting up the coop at the food bank, she gave an impromptu presentation for a group of volunteers from the Triangle Aphasia Project.

“It was so rewarding. I thought, ‘this is what it’s supposed to be about,’” she said.

For more information on Biscuit and Polly, visit facebook.com/oakhallchickens.


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