What happens to the food before it hits the grocery store is unknown to most of us. Cage free or what pesticides may have been used around the soon to be food could have some effects on the consumer. I personally don't know what effects but the unknown is what usually drives us crazy. lol However, a Tonawanda man doesn't want to risk it anymore, he wants to grow his own food and chickens in his backyard.

Do you think people should be able to grow live stock in their backyard?


Full Story

CITY OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. — Brockton Malenke lives in the City of Tonawanda and he has an idea that's gaining a lot of attention within his community.

"I've always been a strong advocate for knowing exactly where your food is sourced from, so each year in my own backyard, I do a vegetable garden so I raise things, typical -- tomatoes, squash, zucchini. And I thought, why not raise hens?" Malenke said.

He had hoped to raise his own small flock of chickens right in his backyard but as it stands now that's not permitted in the city.

Malenke is trying to change that.

This week he shared his idea in a City of Tonawanda Community page.

"I didn't think that I was gonna get as much support as I did. There were a few negative comments here or there, but it did really seem that the community was behind me in this action," Malenke said.

Since then, Malenke has created an online petition that gained dozens of signatures within a matter of hours.

"Lots of people said it would be great for their own family. Lots of people said that people should be able to raise their own food the way that they want to raise it," Malenke said.

Other Western New York communities already allow small backyard chicken coops. In fact, Malenke is asking the common council to mimic the ordinance that Amherst has in place.

That ordinance states people would need a permit and approval, in addition to meeting numerous standards.

For example, the lot size has to be two acres or more, structures for the housing livestock must at least 50 feet from any lot line and no roosters allowed.

"I've done my fair share of research. I know that the benefits definitely outweigh the cons," Malenke said.

From here, he plans on attending the next council meeting to discuss the idea.

Malenke added, "I think that it's important for residents, if they stand behind the idea, amending the current ordinance, to also join me as well and voice their opinion and really let the council know that it's not just me that wants this, it's actually a much larger group of people within the city of Tonawanda."

More From 93.7 WBLK