Manuse-Sponsored Chick Law Encourages Small, Family Farms and Sustainable Local Foods

DERRY, N.H.—Derry Republican and State Rep. Andrew J. Manuse encourages New Hampshire families to help create a sustainable local farming and food production market by taking advantage of a new state law he sponsored, which allows citizens to buy the appropriate amount of chicks for their own backyard egg-production needs.

HB 1231, effective July 22, repealed a state law that prohibited businesses from selling less than 12 chicks, ducklings or goslings to any one person at a time. Since roughly three chickens produce about a dozen eggs a week, many families held back from buying chicks and raising them into egg-layers because they feared the abundance of eggs that would come from 12 chickens. Others were forced to figure out how to split their purchase with someone else.

Because of the law change, families can now buy as few—or as many—chicks, ducklings or goslings as they want or need in New Hampshire without the hassle of dealing with a pointless state law. Additionally, people in cities such as Concord, which limits the number of chickens per household to five, can now buy the appropriate number of chicks for their community without worrying about what to do with the remaining birds.

“From my conversations with Derry residents and others, it’s clear that this law change will get more people involved with raising chicks for backyard egg production, and such local farming activity is a great way to help develop a healthy local food supply that will hopefully grow to sustainable levels,” Manuse said. “In fact, my family purchased our first three chicks thanks to this law passing, and we will now have a dozen fresh, healthy, organic eggs every week from a source that we know well. I hope other people take advantage of this law, which will help develop a culture for local agriculture and also help stimulate business at local feed stores such as Derry Feed or Dodge Grain.”