This is my first cousin, who lives in CAMBELLFORD - nowhere close to being a real "town". She's been in the news and in the papers everywhere recently, as she fights this battle: Chickens belong in a country-coop Rural pets in residential areas isn't fair to neighbours View more by Crystal Crimi It's time for the chickens to fly their backyard coop in residential Campbellford. After months of dealing with the Bacher family and the seven hens they keep in their Doxsee Avenue backyard, the municipality is taking them to court for a zoning violation. If successful, the charge comes with a maximum fine of $25,000 -- that's a lot of eggs. But not enough to make the Bachers give up their hens. They're fighting the charge with the pro bono services of Belleville lawyer Karen Selick -- the same woman who represented Michael Schmidt, an Ontario dairy farmer convicted last fall for offences relating to selling raw milk. The Bachers have had their hens for two years, acquiring them to show their daughter where food comes from and then keeping them for their eggs. They said they checked with the municipality first on prohibited animals, but likely left with a copy of the exotic animals bylaw, according to Jim Peter, Trent Hill's director of planning. If that's the case, it's unfortunate they didn't receive, or perhaps request, the proper information. But that doesn't change the rules or the fact the municipality acted because of a complaint received last summer. I feel for the Bachers, I really do. My deep rural roots are still trying to smash through the concrete of my residential property. I grew up in Orono. I lived on a horse farm, which also played host to goats, cows, rabbits and, occasionally, chickens. I worked on a fruit farm and on top of all that, my grandparents are Italian and backyard farming has been a constant in my memory. I'm all for growing your own and teaching kids the importance of where our food comes from. But when you move into town, there are some things you give up. For me, it was the space to have a proper vegetable garden. I have a smaller, shaded yard and to accommodate my desire to grow tomatoes, I ended up with about 30 large pots which came complete with the requirement of daily watering. It sucks when your basic desires to grow and produce don't mesh with your location preferences. As much as I love the idea of raising what my family eats, I hate the idea of my neighbours having chickens so close to my backyard. The idea of barbecuing or even growing my vegetables next to a dirty chicken coop is infuriating. I've had chickens. A residential lot just doesn't provide enough separation between neighbours to raise farm animals, and if the municipality says yes to chickens, what happens when someone else wants a goat? Fortunately, there's no shortage of farms in Northumberland. I'm sure the Bachers can find a farm-share program nearby that will help fulfil their need for fresh and local.