Chickens? Maybe. Roosters? Absolutely Not - And Response (2)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The City Council has set guidelines and licensing fees for keeping chicken on private property in residential areas. Up to eight chickens. 

There are good points and bad points, as in every issue. Keeping chickens allows owners to harvest totally organic eggs. This is a good thing. However, harvesting organic chicken requires a rooster to regenerate the chicken stock (sorry...had to). A rooster is a completely different matter.

Having lived next to neighbors with chickens I can honest say that chickens do not present an infraction to the noise ordinance. But roosters will...consistently, continually and obnoxiously.

It is the rare rooster who crows only occasionally. Most roosters crow whenever they feel like it, or on cloudy days when the sun is shrouded and the rooster is confused. Roosters are definitely loud. Louder than a car horn. Louder than your screaming neighbor when the power goes off and no one can watch Oprah.

David Fihn, Sr.

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Roosters are not allowed under the proposed ordinance, only hens.  

Lynn Ashton 

* * *

This whole chicken thing needs to be rethought.  What problem does the proposal to allow homeowners to keep chickens inside the city solve?  Is there a shortage of chickens? A lack of eggs?   

The ordinance as drawn up will allow trendy affluent families to have a few chickens because it's so cool to have a few "organic" eggs.  The rest of us, we can't afford the fees.  And anybody who grows a few tomatoes in their backyard knows that to get the best results, those "homegrown" tomatoes end up costing more than those bought from a farmer's market.  Properly kept, those cute chickens will cost, too. 

And chickens properly kept according to the ordinance may turn out to be the exception rather than the rule.  Who will pay to monitor the program to allow your neighbors to keep chickens?  And who will audit the agencies who are responsible for policing the new ordinance?  Fees alone won't do it.  A complaint-driven enforcement system?  That's a laugher.  Plus it's likely to set neighbor against neighbor. Anybody who has had a neighbor with an obstreperous dog knows how difficult it is to even get the city to inspect let alone take any action. 

Properly kept, chicken yards require frequent cleaning. The birds can come down with various bird-illnesses.  Will the city require periodic inspection by a qualified veterinarian?  I think not. The ordinance prohibits slaughtering of chickens outdoors. Indoors?  Perhaps in one's kitchen? And the supposed benefit of obtaining "organic eggs" is suspect, too.  The necessary spraying for insects and disease, and the use of processed chicken feed will put an end to any "organic label." 

The proposed chicken ordinance will not solve any problem, will yield only marginal benefits to a few, will cause neighborhood strife, and will end up costing the taxpayers. 

Everett Kidder



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