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Save the chickens!!! March 31, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in chickens, homesteading, wit and wisdom.
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Here at Poor Richard’s Almanac, we feel strongly about chickens. Our friend Ben and Silence Dogood have kept a delightful flock of five or six heritage-breed chickens here at our rural cottage home, Hawk’s Haven, for at least a decade. Not only are the chickens easy-care, personable, and colorful, but they provide us with extraordinary organic eggs and high-nitrogen organic fertilizer for our gardens. We love our chickens and would recommend small-scale chicken-raising to anybody. 

So you can imagine how horrified we were to see today’s post on GardenRant (www.gardenrant.com), “Backyard chickens in jeopardy,” about how a couple in Buffalo, New York were being investigated for keeping chickens, even as they tried to make a sustainable stand in a drug-dealing downtown neighborhood. God forbid that anyone should try to keep a few hens when they could be dealing heroine in the streets instead! GRRRRRRRRRR. 

We suggest that you read the post itself, followed by the comments from readers who detail how many chickens their own urban governments deem that they may or may not own.

Yes, we understand that chickens make noise, especially after they’ve just laid an egg. All their noise, however, can’t compare to the sound of one barking dog or screaming siren. And if you don’t keep a crowing rooster (which you shouldn’t, unless you live on an isolated farm) that noise is under control.

Some people have heard that chicken coops smell bad. Well, no, that would be the factory farms where bazillion chickens are stuffed in the equivalent of a double-wide trailer. All you can smell in our chickens’ yard is fresh straw.

Hey, what about salmonella? Well hey, what about it?! In the crowded, horrific, malnourished conditions of factory farming, salmonella could be a real issue. In our Pullet Palace, where our hens roam freely and eat an abundance of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, and dairy products along with their organic seed and pellet rations, we don’t even wash the eggs before we use them. Obviously, we’re alive, healthy, and happily writing this post.

So please, head on over to GardenRant and do your part to save our chickens. Let’s not put another self-sufficient freedom in the hands of Big Government.



1. Deb - March 31, 2009

They tried to outlaw chickens in a neighboring town where the closest CSA farm is located. Thankfully, the motion failed.

Thank heavens! Nothing like keeping your priorities in sight. Grrrrrrr….

2. Cinj - March 31, 2009

Oh geez. I hate how governement gets involved in things they shouldn’t be and ignore things that really should be dealt with. I live in the country and I’m not supposed to have any chickens (or other livestock) on my 2 acre lot. Why do neighbors seem to feel the need to regulate what other people do anyway?

What?! No chickens, goats, guinea fowl, quail, pheasants, turkeys, ducks, etc. on TWO acres, Cinj?!! GRRRRR. Unbelievable! Maybe you should get in touch with some of the folks in the GardenRant chicken article and see if it’s not possible to get Big Government to leave you (and potential chickens) the hell alone!

3. Daphne Gould - March 31, 2009

One of my neighboring towns has a warrant article up for vote in April whether to let chickens in or not. I’m hoping it passes. We are contemplating moving there. I don’t know if I would keep them or or not (I’d need some hen babysitters when I travel), but I think people ought to have the choice.

Go chickens! Go chickens! GO chickens!!!! We have our petsitter feed the chickens when we travel, too, Daphne. And let her take home any eggs they lay while we’re gone. Works like a charm!

4. cooperii - April 1, 2009

There is a huge prejudice against “farm” animals of any type in many urban areas. Even most small towns in rural Ohio ban chickens, goats, and other farm animals. You can have up to 4 Great Dane poop machines, or any other kind of dog (including Pit Bulls) as long as you get their shots and pay the annual license fee. You can have an unlimited number of cats without even licensing them. With cats you don’t even have to get rabies shots, or keep them contained in any way. There are also many neighborhoods where you couldn’t even plant vegetables in the front yard (people might see them). There must be a reason, but I can’t find it.

I hear you, Alan! I’ll never forget the first time I heard that those “home associations” or whatever they call themselves demanded approval of even the types of trees and flowers a so-called homeowner could plant on his or her own grounds, assuming they were allowed to plant anything at all. Some homeownership!

5. Becca - April 1, 2009

I know I’ve told you how dismayed we were to find that there is a county zoning ordinance against keeping chickens anywhere in our county unless zoned agricultural. Is that not a crock? Disgusting, I tell you.

It’s outrageous, Becca! I’m SO sorry! Few things in life are as easy and satisfying as having a few hens. Your county commissioners should be ashamed!!!

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