Our village is looking into the backyard chickens issue and I’m a bit iffy on which side things will fall. I was feeling really positive until I went to the farmer’s market in town yesterday. There’s a big split between the baby boomers. Some say this is a “common sense” issue and that we live too close to the forest preserve to keep chickens, so it should be illegal. To that I say that common sense issues should be left to the individual. Aren’t we supposed to be making those decisions for ourselves? Some folks proclaimed, “I can’t believe the village wouldn’t let us have them. Why wouldn’t they?” Why would something that has, as far as can be discovered, always been legal here be outlawed now? There are so many misconceptions about keeping hens and I worry that there’s not enough time to make sure everyone feels educated about the facts before the board meets to review and make their decision.
Hens don’t crow. Roosters do.
You don’t need a rooster to have eggs.
A small flock of chickens produces 88% less waste than an average backyard dog.
Backyard chickens are not a sign of economically distressed areas. In fact, communities with pro-backyard chicken ordinances are viewed to be progressive and as having higher property values.
Chickens do not attract mice. Fact: Chickens are omnivores and do not tolerate mice. They’ll actually chase them and eat them.
Chickens are great composters. Give your kitchen scraps a second round by feeding them to your birds. They’ll return the favor with rich compost.
Homegrown eggs are without hormones or chemicals, are higher in nutrients, lower in cholesterol, and taste 10 times better than store-bought eggs.
Backyard chickens provide lessons for children about responsibility and where food comes from.
Chickens provide natural insect control. As they hunt and peck around the yard, chickens gobble up grubs, earwigs and other bugs, treating our garden pests as tasty, nutritious treats.
Our local paper came out to take pictures of our hens and ask me some questions. That article will be in this week’s edition. So now I’m worried about how that story will be spun. Am I the “crazy chicken lady” of the town? Or a progressive individual looking to keep basic civil liberties intact? Who knows how they will choose to play it out. We live here. We own our home. We have kids who will be growing up around these people. If they take the wrong stance about my opinion, it could be really negative for our family.
But then again, is this really that big an issue? I can’t imagine that anyone who isn’t excited about the option of keeping hens is much more than ambivalent about the issue. Would someone be so anti-backyard chickens that they would actively campaign against us keeping them? You never know.
Well, wish us luck friends. I hope the next check in on this topic is a positive one.