And the Lion Shall Lie Down With … the Chicken?
It’s proverbially difficult for some species to get along. This Wall Street Journal article (which is available for free, this time; my apologies to those who tried to read the gated article I linked to the other day) details the conflicts that have developed between chickens and humans, the humans being neighbors of the chickens’ owners.
Some people want chicken ownership to be illegal in cities and suburbs because they associate chickens with rural areas. Chickens don’t mesh with their idea of what should go on in a city. As one person quoted in the article put it, “Get a farm.”
The thing is, city ordinances are supposed to protect citizens’ property and safety, not to uphold a particular lifestyle.
Arguments that chickens attract predators, or that they get loose and cause trouble, are legitimate. I didn’t know that the city of Miami has pulled more than 6,000 chickens off its streets since 2003. That’s an outrageously high number of chickens. However, those problems could be prevented simply by enforcing limits on the number of chickens people keep and requirements that chickens be secured in their owners’ yards. The complaints are the fault of irresponsible pet owners, and have nothing to do with keeping chickens per se. There’s no reason to think chicken owners are less likely to care for their pets properly than dog owners or cat owners.
If you’d like to read more about chickens, here are some previous blog posts on the subject.