Don’t Write Too Many Details Into Urban Chicken Laws
Urban chickens are up for debate in Columbia. I hope the city decides to allow people to keep at least a few chickens. Ideally, the law should allow a certain number of chickens for anyone who wants them, without a lot of fine print.
When laws include too many qualifications, they lead to absurd predicaments like this one in Sacramento. Chickens are legal there, but only on large plots of land. So, a family that’s renting a smaller property will have to get rid of its chickens — despite the fact that the landlord is happy for the birds to be there, and that bevies of quail, wild turkeys, and wood ducks move through the neighborhood on a regular basis.
There are wild turkeys running down the street but residents can’t raise a few chickens in an enclosed yard? All because the property isn’t spacious enough by an arbitrary standard? If someone were trying to cram hundreds of chickens into a tiny parcel, I would be the first to say the government should step in. But the family in Sacramento keeps just four hens. That’s the kind of case local governments should let alone.