Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fresh eggs? Off the menu for you...

Well, with a little encouragement through example and comments by way of Jacobus Family Blogsite , where there are chickens, I finally called up the city clerk to ask about regulations on having chickens where I live. Why the city clerk? Quite frankly, I didn't know who else to call....

The conversation went roughly like this: ( not verbatim, but the city clerk was very nice... )

Me: Hi, I don't know who to ask about this, but I was wondering what the rules are about having chickens here.

City Clerk: They aren't allowed. Do you need a statute for that?

Me: No. How about outside the city limits?

City Clerk: Outside the city limits is fine.

Me: Ok, thank you.

City Clerk: Polite phone ending.

The end.

I found it interesting that the city clerk offered a statute on that--wonder if other people have asked the question and gotten all upset about it and told the clerk to prove that they weren't legally allowed to harbor the 150 chicks that they had pre-ordered and were due in an overnight express... or if there have been times that people felt that it was "their yard, their rules" and proceeded to have a lengthy and heated discussion about the fact that they should be able to do as they pleased in on their own private property... or if some people, upon learning that their plans to live as a world-famous poultry producer were foiled forever, proceeded to run around like a chicken with their head cut off.... (sorry, just amusing myself with that one... )

Well, you can laugh or you can cry, as they say, hence the preceding paragraph. It is seriously disappointing to me that chickens aren't allowed, although I understand that I would have a lot to learn before bringing in the chicks, even if that were an option at this time. I wanted the chickens mostly for their eggs, because (and this is probably just me) I pretty much would have a hard time trying to figure out how to butcher and harvest the meat of something that I raised. You do what you have to do, though. The whole meat-harvesting issue is one of the things that makes it obvious that I have to have at least one other protein source in mind when it comes to food storage... (yay rice and beans!)

Word of warning to the city clerk--you might get a call about the statutes on rabbits one of these days...

6 comments:

Robin said...

Bummer. They made it legal to have chickens again in my town, but no roosters. I live outside the city limits and my neighbor has a rooster that I love hearing in the morning. I'm planning to get some chickens for next summer (with any luck!)

Marie said...

Robin--Yeah, it's too bad here, but I'm glad that you can have chickens! It's also good that you don't mind the neighbor's rooster--I remember finding out that roosters don't always crow in the morning, but all day long... :) I figure that's one of the reasons that they're not allowed here. Thanks for your comment!

hsjacobus said...

Too funny! I love your rambling thoughts.

Roosters are definitely part of the problem, but ccnr's factor in too. You can only have livestock if you own x amount of land. Due to smell you can't have any. Due to property values.... The list goes on. I just heard about a guy who had a turkey in his back yard here and he lived in city limits. It disappeared around Thanksgiving time though before anyone had a chance to complain:)

Marie said...

HSJacobus--I think there are a lot of the factors you mention in our area. I hadn't thought about the smell, but I'm pretty sure that the neighbors wouldn't appreciate the property value factor if it made them go down. I'm also reasonably sure that they wouldn't tolerate a turkey for long at all, since I have heard about someone setting traps for cats before. Unfortunate that it's not allowed, because the eggs would be so much easier for me to process than anything else I can think of, like, say, rabbits. Thanks for the info, and for taking the time to comment!

Asphyxiated Emancipation said...

Go to City Council, en masse, if possible. Get the laws changed. The squeaky wheels get the grease, after all. The more people you have show up for City Council, the better, just make sure they can be polite and seem normal(even if they really aren't). I am the Code Enforcement Officer where I live, and laws can be changed. I know, I am in the process of rewriting several codes right now. Let me know if I can help. Also, google "Chickens in the backyard". It's an organization in CA.

Marie said...

Asphyxiated Emancipation--This is an excellent suggestion. At this point I don't know anyone else who would like to have chickens, so that would probably be my first point to take care of...I do think that around here some of the things that HSJacobus mentioned would be a factor--smell, and property values, so I don't know how many other people would be supportive of chicken raising. Doesn't mean I might not try it though--I'll check out that organization on google to find out more. Thanks very much for your comment, and all the info!