I encourage everyone who has trouble with their laws or ordinances to try to find a way- our local chicken-kissers got together and formed a group- Coalition of Lawrence Urban Chicken Keepers-C.L.U.C.K.
After petitioning and much public discussion, April '08 our City Commission passed an ordinance ruling chickens acceptable as pets. As such, they must be cared for accordingly. Meaties are allowed, but no backyard processing. Each homeowner is allowed up to 20 chickens, depending on space, and certain details are spelled out clearly. No roos allowed.
You can see our ordinance here, the cover memo for the Commissioners here, and our group's scarcely used website is here. I'm delirious to share this experience with my kids without having to thwart any rules to do so... but I'd have found a way even if it wasn't allowed! I love my chooks!!!