Anyone Ever Write an Article for a Newspaper About Chickens?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by DragonEggs, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. DragonEggs

    DragonEggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    Borger, TX
    I'm thinking of writing an article and submitting it to my local paper. I've written lots of articles for local papers since I was in HS and have never had one not printed but I've never written to a paper as big as the Palm Beach Post and never on the subject of Chickens. I want to make sure it's good so they print it and get the word out about raising Backyard Chickens. It would really help my case if they did.

    I'm playing with the idea of 2 titles in my head right now but I'm open to suggestions for titles as well as filling from other writers. I'm toying with "Chickens Voted Man's Best Friend 2010" and something like "Chickens are the NOW"

    I've been arguing my point using dogs as an example. According to the local zoning officer you have to have at least 5 acres to apply for a permit to keep agriculture. If chickens only need 4 sq feet per bird and I have 15 chickens thats 60 sq feet of space needed for my flock. 5 acres is 217,800 square feet. Yet the law also states that if I have 1.5 acres (65,340 sq ft) OR LESS of land I may keep up to 10 dogs. An average medium sized dog requires about 60 sq feet to potty and exercise comfortably in. A chicken weighs 5-7 lbs, an average medium size dog weighs around 75 lbs. So, so far, 15 chickens=1 Golden Retriever in every aspect except space required to keep them. In my mind I am imagining 10 Great Danes living in a small apt, which is perfectly legal, but my 6x10 chicken pen in my fenced in backyard is not. It would seem that 2+2 doesn't always equal 4.

    This whole idea came to me when I was going to give my dog some generic OTC pain killers for his sore leg and someone wanted to argue with me that I couldn't give those to my dog. I tried to explain to them you can give a dog just about anything a human can have as long as it's administered in the correct dose. Even after I said 3 vets told me I can give my dog anything that might help his pain, but you are told to avoid coated asprin because it upsets their stomach. Long story short they never gave up ther position but quit arguing. I gave my dog the pain killers and he's sleeping soundly now. I feel like I won because my dog feels better (though I think the meatball helped more than the pain killers) not because I won the argument. I want to win this so I can keep my chickens, not just for the sake of winning even though those people I'm against will continue to argue and never give up their post.

    Looking for a little inspiration [​IMG]
     
  2. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

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    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    Catchy titles are great, but don't make a claim you can't back up. Proclaiming that chickens have been voted man's best friend, you better have the data to back it up. You could change it to a question instead of a statement and give people a tidbit that makes them want to read your work: Chickens, Man's Next Best Friend?

    Comparing a dog to a chicken and the local laws turns your article into a pros and cons contest, not an informative article. Make sure that you word it as if you are teaching someone something they need to know.

    Example of a Pro and Con:
    According to (__________) a chicken only needs (______) space to thrive in. So why does the zoning require (_____) land to keep a chicken on when the same zoning law states that you have to have (_____) to keep a dog on? In speaking with the local zoning agent, the law was explained as such:(__________________).

    Example of informative: Could chickens become man's next best friend? In addition to providing healthy fresh eggs, chickens only take up (_____) feet of room, and are very easy to clean up after. A chicken that has been hand raised is friendly and to the best of my knowledge, never attacked a mail man!

    This way you are letting them know you will teach them something new and also injecting a bit of humor into your article. Good luck, let us see it.
     
  3. DragonEggs

    DragonEggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    Borger, TX
    Better believe I will! Usually takes me 3-5 days to write an article once I start (haven't actually started yet, but I wanna hurry and get on it). I was thinking of posting a poll on BYC asking to vote for "Man's Best Friend", I know us chicken people are biased, but it still would have been funny. Really good ideas you have there. I still haven't decided completely which way to run with this article, but I KNOW I want to send them a copy of the "Uncle Sam Expects YOU to Raise Hens and Keep Chickens" ad as well as a picture of me with my bird at Petsmart (did I mention I brought my white silkie roo to the Petsmart grand opening? People LOVED him!). I can understand if this were a cow or a horse or even a goat, but they're birds and they're small and not bothering anyone. People keep rabbits and doves as pets, aren't those considered livestock as well? I am honestly trying to understand WHY people are so against this.
     
  4. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

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    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    Sometimes it's very hard to right objectively about something we feel so strongly about. I hope you article changes some mindsets!
     
  5. anbhean

    anbhean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 3, 2010
    Colorado
    When we were fighting for more realistic rules in my Colorado town, I wrote two or three articles for the local paper. I got very good response from most, crazy, paranoid rhetoric from others. Pretty much your standard reaction to anything "controversial". However, I'm sad to say it made very little difference when it came to actually changing the laws in my town. Despite the majority being those who supported the codes being changed, the town council stayed ignorant and voted it down by a tie. They did so after the mayor made sure to send a message to be read out loud at the public hearing letting everyone know how he expected those "loyal to him" to vote. [​IMG] Gotta love a small town.

    I'd say, work on your city council before you work on the public AND once you do write the article, be aware that they will edit the living heck out of it. And by edit, I don't mean check spelling... I mean cut, paste and shorten sometimes pretty extensively depending on how verbose you are. Keep it tight, to the point and within the word limit if you don't want to be like me and get mad when your article shows up as a Sunday feature minus 300 words! [​IMG]
     

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