This is a story that was in today's paper. Needless to say, I called them to offer the birds a good home... Chickens 'guano' be caught in Elkhart Birds leaving fowl waste on daycare playground Published: Friday, June 13, 2008 -- The Truth Last updated: 6/13/2008 12:02:16 AM By Tom Lange Truth Staff ELKHART -- Chickens can leave more than eggs in their wake. Ask anyone at the Early Childhood Development Center on Prairie Street. For the last month, four to six chickens have been leaving droppings on the center's playground. "This is a child care center and it's very unsanitary to have the chickens on the playground," said Carolyn Bennett, child services coordinator for the center. Beth Hewitt, supervisor for communicable diseases with the Elkhart County Health Department, said exposure to chicken feces can breed two diseases for children. One is campylobacteriosis, which is a commonly reported cause of diarrhea in humans. The other is salmonella. Both cause similar symptoms, including diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, upset stomach and vomiting. Catching the chickens has been tricky. Officials from the development center have been in touch with the police, the county's environmental health department, the zoning board and the humane society. When the development center contacted the health department they were told they needed to take up their cause with the city. John Hulewicz, environmental health supervisor for the county health department, said the threat of illness posed by chicken feces was not significant enough to warrant their involvement. "While we deal with public health issues it would be a very thin thread to weave to show that chickens show a public health threat," he said. The development center also reached out to the mayor's office. Arvis Dawson, executive assistant to Mayor Dick Moore, said it is not permitted to have farm animals in the city and code enforcement officers will uphold the ordinance. Property owners will be held responsible if chickens are found on their property unless they have reasonable proof the chickens aren't theirs. Development center officials believe the chickens are coming from a house nearby. But no one has claimed responsibility for the chickens and there has been nothing substantial to link the chickens to the home's residents. The humane society has been working daily to try and catch the chickens. A team of two to three men regularly checks for the chickens in the area of the development center. Because they can be hard to catch up to, six men are available to provide additional support, said Eric Durcinka, executive director of the humane society. "We're destined to eventually get the chickens," he said. "Our main goal is to do whatever it takes to catch them and get them off the streets." Contact Tom Lange at [email protected]. Story Link: http://www.etruth.com/Know/News/Story.aspx?id=452921 Copyright 2008 Truth Publishing Co.