Help! Our ordinance is being voted on Tuesday, help us counter these arguments

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by joestahl, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. joestahl

    joestahl Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is a link to the ordinance that will be voted for on Tuesday:
    http://www.keyportonline.com/filestorage/315/294/1782/1850/ord_11-20-12_chicken_ordinance.pdf

    Here is a letter (that we weren't supposed to know about) that was sent around to the council and other members of the community. Please help us with some links to counter his arguments. Thanks


    Keyport Neighbors
    Re: Chickens as Your Neighbors’ Pets - Public Hearing 12/4/12
    The Keyport Borough Council (KBC) will hold a Public Hearing this Tuesday regarding Ordinance #22-12 Chicken Ordinance. A copy of this Ordinance is posted on the Borough website under Government -> Government Action -> Ordinances.
    A Third Street resident has asked the Keyport Borough Council (KBC) to pass an Ordinance allowing the keeping of chickens as pets. Pictures of barefoot children in the yard and coop with chickens are posted on their facebook page and statements are made that no health and nuisance issues will result from keeping of chickens as pets. They reportedly have an on-line petition with over two-hundred signatures in favor of keeping chickens as pets.
    Contradicting the advocates statement that there are no health issues, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) article onKeeping Backyard Poultry indicates that it’s common for chickens, ducks and other poultry to carry Salmonella, which is a type of germ that naturally lives in the intestines of poultry. Chickens may have Salmonella germs in their droppings and on their bodies even though they appear healthy. Health risks can result from handling chickens or anything in the areas the chickens occupy. Young children and those with immune impairment are especially at risk. Salmonella can make people sick with diarrhea and fever, often with vomiting and abdominal cramps. For the full CDC article go to
    http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellapoultry/
    Chickens deposit feces anywhere and frequently. They deposit feces in their nest, on their eggs, in their coop, and in their pen. If these deposits are not maintained in a dry state and regularly cleaned-up they will emit an odor and attract flies. Chicken feed and eggs, if not properly managed, attract mice and rats. A review of internet sites providing coaching on Backyard Chickens it is apparent that a well maintained and controlled environment can avoid attracting flies and rodents and not emit a strong odor. However, these same internet sites are dealing with inadequately maintained pens and coops with any and all of these problems.
    So what rules/criteria are built into this Keyport Chicken Keeping Ordinance to ensure an adequately maintained site next your property?

    · Maximum of 6 hens and no roosters per lot
    · Hen’s area of confinement – Confinement of hens to an area/enclosure with property line setbacks not specifically required. (no definitive criteria)
    · Schedule for removal of uneaten feed – removal in a “timely manner” (no definitive criteria)
    · Schedule for cleaning up feces – “regularly removed” (no definitive criteria)
    · Dead chicken disposal - in a “sanitary manner” (no definitive criteria)
    The only protection an adjacent resident has against a site, which has become a nuisance, is to make a written complaint to the Secretary of the Board of Health, who will investigate, report findings, and make recommendations to Mayor and Council.

    If you have concerns, as I do, about this Chicken Keeping Ordinance, now is the time to study the ordinance, formulate your questions and issue, and participate in this Tuesday’s Public Hearing.
    At this Tuesday’s KBC meeting there will be a second Public Hearing for Ordinance #23-12 Sale of Old Borough Hall. This ordinance ratifies “the purchase and sale agreement with Main Street USA, LLC.” for the old Borough Hall.
    Two items are listed under unfinished business:

    · Flood Maps – Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). Sources have indicated to me that FEMA will issue new FIRMs this coming week.
    · USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service.
    All comments and corrections are appreciated. My personal comments are in italics.
    Regards
     
  2. joestahl

    joestahl Out Of The Brooder

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    To clarify the point about our children walking around barefoot - the photos he's referring to were taken the day our coop was delivered, before the chickens were even allowed outside. Our children do not walk around barefoot in the yard now that the chickens are out there.
     
  3. rikithemonk

    rikithemonk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He has valid points. Focus on examples of current laws. For example if an animal control officer is called to a home and he finds dogs kept in a kennel in unsanitary conditions, that man can be fined. If that officer is called to another home and finds a man living in a house full of cats in a hording situation, the animals can be confiscated and the man arrested. A reasonable number of birds can be kept safely in an enclosed shelter and reasonable living conditions enforced by appropriate laws.


    Concern escapes. If a mans dog runs away, his dog can be impounded, The man fines, and if it happens often enough, the man can be arrested for neglect. The same can apply

    Concern rooster. Educate that they aren't needed.

    Concern Disease. Remind them that many legal animals commonly kept as pets all over the united states Carry salmonella. Pet shop reptiles and pet store birds can carry it as well.


    Riki
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't have any specific links arguing the pros vs cons but I think pointing out that other cities allow chickens could help. Especially those that have fairly recently changed ordinances to allow keeping backyard chickens. Look at the City of South Burlington, VT. Someone posted the draft for City Council review here on BYC:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/south-burlington-vermont-chicken-ordinance


    Here is a link to the City's ordinance (points to a PDF): http://www.sburl.com/index.asp?Type...5F}&DE={9E520158-54EE-4726-80A2-17F2D14A6669}

    Burlington allowed chickens, South Burlington did not (*). Some neighbors put together a petition, it was signed by almost everyone. The city agreed, There are rules, one being "no roosters" which is common. People don't want to hear them crow all day. I'm not sure how listening to dogs barking all day is different. As to smell and lack of sanity, I know of at least 1 neighbor that had 6 chickens a couple of years before it was legal. Most people didn't know. Those that did ("Chickens? I don't see any chickens") didn't care.

    I have had chickens for almost 6 months. They are very quiet, don't stink and their owners don't call and clap at 3 AM (like a certain neighbor whose house is 8 feet away does to get their dog in). And one of this neighbors' dogs routinely jumped my fence to get out of their yard. Their dog's poop flew back into their yard come spring.

    Good luck. Hopefully the council will see that chickens are not a problem, in fact are LESS of a problem than commonly allowed pets as noted above.

    (*) Which is pretty funny since the city of Burlington split off South Burlington in the late 1800s because it was too rural and didn't fit with the rest of the city.

    Bruce
     
  5. Fluffnpuff

    Fluffnpuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I almost want to punch someone in the face when i hear crap like what i bolded. Every pet has the potential to carry disease and EVERY activity has some risk. What about the danger of pregnant women being around cats? Horrible disease interactions can occur so you might as well ban cats. Dogs can get rabies so ban those things too. Kids can get allergies from grass so pass an ordinance making everyone cement their yard.

    Most likely the "save the children argument" is made so the author doesn't have to admit the main reasons he or she is against chickens is because he views it as something poor people and certain ethnic minorities do. It's a cop out to avoid being labeled a racist and/or classist.

    As to Salmonella, what does he think is the alternative? Big agri keeps poultry birds in virtual sewage drains. Check this video or ANY mercy for animals vid Its far healthier to eat your own birds as opposed to getting store bought mutant cornishes that have super bacteria from being put on anti-biotics their short lives.

    I would sell it from an animal welfare angle. You're just a vegetarian who can't stomach the thoughts of your eggs coming from the above video, so you want to keep 6 hens for eggs. Afterall you support compassion.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Overrun With Chickens

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    Good points.

    I had to do the litter box when my wife was pregnant. We should ban cats (which could be a problem since we have 3 [​IMG] ).

    I worked at a veterinarian when I was in college. Got ringworm on my forearm from a dog my last day of work. We should ban dogs.

    Even better, I think we all know that the price per egg is HIGHER for "grew them myself in my backyard" compared to factory farm eggs. Even if you exclude the cost of the chicks; buying feed and building housing are expensive compared to $1.60/dozen eggs. Takes a LONG time to recover the cost of coops and runs. I doubt most backyard chicken owners ever do. Most people in the city that might be "snooty" thinking chickens are raised by poor people aren't talking about their neighbors.

    Bruce
     
  7. Fluffnpuff

    Fluffnpuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are a LOT of misconceptions people have about chickens. But that is what happens when the bulk of our population doesn't participate in any food cultivation. Last year after a tornado, a landscaping company was cutting up downed trees in my neighborhood and someone stoped by my house to see if we needed their services. He naturally noticed a few chickens in my yard. When i opened the door, the gentlemen saw i was caucasion and exclaimed "You live here with chickens? Why are you living like a mexican?".
     
  8. joestahl

    joestahl Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, that is a really bigoted/racist statement. I've never considered it a Mexican thing, myself.
     
  9. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG][​IMG]

    "Because I'd rather live like someone with a brain, which apparently would not apply to you"
     
  10. rikithemonk

    rikithemonk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    True,

    But the CDC does have the important job of stating the risks. However you have to point out the simple fact that the reason the CDC made the warning isn't because of one guy with 4 chickens in his back yard. Its because there are farms with thousands of chickens crammed into enclosures where the chicken scat has to be scraped up with bull dozers. Hundreds of pounds of chicken scat has to be dealt with as toxic waste.

    Riki
     

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