So I'm sitting here reading these posts and I'm thinking about the various ordinances which may, or may not, prohibit people from having chickens in their backyards in suburban or urban settings. To give you some background, I am a lawyer when I am not taking care of my 17 chickens, 5 goats, 1 goose, 2 rabbits, dog and cat, and organic garden with 30 member CSA. We live in an unincorporated five acre historic farmstead established by my family 150 years ago. We are surrounded by subdivisions and the city limits of a suburb but are not inside said city and can therefore have any farm animals we want with the original ag zoning. SHould the city forceably annex us, we have to be grandfathered in with the existing uses. I was previously on both a township and county planning commisison and am now on a citizens advisory commission to a metropolitan area wide planning agency. I am also an elected park commissioner. The prohibition on backyard chickens is really a vestige of the mid 20th Century when people, most of who were raised on farms, managed to "escape" to cities and towns and wanted to banish any reminders of their formerly rural existences from their immediate environments to cement in their minds the idea that they had "arrived." Today, we have people who are a couple of generations removed from farming who are looking wistfully back at it and also looking at the uncertainty of the financial markets over which they have no control and are thinking "Maybe we should stop using our lawns just to feed our lawn mowers and try to grow some of our own food to feed ourselves." This might include some small livestock like chickens, goats, geese, and sheep. WHen they try to do that, however, they run into the buzz saw of local ordinances which tell them they can't. I think the pendulum is shifting on this. The ordinances on the books are really just reflections of a certain philosophy that was prevalent at a certain time. As times change, the philosophy may change and there is no reason why the law has to remain the same. Why on earth, for example, is it all right to keep barking dogs and not clucking hens? The reason is really based on perceived class distinctions. What good are those when our mortgages are being foreclosed? Your thoughts?