Archive for Monday, March 27, 2006

Law ruffles family’s feathers

Chickens to leave Basehor coop

March 27, 2006


— City regulations were the last thing on Victor Dietz's mind about a year ago when he decided to buy a couple of baby chickens for his daughter, Hannah. His then-9-year-old daughter fell in love with the baby chicks.

"It's kind of an emotional purchase - you see how cute they are," said Dietz, a Basehor resident.

On March 14, Dietz was fined $50 for keeping Precious, a Rhode Island Red, and Nickie, a Plymouth Rock hen, within the city limits at his girlfriend's house.

After giving up on filing an appeal last week in Leavenworth County District Court - the procedures and paperwork were too complicated to navigate without professional legal help, he said - Dietz said he would move the chickens to the farm at a friend's house in Bonner Springs.

Dietz said he thought it was "crazy" that Basehor law includes provisions that regulate the keeping of vicious dogs, while chickens cannot be kept in the city.

At Feldman's in Basehor - where the chicks were purchased - the general manager, Demitri Gabriel, said he thought very few of the chicks the store sold were kept for pets.

Gabriel said most customers who looked at any of the store's seven breeds of chickens asked whether they're "good for eating."

Victor Dietz and his daughter, Hannah, no longer can keep their pet chickens at home with them in Basehor after city officials fined them for violating a city law. Dietz plans to move the chickens to a friend's farm in Bonner Springs.

Victor Dietz and his daughter, Hannah, no longer can keep their pet chickens at home with them in Basehor after city officials fined them for violating a city law. Dietz plans to move the chickens to a friend's farm in Bonner Springs.

"Most people buy them for laying and butchering," he said.

John Thompson, city attorney for Basehor, said there were a "variety of rationales" for the law banning chickens, "mainly public health and public safety" in regard to diseases borne by poultry.

Dietz had built a cage for the animals, complete with a chicken wire floor for easy maintenance, and wheels, which allow it to be moved into the sun when the weather is nice.

The cage stayed in the garage in the winter, where the birds are kept during the day.

In the house, the birds wore diapers Dietz bought through the Internet, and seemed to get along fine with his dog, Buddy.

Toni Iovkova, Dietz's girlfriend, said the chickens liked to drink coffee and Pepsi.

Hannah, now 10, said she was unhappy that the chickens would not be allowed to stay at the house.

"I really like my chickens," she said. "It made me really mad."

Dietz said his next move would be to request an amendment to the animal control ordinance at the next Basehor City Council meeting, which is April 3.

Bonner Springs Chieftain reporter Jesse Truesdale can be reached at (913) 727-1525


badger 12 years, 3 months ago


Those people are going to get Teh Bird Flu!

It's really unfortunate for that little girl that the city is so inflexible in its rules regarding pets. I don't think a pet chicken is really that different (except perhaps less bitey) from a pet macaw or parrot.

And, honestly, the man bought chicken diapers on the Internet. I didn't know there was such a thing. Chicken diapers. Isn't there some way to accept that any pet you put a diaper on, doesn't count as livestock?

shanefivedyes 12 years, 3 months ago

Just ignore the law, like 11,000,000+ illegal immigrants. What a joke!

Kathleen Christian 12 years, 3 months ago

Kansas worries more about making laws for animals then they to in protecting children. I've seen some parents live like animals and treat their young the same there should be an ordiance for that.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 3 months ago

diapers for chickens!
and this little town says you can't keep a couple of chicks in the garage. damn.
I too worried about exposure to bird flu and other things. chicken sht is really nothing to keep inside, even if in a diaper*!

kutwitch 12 years, 3 months ago

This law is not about protecting the animals, its about protecting people. Domestic birds have very different disease issues than do exotics. The bird flu for instance is commonly found in wild birds but they do not get sick from it. The problem is that poultry don't have the immune systems to help them deal with diseases like avian flu and it is on the verge of causing a global pandemic. This is also the reason that poultry farmers across the US are moving their operations indoors to protect their birds. If you think this isn't a serious issue, even in small town Kansas,than you have got your eyes and ears closed.

delta77 12 years, 3 months ago

This law is not about bird flu. You watch too much TV. It's about keeping farm animals on the farm and out of the city.

That said, I've seen some pretty nasty pets and I'm not sure that having a chicken is any worse than any of the other dirty animals that some people keep around.

Fatty_McButterpants 12 years, 3 months ago

Don't take them to a farm! Deep fry them and eat away your blues!

Dan Alexander 12 years, 3 months ago

Thank God in Lawrence I can have my chickens and no one bothers me. My Rooster can rape you hens, bird flue or no bird flue. I gotta crow.

Confrontation 12 years, 3 months ago

Katybleu: I definitely agree with what you are saying. When a man gets five years for killing some cats, but only a year for molesting a child, then I think our priorities are messed up. I don't agree with animal torture, but I am a big fan of putting unwanted animals to "sleep," and using the extra funds to help children. Okay, all you PETA/Humane Society lovers, go ahead and freak out all you want.

Sporg 12 years, 3 months ago

No, you can eat an unwanted animal... I don't know that I'd want to eat a homeless person.

Confrontation 12 years, 3 months ago

Yes, but neither PETA or the humane society would want to lose funding in order to help children. Keep donating your money to feed the animals, but forget about the children who could someday contribute to society.

Sporg 12 years, 3 months ago

What about adult people who don't contribute to society? Heck, can't eat them either...

Linda Endicott 12 years, 3 months ago

I don't really see what the big fuss is about. Where I live, keeping chickens in town hasn't been allowed for years and years, long before all the hype about bird flu.

Most towns have ordinances that don't allow people to keep farm animals in the city. Sorry to say, chickens are considered farm animals.

I almost choked over the "chicken diapers". What will they think of next...

tpatric 12 years, 3 months ago

According to the Lawrence city code birds can be kept but not fowl. There was a grandfather clause when the ordinance was enacted that people who already had them could keep them if they were kept 75 feet from where people reside. I found that out when I wanted to keep a turkey, but that was fine with me 'cause that fowl was foul.

Shardwurm 12 years, 3 months ago

Yeah...but I bet they allow balloons on used cars in Basehor.

What chaos!

Susan Mangan 12 years, 3 months ago

I don't personally have any problem with people keeping chickens (within reason...I'd rather they not peck at my car or house) within city limits. I think it would be kind of cool to have one or two for eggs, actually. But every time I've mentioned it, in passing, to my husband, we've both discussed how you can't keep farm animals in towns. I honestly thought just about every city and town had that rule. I feel for the guy's daughter, since she's attached to it, but he should have had some common sense before buying them and wondered why none of their neighbors have any.

So why aren't chickens allowed in town (excluding the whole Bird Flu discussion...that didn't exist when the law was passed)? Were they just lumped in with "farm animals", or is there something inherently dangerous about chickens?

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