To the editor:
I am writing about my concerns that there may be an ordinance that will make it illegal to keep a small number of chickens (hens) in the city.
Not everyone can afford to live in the country, but everyone deserves the right to provide themselves healthy food at a reasonable cost. Yard birds not only provide a healthy protein source but they are also excellent at controlling insects. Imagine reducing the numbers of ticks, flies, grasshoppers and other insects as your lawn is being fertilized. No harmful pesticides need to saturate your lawn and enter the groundwater.
I am much more concerned about the mounds and mounds of dog excrement I must remove in front of my house before I can mow next to the sidewalk or the feces from the neighbor's cat that I encounter when working in my flower beds.
Chickens are not a farm animal. They are a domestic bird that is not only intelligent but make excellent companion pets. I have friends that own parrots larger than chickens that they tether outside on perches. Should they be included in the ordinance? Will there soon be an ordinance to control bird feeders in people's yards because of the risk of bird influenza carried by migratory birds?
There are cities throughout the United States that allow chickens to be kept in the city limits. Use some common sense, do some research and see if the risk is any greater than our exposure to the Canada geese that populate our city parks.
Jane M. Getto,