Letters to the Editor

Chicken defense

June 17, 2008


To the editor:

I was troubled to see the faulty logic that seemed apparent in the Journal-World reports about efforts to prohibit chickens in the city. While there is evidence that small children can contract salmonella if they handle chicks and don't wash their hands, a better response to this concern would be to educate parents about the risks of letting children handle baby chicks. Do we really want our government telling us we may not engage in the age-old practice of keeping a few chickens to lay eggs for us?

There are many benefits to keeping chickens. For one thing, they produce eggs that are much more nutritious than those you can buy at the supermarket. (Testing by Mother Earth News found that, compared to official USDA nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain a third less cholesterol, three times more vitamin E, seven times more beta carotene, and two-thirds more vitamin A!)

Also, backyard chickens will generally get far more humane care than those raised in crowded factory farms. Industrial production is creating numerous problems, including pollution from manure, antibiotic resistance and higher risk of a more dangerous strain of bird flu.

Keeping a few chickens at home is one way people can help address these problems. Limit their numbers, and require clean, humane care, yes. But there is no legitimate reason for the city to prohibit keeping a few chickens, any more than there is reason to ban the keeping of dogs or cats.

Megan Phelps,



terrapin2 9 years, 10 months ago

My friends just discovered they have been living next door to chickens for a long time and had no idea. No odor, no noise, (because the roosters don't lay eggs so you don't need them). Wash hands and enjoy the eggs. No need to live in the country. They also eat ticks and other disease carrying parasites from your yard and this is a banner year for those.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 9 years, 10 months ago

Calling all grumpy poopy pants! Calling all grumpy poopy pants! Grumpy poopy pants grumbling opportunity alert! I repeat! Grumpy poopy pants grumbling opportunity alert! ...and you kids stay out of my yard! Quit messing with my chickens! Go choke your own danged chickens!~)

gr 9 years, 10 months ago

Which is louder - a dog barking all night long or a chicken clucking during the daylight hours?

Meryl Carver 9 years, 10 months ago

"And then, of course, there's always the odor and noise."Which, properly taken care of, should not be an issue anymore than it is with dogs or cats.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 10 months ago

Birds, including chickens, can spread several diseases including histoplasmosis, primarily from their droppings. This is one big reason why most cities ban farm animals where dwellings are located fairly close to each other, making exposure risk from chickens on neighboring property higher.

OnlyTheOne 9 years, 10 months ago

And then, of course, there's always the odor and noise.You want chickens - move to the country.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 10 months ago

There is a certain amount of bird excrement, depending on the site particulars, that wild birds leave naturally. The point is, that it is within the property owner's control and responsibility to either perform the occasional cleaning necessary to remove it or modify the site to reduce how attractive it is to large numbers of wild birds, most of which usually do not establish residence and are just passing through. Purposely adding to the problem by raising birds on the property in denser, suburban areas only makes the problem worse and increases the likelihood that it will affect neighboring properties.BTW, concerning the firearm, most cities have ordinances against discharging one within the city limits, so that might pose a problem. I know that some people use BB or pellet guns to control a bird problem, but I do not know if that is against the law in Lawrence and could pose a problem if certain species are harmed.

supernik 9 years, 10 months ago

i'm just glad my neighbor's dont have any chickens. and i live in tongie! chickens are gross. actually i think all birds are gross. and peoples dogs that bark all night are irritating, and people who let their cats loose before they move so that hopefully they can live on whatever food they catch, while they are pooping in my kids' sand box! oo and people who drop their dogs in the country because they can't kill them

basil 9 years, 10 months ago

I don't think anyone is asking to run a factory farm in their backyard. I know several people with chickens in Lawrence, and I'll tell you, they are better neighbors that those with barking dogs. Animal feces from domestic animals spread toxoplasmosis, too. Shall we start banning all domestic animals? |Viva el pollo!

gr 9 years, 10 months ago

"When asked about toy dart guns, they said that would also fall into the projectile category."No more rubber bands!

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