Letters to the Editor

Fowl law

May 5, 2012


To the editor:

We have been raising chickens on our farm since 1973. When cared for properly, chickens mesh very well with humans and have done so for thousands of years. We feed and protect them, and they provide us with eggs, entertainment, lessons in life’s secrets, sustainable garbage disposal and, sometimes, meat. We celebrated the passage of the ordinance that allows folks in town to keep a small flock.

The part of the ordinance that precipitated the banning of the sale of baby chicks and ducklings by Orscheln’s demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the needs of chickens. Adult chickens do benefit greatly from having access to adequate space, fresh air, green grass, bugs and worms. But the needs of baby chicks are somewhat different. They need to have close contact with other chicks for warmth, security, and, perhaps, psychological well being. It is ridiculous to have a rule that demands that each chick have 10 square feet of space each.

We hope the ordinance will be modified to reflect the real needs of chickens.


Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 11 months ago

Progressive arrogance at its worst. Lawrence city leaders need to be reeducated on their proper role. Time to clean house folks!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

It's a poorly crafted law that's been too narrowly interpreted by a few city employees. There's nothing "progressive" about this.

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

Was the intent behind the ordinance 1. to protect the well being of chickens or 2. to keep certain residents from keeping thousands of chickens in their yards? The former is definitely progressive, the latter is due to the oddballs that reside in Lawrence, also probably progressives. Inthink it's fair to say that progressive ideals were the motivator behind this stupid ordinance.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

You're entitled to your own opinion, even if the basis for it is utterly ridiculous.

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

Then please, by all means, give me a lesson Professor. What was the intent behind the fowl ordinance?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

The intent may have been "progressive" on some level or another, depending on the definition, even though there are probably lots of conservatives who'll keep some chickens in their backyards, as well.

But that the law was interpreted this way, even if the wording warrants it, was not in any way "progressive."

Perhaps you need to be a little introspective about why you are so prejudiced against those you see as "progressive" that you need to come on here a make such clearly weird and unsubstantiated broadsides against people who, for the most part, you've never met.

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

No explanation. Typical. What I am is tired of being a moderate person caught between the idiots on the right in Topeka and the idiots on the left in Lawrence.

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

messed up the iPhone typing there. you get the idea.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Oh, you're in some self-proclaimed "middle," so that makes your whiny, mostly baseless posts somehow reasonable. I get it.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

I beg to differ. If the opinion is based on a falsehood, then they've also become entitled to their own facts.

"You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts."

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

"Progressive" has nothing at all to do with it. It's just a decision based on misguided emotion, and was not well researched.

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm going to say it again. Whoever made the decision on the chicks should be sacked on the spot. You can only imagine the other horrible decisions this moron makes on a daily basis. While we're at it, lets clean house Cromwell and Schumm should be recalled. Corliss should be replaced. The HRC should be disbanded and the planning commission revamped. It's time to get rid of the "old boy network" here. It's weak It can be done..

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 11 months ago

Yep. Our city leaders routinely cater to the every neead of the two major players in Lawrence, helping perpetuate the virtual monopoly they hold over building and development. Constituents who may wish to provide for themselves by raising a few poultry or eggs, are simply small potatoes to our city leaders, and are subject to their scrutiny and derision. Time to refocus your priorities.

John Hamm 2 years, 11 months ago

Severing the head without nicking the bone! Well said!

waiting 2 years, 11 months ago

They should have given Orscheln the extra two weeks while they did some checking on the care and needs for baby chicks and addressed the problem for next year. I recently was forced to obey an order by a city official at my financial expense that was not a city ordinance. City employees just decided that's what they wanted. I know for a fact that not everyone is held to the same rule, it's all in who you know. I'm sure besides the chicks, people bought supplies for the chicks. Now they must shop outside the city, sales tax revenues lost, what happened to shop locally?

rtwngr 2 years, 11 months ago

I would lead a recall effort but I'm "chicken". I gotta get out of this town because I'm feeling "cooped" up. I don't give a "cluck" what they do at city hall. Do you know what the white spots in chicken crap is? That's chicken crap too!

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

Schumm should be arrested for crimes against BBQ. Talk about running a fowl.

tomatogrower 2 years, 11 months ago

The ordinance was to keep people from having smelly chicken coops that would be gross for the neighbors. Obviously the person who brought the chicks to the attention of the city and the person in charge of enforcement are clueless about chickens. This chicks were not being abused. They like the warmth of being together. When I saw them, the area was always kept clean and didn't smell. I don't know the person who complained, but they need to visit a farm someday. No, not one of the factory farms, where a hen never leaves an overcrowd smelly building, but a real farm. My sister lived near one of those in Arkansas, so I understand what some people don't want next door to them. They need to know what chicks really need. I think the Lominska's have given tours of their farm before. There is usually a farm tour during the year. Go to it.

tomatogrower 2 years, 11 months ago

Ahhh, an age old question that bears repeating. :>)

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

Thank you for this letter. I am no chicken expert, and I am greatly concerned about chickens being raised in crowded indoor condition (so much so I don't eat it).

But the baby chicks at Orscheln's do not seem miserable to me. The worst thing about it is there is no hen for them to snuggle under. But the closeness and warmth seem natural.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

One wonders: Did Corliss, et al contact any experts in chicken needs and behavior before making this ruling? I doubt it. Surely there is an expert in chickens at K State.

I'd like for the City to defend this decision by explaining the process by which they arrived at it, and the sources they relied on.

Mr. Corliss?

pace 2 years, 11 months ago

the planning department was giving it to the commission. The commission should of been communicated with. That department has been like that for a long time.

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