Sign the Chicken Petition!
December 4, 2009 by Amelia
As I wrote a while back, I’m a supporter of the backyard chicken movement. Now there’s a way you can help move this issue to the forefront. Caryn Ernst, who has been advocting for this cause since she was confronted by Animal Control about her chickens, has started a petition on the subject directed at the DC City Council. Sign it here!
As Ernst writes, we should not be worried about chickens being a nuissance:
You don’t need a rooster to get eggs. A hen will produce an egg a day during her prime laying years without ever laying eyes on a rooster.
Chickens are highly social animals. In the right living conditions, they build strong bonds with each other and with the people who care for them. (Six months after moving back to the farm and sharing living quarters with 20 other hens, our four hens continue to spend all of their time together, seeking each other out of the crowd.) They can be socialized like any other pet, enjoying a cuddle in your lap, eating out of your hand, or perching on your shoulder.
Chickens don’t smell, but as with all animals, their poop does. Just like dogs or cats, you have to clean up after them. Coops need to be cleaned weekly to prevent odors. But unlike other pet waste, chicken manure is black gold for gardeners – the best fertilizer money can buy.
Hens are not noisy – they just get a bad rep from their male counterparts (roosters). Hens make a quiet, pleasant clucking and cooing noise that is barely audible more than 20 yards away.