Friday, October 28, 2011

Chickens and the law

Davis, California is another city that finds chickens make good neighbors. Only three people – possibly four – have called the city of Davis in the past year to gripe about chickens.

Among the complaints: a backyard coop that was visible from a front yard, said deputy city manager Kelly Stachowicz.

The rest of the complaints? Hens that had somehow become liberated from their coops and were running free.

"We don't have a whole lot of chicken drama," Stachowicz said. "We cohabitate peacefully with our fowl."

Davis residents have been keeping chickens within city limits since the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, and they have advice for Sacramentans, who – come Tuesday – can legally start housing hens in their yards.

The key to making Sacramento's new city code work: how neighbors take to the chickens.

Nashville is getting ready to take the step. The comments following the article encouraged me to keep spreading the word. All the objections come from ignorance, such as the one confidently asserting that "to get eggs, you need a male, called a rooster." Comments to the Davis article are more positive. Perhaps Davis and Nashville need to talk to each other!

A proposal allowing Nashvillians to keep chickens at urban residences –– a hot-button measure defeated just three years ago –– has resurfaced in the Metro Council.

Councilwoman Karen Bennett, the sponsor of several animal-themed bills during her four-year council stint, has filed a bill that would legalize housing chickens –– no more than six –– in urban dwellings, provided various sanitation requirements and other conditions are met.

“I’ve done a lot of research looking at what other sister cities have done, and what has worked for them, and what has not, “Bennett told The City Paper. “I’ve put together, I think, the best fit for Nashville where we can have chickens in the city and be responsible pet owners.”

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