Residents in Salem, a town just an hour up the I-5 corridor from here, are fighting for their right to keep backyard chickens. Here in my town, the city council just discussed increasing the flock size on urban lots from the three that the law currently allows (as most chicken owners know, there's virtually no way to keep only three chickens - what if one dies, you can't just get one baby chicken and introduce it, they're flock animals for pete's sake!). This rap video pokes some fun at the more outlandish concerns that people have about urban chickens (leading to meth labs in the neighborhood? really people!).
Strangely, folks are so concerned about harmless chickens. Yet did you know that dogs bit nearly 2% of the U.S. population - more than 4.7 million people annually? That over 800,000 of those bites are serious enough to require medical attention? That 1,000 people A DAY are treated in Emergency rooms for dog bites? And about 25 - 35 a year are FATAL? That most of the victims are children, half of whom are bitten in the face? That dog bite losses exceed $1 billion per year with over $300 million paid by homeowner's insurance?
So after reading all of that, how on earth residents can be opposed to chickens amazes me! Quieter than a dog, less destructive than a cat, and safer to humans and other animals than either! Now don't get me wrong, I'm a dog owner and a cat owner and I would hate to give up either. But in a city like Salem where you can keep up to a 100 pound pig as a pet, what is wrong with a couple of chickens?