Sunday, November 06, 2011

Backyard Chicken Movement

So here is my question.

I have a piece of property just under an acre.  I choose to grow flowers to have a beautiful garden.  I cover my plot of land with FRESH manure that I obtained from a local farmer.  Pretty, pretty smelly but really of no use except a mood booster, my neighbors mutter under their breath, but nothing can be done, the county does not have an ordinance against it, and save for the manure, my  garden isn’t offensive!  So I progress and decide to grow veggies in my garden.  Again I cover my plot with FRESH (fragrant) manure from the local farmer.  The veggies grow and prosper.  We get a year’s supply of veggies and a happy family – and the neighbors can’t complain, again there is no ordinance against the foul stench my garden caused!

Move along.  I erect a little container in my backyard.  It has mesh wire and a little box.  Inside are little birdies.  The birdies produce eggs.  They are quiet.  The neighbor’s beagle bray’s at the nights sounds, keeping my family awake.  In the morning the wild birdies not contained in my container… begin chirping and erupting in squabbles around 6 am.  They have nested outside my bedroom window.  My little birdies they merely cluck quietly most of the time… sometimes like the other neighbors children they squabble… but it doesn’t last long before they calm.  I keep the container clean and it smells far less (if at all) than the veggie garden my neighbor has now taken on.

My family has eggs.  My neighbor complains.  My chickens must go, because apparently my pet birdies are offensive and governed by a county ordinance that isn’t exactly supported by the state.    

So explain to me why my neighbor can have a Fragrant garden and get away with it, and the other neighbor can have a braying beagle, and I can’t have non-fragrant pet birds because they are deemed livestock.  What if I had a pet pot-bellied pig… would I be subject to the same ordinance issues??

(this is not a problem I face, but the dilemma of a friend.  I cannot see why in these hard economic times the county has issues with such things. Feeding a family and not relying on food stamps, isn't that better than the alternative?  Should we not teach our children to be more self-reliant no matter what size property we own?  For reference our county government requires that you have 2 acres - or pretty close to it - in order to own chickens.)

Photo borrowed from my friend J. Pond ... please visit Back Yard Chickens Alliance of Cobb County to read more about his battles.