Is there a chick-a-dee in your future?

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
   So, how do you feel about chickens? Or better yet, it may be better to ask, how do you feel about your neighbor raising chicks?
   The city council is looking into this and doing some research after a resident brought up the question.
   At the present moment, there is no ordinance either for or against raising backyard chickens within the city limits. And while it isn’t exactly comparing apples to oranges, as the saying goes, city residents are allowed to have two rabbits.
   According to My Pet Chicken there are a number of reasons to raise chickens.
   One would be the obvious; your backyard chick would have the best and most nutritious eggs on the block.
   A common misconception about chickens, and one that most people would not admit to not knowing, is that hens will lay eggs and do not need a rooster around to help them out.
   While chickens are not a “lap dog” nor will they greet you at the door with a wagging tail, they are much easier to care for.
   There is no twice-daily feeding, no baths, no grooming and with the proper roost, they’re a very low-maintenance pet.
   Like any pet animal, there is some care to be taken with chickens, such as checking daily for eggs, feed and fill the feed and water containers as necessary, change the bedding as least once a month and remove the free fertilizer (poo) so that it can be put to good use.
   Chickens are basically a very quite pet. You may only here them when they lay an egg or are threatened. Roosters on the other hand will “crow all day long.”
   Authorities will tell you it is best not to have just one chicken. They are social animals and do not do well alone. And guess what, there really is a pecking order and it is well defined. It seems it is the chicken’s way of preventing mayhem, even if there are just a few chicks.
   And, chickens really do come home to roost. They will come back to the same place to sleep every night. They can roam around your yard during the day and when it starts to get dark, they will return to their coop.
   Chickens are good for your yard, as they like to eat pests or any garden pest they can get their beaks one, not to mention the good fertilizer they drop around. They also like to eat grass.
   However, I wouldn’t get rid of my lawnmower just yet. If the council allows backyard chicks, there will certainly be a limit as to how many.
   Nevertheless, you just might wow you neighbors, being the first on the block to have a pet chicken.
   On the other hand, if chickens are allowed, will it open the door to having other types of pets? Like cats and dogs, will chickens need to licensed?
   Just a couple of points to ponder at the next council meeting on Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m. in city hall.
   By the way, can you say KFC?