Chattanooga Chicken Legal Pushes to "Give Peeps a Chance"

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Updated: 1/24/2013 4:06 pm

They may be the inspiration behind many a joke, but when it comes to these food-producing pets, Chattanooga Chicken Legal Co-Founder Lori Carter is serious when she says 'all we are saying is give peeps a chance'.

"The hope, moving forward, is to have chickens in the backyard of all people in Chattanooga who wish to have them," Carter says.

As it stands, the birds are illegal in the city, but many owners like Katrina Daoud, say they enjoy their eggs - and companionship - outside the city limits.

Her two hens, Speedy and Lucky, appear quite content at their Harrison home.

But this author says she supports legalizing Chickens inside the city, too.

"We've had chickens for almost three years now and it's brought us a lot of happiness. They're a lot of fun to watch; they're comedians. We get fresh eggs from them, and companionship. They follow us around the yard like puppies," Daoud says.

Daoud says in the summer the hens produce enough eggs for her family, and even extras for friends and neighbors.

"Being able to be self-sustaining right now is very important, just because the economy especially. Things are hard, Times are tough, Food's expensive. And this gives people another way to get some food that they don't have to pay a lot of money for," Daoud says.

Keith Bien, Co-Operator of Wildwood Harvest CSA Farm, says the chickens play a role in agriculture - even in an urban environment.

"They provide fertility, and nourish the soil, so I think they should definitely be part of any large scale, or even small scale, farming operation," Bien says.

And Bien says it's only the Roosters, like his - Rodeo, who have anything to crow about.

"Hens aren't noisy. If you have egg layers they don't make any noise at all," Bien says.

And these advocates say that's food for thought for the city.

In Chattanooga, Brittany Shaw, WDEF News 12.
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chattchicken - 1/25/2013 7:39 AM
0 Votes
Most cities that have legalized chickens within the city limits do not allow roosters, and all require appropriate housing and fencing to keep the birds from wandering into a neighbors property. Chattanooga's ordinance will be modeled after such examples, (check out Knoxville's ordinance). There will be limits to the number of birds you can own, based on the size of your property, and possibly even a course that you would have to take in order to receive your permit. In this class you will learn how to keep your birds clean healthy and happy, how to clip their wings to prevent them from flying, how to care for their waste, and maybe even what to do if you want to eat one for dinner. Also, organizers who are involved with the legalization of backyard chickens in Chattanooga have arranged for shelter and housing of abandoned chickens/roosters, as McKamey does indeed expect an increase in the amount of these birds coming to their facility. And, let me repeat, roosters will not be allowed. The great thing about chickens, as apposed to other pets, is that if you end up with an old bird who is not producing eggs anymore (they are much older than 2 when they stop completely), you can cook them for dinner. Old hens make great stew. So do young roosters. If you order chicks, and one or two turn out to be boys, not girls, at as soon as 6 weeks old, those boys start looking and acting like boys, and into the pot they go. Nothing to worry about! Neighboring cities like Atlanta even have city-sponsored "coop tours", showing off their urban chickens. This is nothing to fear. A backyard chicken is potentially a less obnoxious neighbor than a backyard dog. And, if you're lucky (and nice), your neighbor will give you their extra eggs in the spring, when the hens are producing more than a family can handle.

Joann - 1/24/2013 7:20 PM
0 Votes
As a child my husband was attacked by a rooster that nearly put his eye out. My neighbors around me all have chickens and let them run loose with no regard to the law. The only problem I've had was when their chickens dug a hole at the foundation of my house and water pooled up and under the house when it rained. Otherwise, I kinda wish I had an egg laying chicken.

Adoucette - 1/24/2013 11:58 AM
1 Vote
Check out any city that has allowed this, and within a year you will see that the animal shelters there are innundated with unwanted chickens, mostly roosters and hens who to the surprise of their owners stop laying after about 2 years, though they live for about 10. Secondly, while you can order chickens by sex, the process is not perfected, and so you will, with about every 6 or so hens, get a rooster, and Roosters are fairly agressive animals and have the talons/claws to do serious damage to young children. (google on injurys to children by roosters and you will see some pretty nasty, life changing injurys, as in losing an eye) And of course Roosters like to Crow, with an ear splitting obnoxious noise that starts as soon as the sky starts to lighten in the morning, and then continues as long as the sun is up. So NO, chickens are not a good idea in an urban/suburban environment without strict controls that are enforced (Of course few citys have the people to enforce these rules) 1) NO Roosters allowed (Hens don't need roosters to lay eggs) 2) Only a half dozen hens per typical suburban lot (each laying hen lays about 5 eggs per week, thus 6 hens = ~ 2 dozen eggs per week) 3) Hen house closer to the owner's house than the neighbor's lot line. My neighbors decided to try rasing chickens and they put the hen house as far from their house as possible, but right on my lot line. If you want chickens, then keep them as far from your neighbors as possible. 4) A chicken tax, reasonable but enough to cover the cost of inspection and dealing with unwanted chickens, paid annually, inspected at least annually 5) Requirement for minimum size henhouse based on number of chickens and fenced enclosure, at least 8 ft high (no they can't fly well, but hens can and will get over a 6 ft fence, roosters even more) 6) Revocation of priviliges if failed inspection (noise, restraint, odor, restrictions) for one year before renewal.
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