August 22, 2014
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A couple in the city of Saskatoon has been ordered to get rid of the chickens they are keeping in their backyard. Two city councillors came up with a whole list of reasons why it is a terrible idea to keep chickens in the city. Chickens attract pests, they are noisy, chicken manure smells. They might freeze in the winter and then the city would be blamed. Somebody might get ill and die from food-borne disease from eating a backyard egg with a cracked shell.
Let’s see now, are chickens as noisy as the dogs that bark in the middle of the night, or the next door neighbours whose patio party lasts until 1:30 AM? If the city is responsible for winter, why didn’t they come and clear my driveway every time it snowed? Are chickens in one neighbour’s backyard any messier than the cats that use my children’s sandbox for their litter box? As for eggs with cracked shells, I guess that would be a danger if you ate raw eggs.
How many chickens did these people have in their backyard anyway to cause such a furor on city council?
That’s right, three. It took three chickens to get these two councillors into a tizzy. The chickens are kept in a 40-square-foot, insulated coop. The neighbours have no objections. But the couple has purchased an acreage outside the city and plans to move soon. Problem solved . . . . until the next time. The newspaper article names four Canadian cities that do allow backyard chickens, as many as 12 in the case of Edmonton. I’m sure the question will come up again in Saskatoon.
Another councillor, with a little firmer grip on reality it would seem, suggested that people have become disconnected with how food is produced.