Friday, February 25, 2011

Chickens

So I think I want some chickens.  I've been thinking about this for a while now, since chickens aren't something you should jump into without proper consideration, but the idea has still not gone away.

You might be wondering why I would want chickens.  This is a reasonable question.  There are two main reasons - let me explain them to you.  First of all, suburban chicken-keeping is all the rage right now.  I read a lot of blogs, and a good deal of those blogs are home/garden blogs.  And a good deal of those home/garden blogs feature ladies who keep chickens in their back yards.  I am totally jealous.  I mean, this has become such a big thing that there are whole online stores based solely on suburban chicken equipment.  That's gotta mean something, right?  I want to get in on this trend!

The second reason might be a little more surprising to those of you who know me in Real Life.  I have secretly always wanted to be a homesteader.  I want to grow/raise my own foods, live off the land, depend upon no-one.  This probably seems a little at odds with my unwillingness to do manual labor.  And with my inability to stick to anything for more than a week.  And my dislike of ever getting dirty.  Yes, it is a very unlikely dream.  But it is mine nonetheless.  And while I can't raise pigs or cows or anything like that in my suburban yard, chickens are a somewhat achievable step towards self-sufficiency.  I could have fresh eggs!  And fertilizer for my garden!  So self-sufficient!

Chris does not want me to have chickens.  He hasn't given me any specific reasons, but I can guess at some of his concerns.  I imagine he doesn't want a mess from chickens.  This is not a valid concern because we never go out in the yard.  So why should he care if there is chicken poop all over the place?

He probably also worries that I will lose interest in my chickens like I loose interest in everything else.  Like, for example, the way I lost interest in the garden last summer.  But I maintain that I did not "lose interest" in the garden.  I simply became too sad and depressed to be bothered with it.  But I still took care of the cats!  So really, chickens would be a great motivator.  They are living things; I'd have to take care of them.  And if I was already out on the yard taking care of the chickens, I might as well take care of the garden as well - am I right?

Another concern could be the legalities of chicken-keeping.  But i have checked out the borough's chicken ordinance, and I think I would be okay.  Here's what it says:
Animal - includes any animal or bird maintained as a domestic pet including, but not limited to, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters and birds. “Animal” shall also include chickens, goats, pigs or other animals when maintained upon a residential lot as an accessory use to the principal use of the lot for residential purposes. “Animal” shall not include livestock or poultry being raised upon a working farm(s) and shall not include horses which are the principal method of transportation for
the occupants of a dwelling.
As far as I can tell, that means it is okay to have chickens as long as your house stays a residential lot and does not become a farm (which it certainly won't).  I can keep chickens for me and my household, but I can't sell eggs and stuff for profit?  Is that what you get out of it?

My only concern with this chicken-keeping plot is the noise.  I am not sure how much noise chickens make or how likely they are to "disturb the peace", but this is the only thing about which I would be nervous.  We're not really on friendly terms with any of our neighbors.  That's not to say we're on unfriendly terms, it's just that none of them speak to us.  Well, except for the crazy lady next store.  The only thing she ever says to us is "Hi Neighbor!" over and over again.  True story, it happens.  So I don't know how likely they'd be for a lot of chicken clucking.  But if they did, I'd just report all their noisy, annoying children.  So there.

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