Residential chickens a good idea

Good for Bob and Daryl McCool of Superior for getting the chicken ban reversed, a move all local communities should make. Think about the reasons of smell and noise sounded for not having chickens in residential areas. Now, compare that to dogs. Chicken noises are a lot less intrusive than dogs barking. And the smell of unattended chicken coops isn’t any more unpleasant than unattended backyard dog kennels. And, as far as chickens attracting predator wildlife, so do dogs and their food.

The McCools are right. Chickens are a great learning experience. Not that I want to raise chickens now, but I like to see them bobbing randomly about looking for food and displaying some musical talent. We’re not talking here about roosters crowing either.

In summers I’d feed the chickens on my grandparents’ farm. I’d gather the eggs, and, unfortunately as a distracted kid, I put the eggs in my pocket at least once before climbing between sheds by the corral. I learned rather quickly I should have gone directly to the house.

Then, there was the time I tried to teach a chicken to obey me. Punishment never works,  not with chickens, not with children. Time outs work well with kids but not likely at all with chickens.

Anyway, back to the musical side of chickens. Remember the Pied Piper of Hamelin? I tried the same thing with chickens. As I played a little song flute, the chickens followed me around the barn yard and on a longer walk behind the barn to the haystack. I was mesmerized.

On and on the chickens would have walked getting rid of all their chicken fat and probably getting too tuckered out to lay eggs if my grandpa hadn’t asked my brother and me to stop.

The whole thing about pecking order became much more understandable after seeing chickens perched on rungs. And, seeing their vulnerability to predators brought home another reality. Chickens in a hen house need protection

As fun as chickens were, however, I never saw them as pets. They were food. Not only did we eat their eggs, but we ate them. That’s the reality of survival.

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