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Imperial Beach Chickens

by: Jill Richardson

Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:48:39 AM PST


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As it turns out, we're not the only crazy chicken people in San Diego county. Another couple in Imperial Beach, Lauren Giardina and Ian Blake, has been working to get their laws changed since at least 2008. They own four chickens - Henrietta, Sheila, Camilla, and Oprah - who you can see pictured on their Imperial Beach Chickens website here. As noted in the article, the city of Imperial Beach has agreed not to prosecute the couple for their illegal chickens while the city looks at overturning the law. So here's my question to you: Do you think people should just get chickens anyway, even if they are illegal?

Jill Richardson :: Imperial Beach Chickens
Poll
If chickens are illegal where you live, should you get them anyway?
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No
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A lot of sanctuaries are apparently inundated (4.00 / 2)
If they don't change the law, and they made you get rid of them, what would you do with them, assuming you wouldn't want them killed?  Apparently, the growing popularity of backyard chickens is already causing problems for animal sanctuaries. See:

http://farmsanctuary.typepad.c...


oh there are farms around here that would gladly (4.00 / 2)
take them. But i think many people would eat them.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
bad idea (0.00 / 0)
I know you've been pushing this idea of backyard chickens for a while, but I have yet to see a viable response to the issues of the poor quality of life that these chickens can expect. I know that I for one intend to oppose the legalization of backyard chickens. There's no place for chickens in an urban environment, especially not given that the vast majority of the chickens will meet painful deaths after they are no longer wanted.  

why do you say that? (4.00 / 2)
I disagree with you. there can be just about nothing worse than the life of an industrially kept egg-laying hen. All of the urban chicken keepers I know love their hens, name them, and care for them very well.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
why pick the lesser of two evils (0.00 / 0)
Yeah, but the better and more humane option would be not eat eggs at all. Saying they're better off in the city than a CAFO is obviously true, but why even make a choice between two less than ideal options from the perspective of the chicken?

I'd also like to say that I don't doubt at all that you or your friends take good care of your chickens, but if this was broadly legalized there will be no barrier to people who couldn't care less about the welfare of their chickens buying them. Even with cats and dogs where we actually have animal cruelty statutes in place they are routinely abused. If chickens become widely seen as an acceptable animal to have in the city there's no way that a lot of these animals aren't going to end up abused. After all, who is going to look out for their wellbeing? Especially when chickens have no right to humane treatment.  


[ Parent ]
But it's NOT the lesser of 2 evils (4.00 / 1)
Chickens enjoy running around in a backyard, foraging for plants and bugs and taking dust baths. They are a necessary addition to a backyard garden ecosystem. The hens don't mind laying eggs every day - they do it anyway - and the eggs aren't fertile and can't become baby chicks.

As for the laws, I don't think laws would keep someone from getting chickens really, since most people aren't really aware of the laws.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman


[ Parent ]
I have to agree with Jill on her points (4.00 / 2)
but I don't agree with your apparent point that because some people don't care for their animals properly then everyone should be prohibited from owning those animals.

If I were to cary your logic to it's ultimate conclusion, then no one would be allowed to own chickens because some would abuse them.

Normal people scare me. But not as much as I scare them.....


[ Parent ]
if that were the case, then no one (4.00 / 1)
would be allowed to own dogs since some people abuse them. For that matter, no one would be allowed to have kids since some people abuse them.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
That's exactly the point I was trying to make (4.00 / 2)
Of course, it's taking the logic to it's extreme, but I think the point's still valid.

I think, realistically, the better point is to allow and even encourage people who keep the animals in a responsible and humane way, and to punish/discourage those who wouldn't/don't.

Normal people scare me. But not as much as I scare them.....


[ Parent ]
Truly, abusing animals (4.00 / 1)
must be a sign of mental illness.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
Poor quality of life? (4.00 / 1)
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you're not from a chicken city?

[ Parent ]
Legalizing Hens in Your Town (4.00 / 3)
There is a very good article titled "Strategies for Legalizing Hens in Your Community" on pp. 22-24 of the current Dec'09/Jan'10 issue of Backyard Poultry. The author describes the steps a group calling themselves HENS (Healthy Eggs in Neighborhoods Soon) took to convince the city council of Durham, North Carolina, to legalize urban chicken keeping. The council wound up voting 7-0 to legalize hen coops in the city.

The article describes the many steps they took to assemble their arguments and evidence, to win public support, and to contact staffers and council members. It also describes attitudes to maintain and to avoid in dealing with these people. A very pragmatic article. Expect that it will take time; in their case, it took nearly a year to win approval. Democracy moves slowly.


well, it'll take time (4.00 / 2)
but I would expect that with time we'll make it happen. Their issue isn't the chickens, the issue is that they don't want to do it now because it's not something that is done very frequently and given the unprecedented nature of the zoning ordinance (the last one related to animals was a decade ago), they want to go through the General Plan process first, THEN look into legalizing chickens. Disappointing but reasonable.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
I'm the lone "other" vote... (4.00 / 1)
...because I'm contrarian by nature?  Yes but that's not really relevant.  It just depends on a bunch of stuff, like:

- potential penalties that could be incurred (e.g. a fifty dollar fine versus a couple days in the hoosegow.)

- whether it was an isolated incident of civil disobedience or part of a larger movement; for instance, are you the only poultry rogue?

- and, most importantly, where is the community on this?  Specifically, if there's going to be a lot of pushback, then flagrantly breaking the law isn't going to help promote the cause.


I agree with DoubleM on this (4.00 / 1)
I voted no to bootleg chicken keeping.

For one thing, you're new in town, and someone new coming in and shaking things up in a way that breaks the law is going to make you lots of enemies. You'll be labeled as an outlander, comnig in to make everyone do as you see fit. I think a lot of people will be thinking that if you were moving anyway, better you should have moved to a rural area if you wanted to keep farm animals, than moving to a city and keeping them. Kind of the reverse of what a lot of people out here think when someone buys property out here and then tries to develop it. If you wanted to build commercial buildings you should have stayed in the city where that's the norm.

We're out here in the country because we don't want to be in a city. Lots of people are in cities because they don't want to be in the country. You don't want to turn public opinion against you before you even really get rolling.

Normal people scare me. But not as much as I scare them.....


[ Parent ]
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