Our bird-brained legislature and ‘constitutional’ chickens

gonzo-and-camilla-the-chicken2I really did not think this “meth lab of democracy” bill  sponsored by David Farnsworth (R-Mesa) (right) would ever get this far. ‘Constitutional’ chickens coming to a backyard near you.

But it has already cleared the Senate, and after yesterday’s vote in the House Government Committee, it needs only an affirmative vote of the full House before it goes to the Governor. Just wow.

This a rare occasion on which Rep. John Kavanagh and I can agree on something. I know! But even a broken clock is right twice a day, am I right? House panel moves forward on poultry bill, members calls it a matter of ‘economic freedom’:

Calling it an issue of “economic freedom,” a House panel voted Tuesday to force cities to allow residents to have poultry, a move one foe said means the state will “shove it down the throats” of nearby residents who don’t want them.

SB 1151 would overrule existing or future city ordinances that prohibit poultry outright or impose most other restrictions on single-family lots.

Gone would be how large a lot is necessary to raise not only chickens but also geese and turkeys, and cities would not be able to tell someone how far a coop must be kept from a neighbor’s property.

That would leave cities only an ability to set a cap on the number of fowl and a ban on roosters and other males.

Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, who said he raised chickens on a 10-acre farm when he lived in New Jersey, said there will be issues of noise and odor.

“This is not just about the right of people to have hens,” he said.

“This is about the right of their neighbors to enjoy the suburban or urban lifestyle which they’ve chosen,” Kavanagh continued. “This is not the Beverly Hillbillies.”

I think he meant Green Acres, but nevertheless, right on!

Rep. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, who was a former city councilman, said there’s no reason for legislators to impose their will over what is decided locally by each community.

He said some public safety issues should be decided at a state level. For example, he cited laws which prohibit bars within a certain distance from public schools.

“Something like this, I think it’s wrong to shove it down their throats and say, ‘You cannot do this,’” he said.

Many Arizona cities have restrictions of some form.

Small government conservatives pay lip service to the idea that “local government is the best government.” But these bird-brained legislators believe “Big Brother” (or is that Big Chicken?) has the right to void all local zoning and health care ordinances in favor of ideological nuttiness like this:

Rep. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, said the legislation “is about a lot more than chickens.”

“The United States has now fallen out of the Top 10 in the world for economic freedom,” he said. “And one of the biggest reasons is for the loss of property rights.”

His superior property rights to those of his neighbors, who apparently are to have his bird-brained idea “shoved down their throats.”

The Sierra Vista Herald editorializes today, Our View: Failing common sense:

If SB1151 becomes law in Arizona, the City of Sierra Vista would have to revise any local ordinance that bans raising chickens or other fowl on a detached single-family home property.

The argument supporting this bill offers an excellent insight into the problems created when political philosophy is more important than common sense.

To state lawmakers behind SB1151, this is an argument about economic freedom, and has little to do with chickens, turkeys, geese or other fowl that would be allowed in your neighbor’s backyard.

Just ask Rep. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, who told his fellow lawmakers that the United States has “fallen out of the top 10 in the world for economic freedom,” and the biggest reason for that disgrace is the loss of property rights.

The source of Petersen’s “fact,” wasn’t available, but the idea that allowing backyard chickens is vital in preserving America’s economic freedom is laughable.

One of the primary reasons cities impose restrictions on animal husbandry — fowl or otherwise — is to reduce health risks. Touching chicken manure, for example, can spread the deadly salmonella bacteria, according to studies cited by the national Centers for Disease Control. In 2012, a salmonella outbreak among 195 people in 27 states is believed to have started when many of those who became sick had contact with live chickens, and many had purchased the birds from an Ohio mail-order hatchery for backyard flocks.

We have to believe that when cities — including Sierra Vista — studied whether it was a good idea to ban raising fowl within the city limits, the concern was first and foremost about health.

State lawmakers are not protecting property rights or assuring economic freedom with their inane support for SB1151, they are creating a health hazard.

This seems to have been completely lost in the discussion.

29 responses to “Our bird-brained legislature and ‘constitutional’ chickens

  1. As an owner of dogs… IN the city OMG… let me rephrase, as a responsible owner of dogs AND as a responsible owner of chickens in the city I can attest that my dogs are noisy, my chickens are quiet except for a little song when they lay an egg as they announce it. People walk by, my dogs bark. My chickens don’t care. My dogs chew stuff up. My chickens do not. (WAY less messy) My dogs have personality. So do my chickens. My chickens automatically go to bed at night and sleep. My dogs do not. Sometimes they bark at the moon or a stray running the streets.. My chickens do not!

    SB1151 is not about chickens. It is about property rights. Cities already have noise ordinances in place, they already have animal control, they already have laws in place to protect “neighbors” from nuisance animals.. This is not about local control. This is about the fundamental right to grow your own food. Where you live. A right taken by many cities. Local government when it comes to property rights, is highly controlled by HOA’s… The city makes money from them.. HOA’s are often run by lawyers, and people from different states. Not the local people. This Bill has to be addressed at the STATE level because “local” “bought” government no longer has control over their cities in that regard, they sold it to bullies. And when a basic economic FREEDOM of growing your own food is taken away it is time to stand up and say no. Enough is enough.

  2. I love your claim about how hazardous it is to touch chicken poo. So, do I take it then that touching dog poo or cat poo is not hazardous or is *less* hazardous? Yet those animals are legal. You’re really reaching with that claim. Chicken poo can be used a garden fertilizer. You would NOT want to use dog or cat poo in your garden. Are you going to exterminate all wild birds as well due to the risk from their poo? Noise? Smell? I’ve lived next to peopel with dogs and I’ve had to deal with constant barking and the smell of dog poo in my yard. I’ll take a little chicken sound and smell (not much smell at all – I have neighbors and friends with chickens and I’ve never noticed any smell) over dogs any day. And how is removing a ridiculous restriction shoving ANYTHING down people’s throats? Right now what has been shoved down people’s throats is being forbidden from having chickens. Cities can still restrict numbers of birds. They can forbid roosters. And HOAs can still forbid chickens altogether. All this bill does is to restore rights to some people. That’s a GOOD thing.

  3. Glad some in the congress think everyone that has pet chickens (or choses to live different than they do) is a hick. Of course all hicks should be relegated to the countryside. All bigots should be allowed to live in the city where the elite live and can control every aspect of everyone’s lives because the elite bigots know best about how people that are dignified should live. We used to call these people fascist or communist. This thinking smacks of the Hunger Games where the elite control the food supply of the populace.

    Perhaps some of us that choose to have chickens are vastly more educated then the members of congress that make $24,000 a year. Some of us that choose to have chickens actually make 10 times more than the members of congress, drive very nice cars, have MBA’s, and choose to live a healthy life. It is very sad when the uneducated members of Arizona’s congress resort to calling people names to try and make a point.

    Perhaps the carpet baggers of the east should go back where they came from!

  4. I read this with a lot of interest. I have chickens and love them, I like the idea of eating fresh eggs, I don’t have 200 in a small pen, maybe that is the big difference. I really like the idea of being able to have the right to do on my property what I want with limits if I was in a residential area, I believe we a americans should have the right to choose in all that we do, not be told by government what we can do and not do on our own land. SB1151 is going to allow freedom to property owners, not sure why that some in the government can’t see this, must be padding their pockets .

  5. Boxerdoglover

    We are blessed to live on almost two acres and are able to grow almost all of our own food. What we can’t grow, we buy organic. But when we lived in Anthem, not only were we told how many dogs or cats we could have, but we couldn’t even use a spot in the back yard for a small garden, we were told how many trees to plant in the front and how many in the back and what kinds. I do agree that a few people will abuse a system, but that is anywhere, but that is not the norm. I completely agree with one of the people who posted about dogs. I can’t even tell you how annoying it is when the weather is beautiful and you can’t open your windows at night because of neighbor’s allowing their dogs to bark all day and all night. And people are worried about chickens? Who actually produce eggs, good, healthy eggs? I have two dogs and we’re in the country, I still don’t allow them to bark all day or all night, that way when they do bark, I know something is around that shouldn’t be. They can be trained. But to tell your neighbors they can’t have a few chickens or quail? Really? You don’t have to have a rooster for eggs. Male turkeys are louder, so have turkey hens, they are not going to bother anyone, they actually make a really neat noise that sounds like running water. And they give wonderful eggs. Everything needs to be done with respect to your neighbors, have some compassion for each other, share your wonderful eggs and homegrown vegetables and actually be “neighbors”, work together and share.
    Has anyone seen that poster from the early 1900’s when the government wanted people to have gardens and raise their own food, what has changed? Oh, I forgot we have people that think it’s ok to tell others what to do and what to eat and if they are unhappy about something then they sue you or make your life difficult. It’s time to get a real life, be thankful for all the blessings we do have instead of focusing on the negative, teach our children and grandchildren how to support themselves, again, instead of relying on someone else to give us everything. Remember, you people that are up in arms about chickens, you could have something much worse living next door to you.

  6. This article is rediculous and does not have all the facts about who started this bill. Every day people started the movement because it’s our right as homeowners who can’t live in the country but want to have a garden and own chickens to provide better options for their families. Chickens are not going to pose a health hazard or affect the neighbors with noise levels, I agree with the previous poster, dogs are way louder than chickens and they don’t provide food or pest control.

  7. You can’t find a better phrase than “shove it down our throats?” As a Mesa resident, I was surprised to find out that many of my neighbors had chickens. We live on 7000 sq ft lots, and I neither heard nor smelled evidence of chicken ownership in my neighborhood, yet you could throw a stone and hit a yard nearby that has chickens. Many of my friends were enjoying a healthier lifestyle because they were able to eat fresh eggs. Our family started with Muscovy ducks. They are silent, and produce larger eggs than chickens. And they required no coop. Six months later we had built a small 4ft by 8 ft coop and had purchased 5 hens at Mesa Feed Barn. Honestly, the feces from the ducks smells worse than the chicken poop does. We lay down straw and change it frequently. The foul smelling straw goes into a compost pile and then fertilizes our gardens and landscaping. Heretofore, we were miserable failures at gardening. Getting our own fowl has allowed us to be more self sufficient, and has led to other green practices, including solar panels on our roof. Is it possible that the liberals prefer the citizens of the US to be less self sufficient, therefore fight this legislation? You ask about common sense. Have you done your research about the frequency of salmonella, or are you relying on only one article? I believed there’s a lot to be learned from people who grow their own food. Do some more research. I’ll give you a subject, GMOs and the link with disease, and inflammation. There is a reason why those of us with reason, prefer to produce an unadulterated food source. It’s all about quality of life. Until I told my next door neighbors that we had backyard fowl, they had no clue. So much for smell and noise!

  8. JC Garden Grower

    There is just too much micro-managing. Even the common cat can cause problems. For example, pregnant women should not handle cats or change the cat boxes due to risk of toxoplasmosis which can problems to the baby or even abortion. (See article below.) As far as I know, no one wants to pass a bill making it illegal for a pregnant woman -or any woman who might become pregnant- from owning cats. If we have it as our goal to grow some of our own food, and to care for our animals in kind, humane ways, then hopefully we should also be be considerate of our neighbors, too. We will insure that our animals are kept in clean areas and don’t disturb our neighbors.

    http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pregnant.htm

  9. Bill Batchelor

    Rep Kavanagh,
    The fact that you had “odor” issues shows that you didn’t properly cleanup their coop as you should have. I read recently that it takes eight chickens to create the same amount of waste as a single medium sized dog. I clean up my dogs waste everyday other day, if not once a week. If you don’t pick up your dogs waste you have odor issues. I scoop and replace the pine shavings in my chicken coop every week and I have zero odor problems. If you get rid of the odor you drastically get rid of the bugs.
    Everyone of these concerns I have read here and on other sites around chickens all come from the commercial chicken (all livestock for what matter) industry where they have to pump the animals full of antibiotics because the environment they live in causes the health issues. If you walked around in your own waste, relieved yourself in the same corner you eat and drink in, you’d have to be on antibiotics your whole life too. Backyard chicken coops are like the Sistine Chapel compared to the industrial chicken hoop houses.
    I have lived in AZ for 34 years and I have never seen a rodent in or around where I lived. I have had chickens for three years now and I still have never seen a rodent in or around where I live. I have a treadle feeder that only opens when a large enough bird steps on the platform. It’s sealed so that no rodent could ever get in.
    Educate yourself on what a real backyard chicken coop is like before you share your improper chicken handling experiences with the masses.

  10. You can attempt to make fun at those who want to have home gardens and raise chickens for meat and eggs, free of pesticide and Monsanto hormones. You can hide behind the salmonella scare but the incidence is rare, rare, rare and you know it. And frankly the population is not concerned with the inconvenience it is going to cause local government with having to revise city ordinances. This is about us – our right. Government has forgotten about the rights of the citizens down to the minutia – it’s ridiculous that you are all wasting our time arguing about my right to house five hens on my property for eggs! Get over it. With the country the shape it’s in – there are much larger issues to address!!

  11. Giles Blumer

    I am surrounded by barking dogs but I cannot have peaceful chickens in Sierra Vista. I have raised chickens before and they are extremely friendly and quiet. I hope AZ gives us back this simple freedom that the local government took from us.

  12. This is about property rights and Personal Freedoms! I should be able to enjoy the freedom to have food that I know is safe, that I know what it ate and how it lived.

    To set the record straight here, you are MOST LIKELY to get salmonella from GROCERY STORE chicken and eggs and NOT your backyard flock! This is a fact. http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/03/26/1771251/backyard-eggs-factory-farming/

    This bill simply makes it legal for all residents of Arizona to be able to have backyard poultry if they live in a single family detached home. What is so wrong with that? Poultry are MUCH quieter than dogs that bark all night. They are also MUCH less smelly than dogs and cats.

    Personally I’d rather have neighbors with chickens than ones with dogs and cats, for many reasons. Cats come in my yard, dig up my garden and poop all over; cat poop can give you toxoplasmosis, a nasty parasite that can cause a lot of problems in people, especially pregnant women and can occasionally be fatal.

    Dogs get loose, may bite you, pee all over your garden, killing the plants as well as making it stink and dogs carry some 15 parasites and diseases that can affect people.

    So really now, if towns are going to ban chickens and other poultry I firmly believe that they should ban all domestic animals.

    On the other hand this is America where we are *supposed* to be FREE to follow our dreams of Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness, so why not allow all of us the opportunity to do just that!

  13. Hi Blue Meanie,
    I just wanted to add that the citizens of AZ are responsible for this bill, not the legislators. This bill was pushed forward by residents all over AZ. The residents are not happy with the lack of food freedom and property rights in America. Urban agriculture is sweeping the nation in response to the rising number of health concerns related to how our food is treated, how it is processed, and what goes into it. Sending chicken to China and back again before it even reaches our dinner table is down right ridiculous and irresponsible. Feeding chickens arsenic, hormones, and massive quantities of antibiotics is insane. We are causing antibiotic resistance in chickens, and then when we get sick with salmonella after eating their eggs, we can’t treat the illness with the commonly used antibiotics.

    This really is about the right to food freedom. One should have the right to eat good clean food without the health risks associated with factory farms. An individual should have the right to make a very personal choice about what goes into their body. After all, it is what we eat over the years that often determines
    how long we live and how healthy we will be
    over the course of our lives.

    The right to make these very personal choices about how best to nourish our bodies, while
    on our own property, should be given equal value to a neighbor’s property right to own a dog or cat for companionship. These are just domesticated birds.

  14. Any animal when not cared for properly creates mess and odor, which can harbor potentially harmful bacteria. Dogs create much more waste and a lot more noise than chickens do. This bill is about property rights; just as their neighbor has a right to keep that obnoxious barking dog, if a person who owns their home a person should have he right to keep an animal that will eat their bugs, provide compost for their garden, and deliver healthy fresh eggs. Our food system is so messed up with their overuse of antibiotics which are resulting in increased antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, it is natural and normal that many people want to come closer to their food sources. They can find peace of mind knowing how their flock was raised, what was fed to their chickens, and feed those eggs to their families with a clear conscience.

    Furthermore, these “bird-brained” legislators are listening to their constituents by supporting and voting on this bill that allows them to make sensible choices about property that they own; you are attacking those who would vote (and those who definitely will NOT) vote for you when you attack the supporters of this bill!

  15. I truly understand why our traditional neighbors were forced to ask the legislature for help. We know that our local zoning ordinances are put into by votes from City Council. We also know that our City Council members are more inclined to vote with a nod toward the HOAs; who spend the resident’s HOA fees to take care of common areas and streets within the HOAs. That means that the City can use the tax money for pet projects rather than taking care of those areas. Common sense. If you want to see how that works, look at who actually came out against the recent request that the traditional residents of Chandler made when they asked for 5 backyard hens. Ask to see the letters, pay attention to who actually wrote them. I did.
    Senator Kavanagh you stated that you kept 10 hens and a rooster. You stated that you know the “noise’ that they make. Hens make lots of noise when they are competing for a boyfriend. But hens without a rooster make noise only when they are bragging about their one time daily egg. If hens are kept fed and happy, they make very little noise.
    I currently live in an HOA, but I have had up to 6 hens on a 6,000 sq ft lot. I kept them clean, I kept them happy and they were quiet. Most of my neighbors did not know about the chickens. Those that did were in complete agreement with me that the only people that care what the neighbors are doing in their backyard have control issues. My suggestion to those people would be to find something that makes them truly happy and pursue it. Go dancing, go hiking or go fly a kite like Mr Banks did. .

  16. I truly understand why our traditional neighbors were forced to ask the legislature for help. We know that our local zoning ordinances are put into by votes from City Council. We also know that our City Council members are more inclined to vote with a nod toward the HOAs; who spend the resident’s HOA fees to take care of common areas and streets within the HOAs. That means that the City can use the tax money for pet projects rather than taking care of those areas. Common sense. If you want to see how that works, look at who actually came out against the recent request that the traditional residents of Chandler made when they asked for 5 backyard hens. Ask to see the letters, pay attention to who actually wrote them. I did.
    Senator Kavangh you stated that you kept 10 hens and a rooster. You stated that you know the “noise’ that they make. Hens make lots of noise when they are competing for a boyfriend. But hens without a rooster make noise only when they are bragging about their one time daily egg. If hens are kept fed and happy, they make very little noise.
    I currently live in an HOA, but I have had up to 6 hens on a 6,000 sq ft lot. I kept them clean, I kept them happy and they were quiet. Most of my neighbors did not know about the chickens. Those that did were in complete agreement with me that the only people that care what the neighbors are doing in their backyard have control issues. My suggestion to those people would be to find something that makes them truly happy and pursue it. Go dancing, go hiking or go fly a kite like Mr Banks did. .

  17. Chicken Lady

    I wonder why you are so against the idea of other people owning chickens? Were you attacked by a chicken? Did a chicken scare you at some vulnerable time during childhood? I can’t believe someone with your job and responsibilities would spend so much of the tax payers money (your time) on trying to squash this harmless bill. What’s in it for you? Hmmmm…..

  18. We live on the border of agricultural zoning and a few neighbors in the single family zone have chickens. I can only hear their hens if I am in the alley taking out the trash while one happened to lay. I can on the other hand here their dogs at all ours of the night. When i talked to one of he neighbors about why they have chickens he gave me some eggs to try and they really did have a much richer flavor. He also said the poop is put into a composter and then used in his garden. From my experience I don’t see how someone could be against this bill. Irresponsible people are gong to be irresponsible no matter what, this law just makes clear rules on what needs to be in order to own chickens properly. Please vote yes!

  19. There seems to be a common miss conception among those that have never raised these animals that chickens would be louder and smell worse than dogs; wrong. And even if these false accusations were true, there are strong noise and smell violation laws that can be enforced if needed. The senator claims to be of farm decent and thus an expert. Well buddy, your ten acre farm and the couple hundred birds (assumption) you probably had cooped would definitely stink and be loud. Thats food raised in awful conditions, breeding food born illnesses, mistreating and abusing the animals! You don’t want a few fowl in the city limits but you’d rather force us to eat the contaminated meats sent from factory farms with complete disregard for the animals living condition? Remember that this bill allows the ban on males (the loud ones) and allows cities to limit the number to ONE bird! Keep in mind that chickens (and other fowl) sleep at night with no noise, don’t bark at all, only stink when cooped in large numbers or otherwise can’t clean properly, couldn’t EVER compete with the amount of noise and feathers produced by grackles (common black bird) and pigeons in the city.
    I spend my weekends and evenings teaching people to grow their own food, in my own backyard I can raise enough food to feed my family and give to neighbors for a FRACTION of the cost to buy it. These guys against SB1151 want us to get back in line, depend onion and trust the food supply system, and go back to work for there companies. The rights of the individual have dwindled to almost nonexistent. This is one step towards being independent.

  20. This is about private property rights, ALL ZONING IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL, know where in the Constitution does it talk about what one can do on their own property.
    As others have pointed out we already have laws for nuisance smells and noises and chickens are quieter than dogs, they are the best pest control, that eliminate the need to spray nasty insecticides outside.
    My grandfather raised baby chicks in a Chicago apartment and nobody ever complained.
    Goats should also be allowed on single family residences.

  21. Property right are at the for front of SB1151. The right to own fowl as a pet just like dogs and cats is about freedom. If we listen to the rationality of this article and the comments like Rep Kavanagh made during the committee hearing we would need to ban all dogs and cats across the state because they are creators of 75% of local ordinance violations of noise and odor. Not not be so biased here please. Fowl do not have odor when cared for properly. Kavangh himself even testified that he neglected cleaning his coops until the odor was overwhelming. Because people like Kavanagh do not show good animal stewardship and husbandry we should not let those responsible people have fowl as pets? If that is the case then those people that do not care for their dogs and cats properly should preclude the rest of us from owning dogs and cats according to your logic. Kinda sounds silly now doesn’t it. A persons property rights are not dependent upon a neighbors permission, think about this for two seconds. If a neighbor controls my property rights then my neighbor owns my property and wouldn’t that be a crazy world. Remember that if this is what we have come to in Arizona that neighbors now dictate what the neighbors are allowed to do with their properties we will never recover. Think if this was turned around on you and your neighbor has discovered they have a allergy to your pets and now they will have them removed from your home, remember this is what you are saying and this will go both directions if you use that argument. Please just think before you type this one sided stuff because it will work both directions that fence on the property line. The fence is there for a reason. The reason is my side is mine and your side is yours, so stop peeking over the fence because we are not peeking over yours.

  22. Tiffany Davis

    I think your information, while well written, is misinformed. The idea that a few chickens is less sanitary than my neighbor’s 3 dogs is ridiculous. I guarantee that when she leaves that feces unattended that it attracts quite a bit more flies than anything a chicken could; not to mention the stench. But somehow dogs are suburban/urban…their yapping isn’t supposed to entrench on my property rights or my desired life in the burbs.

    Let’s just touch on the fact that the noise level of a few chickens couldn’t touch the noise that those 3 dogs produce…especially when she decides to leave them outside all day!

    Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs but even on their best day that can’t do what a chicken does.

    A chicken can provide a meal, keep weeds down (they love to eat them), serve as pest control (love to eat those too) as well as keep much of our food waste from going to a landfill (yep they eat that too).

    They can teach a child about responsibility in our food system. Oh and chickens are delightful pets with their own personality too!

    Don’t let unfamiliarity become ignorance.

  23. I found this article about hatcheries. Apparently it’s very rare for chicks with Salmonella to reach backyard farmers. This is because many test the chicks for the illness before being shipped.
    http://www.organicgardening.com/living/backyard-chickens-can-they-make-you-sick

  24. PS. I’d just like to add that I prefer living near chickens over dogs. My neighbors dog barks excessively at me every time I go in my backyard, but I have only heard the chickens one time in the past 8 months. I don’t know, I guess I just don’t get why some people think it’s acceptable to have dogs but not chickens in cities. I find the dogs much more annoying… I love dogs, just not their barking.

  25. Everywhere you go you are surrounded by bacteria. Good hygiene is necessary if you are to keep from getting sick. Just think of the number of park benches, railings, and picnic tables that are laced with wild bird feces. Wild birds carry salmonella too. So do reptiles and even pets. You can get sick from any animal and most surfaces too. That is why it is recommended to wash your hands before eating. http://blog.allaboutbirds.org/2009/02/03/health-update-peanuts/
    Look at the long list of nasties you can get from your dog: Eeeek! Wash those hands! http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/animals/dogs.htm

    Unfortunately, when it comes to our food it’s not always as simple as washing your hands. A recent outbreak of antibiotic resistant strains of Salmonella – linked to Foster Farms chicken – sickened hundreds of people. Thirty eight percent of those were hospitalized due to the virulent nature of the strains. The disgusting and stressful conditions factory farm animals are kept in create the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. To combat this, animals are given large quantities of antibiotics in an attempt to prevent illness and death. The stronger bacteria slowly begins to adapt to the antibiotics and then pass their antibiotic resistant qualities to their daughter cells. Each generation of bacteria becomes more and more resistant to antibiotics until the antibiotics lose effectiveness. http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/new-foster-farms-chicken-salmonella-outbreak-update/
    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/10/23/2821411/growing-public-health-threat-congress

    Food born illness is much more likely and much more severe when it originates from animals used for mass food production. The likelihood of a backyard flock causing hundreds of people to get sick is extremely unlikely as most normal people don’t have hundreds of people in their yards holding their chickens. Neighbors have little to fear unless they wish to hold the chickens, in which case they can simply wash their hands and change their shirt afterwards. The unfortunate situation in which chicks from a large hatchery sickened many people could have been avoided by the use of proper hygiene. Furthermore, hatcheries are similar to factory farms due to the large production of animals that are temperately kept in crowded conditions. Fortunately for hatchery chicks, most are destined to escape to a life full of sunshine, fresh veggies, insects and the love and appreciation of their families. Animals bred for mass food production are doomed to live a life of torture, confinement, filth and death.

    If you have never seen the condition in which the eggs you eat are laid, you might want to view the following video. After watching you will understand why you have a much greater risk of contracting a dangerous illness from factory farm eggs. This was a huge eye opener for me and I hope it will be for you too.
    http://www.mercyforanimals.org/norco/
    http://www.humanemyth.org/mediabase/1059.htm

    Nice blog BTW. 🙂 You are hilarious. I’d love to see you write something positive about chickens someday. :)They can use all the help they can get. Poor little things are not very well respected by us mighty humans. A couple people on my street have chickens, and I think they are the coolest animals.

    • This covers every major point I was considering while reading this article. I also don’t think it’s fair for cities to pass laws banning chickens. They are no different than any other pet people are currently allowed to have. We’re talking chickens, not dangerous or endangered animals. 1151 still allows cities to ban roosters, and enforce noise ordinances, it does not take away HOA rules. It is not a chicken brained bill at all. Actually, it’s very low on the list of crazy bills this state has come up with! If dogs are allowed, I honestly don’t understand why exactly chickens wouldn’t be. I like chickens, more than dogs or cats and I think the backyard chicken movement throughout the country is cool. AND, it takes customers away frim the factory egg process which is cruel and a whole other issue.
      I also saw what Rep. Kavanagh said in the House meeting, and feel like abuse by neglect shouldn’t be used as an argument against chickens citing smell as the issue. Most people take care of their pets and anyone taking care of chickens knows if you pick up after them (like you would with dogs) and don’t have too many in a small space, they don’t smell. Only a callous uncaring person would treat animals badly and I believe that’s what he has done. And he insinuates that all pet owners would do that. This is a man who voted FOR sb1162 (the recent discrimination bill) AND didn’t care for his own animals, so therefore I can’t take him seriously in his hateful opinions.

  26. AZ BlueMeanie

    I guess you’re right about that. Ellie Mae had her critters, and Granny had her cooking pot out by the cement pond. Oliver fancied himself a farmer, but he wasn’t cut out for it.

  27. State Rep. John Kavanagh

    Of course I meant Beverly Hillbillies, where Jed and his kin move to the suburbs and bring their country lifestyle with them. In Green Acres, city folk bring their customs to the county.

    • Rep Kavanagh I respectfully point out that if your chicken rearing activities had odor that impacted your neighbors and family, you were doing something wrong. Responsibly raising chickens is now different than raising cats or dogs.