Last Monday, when we returned home after the city council meeting, there was a message on our answering machine from a reporter for the local paper. He had been watching the proceedings on television and now felt compelled to write a feature on it. He wanted to come out the next morning -- at dawn -- to get some pictures of the chickens, their coop, and our family.
Now. You chicken owners who are experiencing the end of winter know, things are not in tip-top shape out there right now. They are, of course, good enough to keep the chickens happy and healthy, but to someone with a critical eye, it might not be idyllic. So I, my husband, and my son were up and out there before dawn cleaning and sprucing up. The hens slept right through it. (Try that with a dog!)
The sun came up, the reporter came, and took many pictures and asked many questions. By the time he'd left, he'd been charmed, a bit, by the lovely little girls eating out of my kids' hands and seemingly posing for pictures. As he left, we teased and chided that he should write an opinion piece (in favor of city chickens). He explained that he just may do that, if and when the city would find against keeping chickens.
The paper arrived last evening. The front page sports a huge picture of my son feeding the chickens:
Now, who can resent this?
As thrilling as it was to see our story on the front page, I can't believe how things are so quickly getting big and loud and out of control.
Anyway, my next step is to research the impact of chicken keeping on property values of neighboring properties. We have 10 days to submit additional items to be considered in this matter. I intend to do just that.
But the thing that keeps ringing in my head is the right of the individual. I am not breaking any laws, rules, or regulations. There are no neighborhood rules against this. I happen to have on obsessive neighbor who has been mad at me for years. And so I am put in the position of having to beg and plead for the ability to do what I want on my property.