I received a letter from the county the other day ordering me to remove my chickens and ducks by December 1st. Apparently we are located in the “wild and scenic” zone and because we have under 2.5 acres, we are not allowed to have poultry or fowl. Not only this, but we must move our coops 10 feet away from the back property line. Naturally, I was and am, not at all happy about this predicament. I was under the impression that because we lived in the township we were allowed to have these animals. I had no idea about this regulation. The lady I spoke with at the county explained this zone extends 1,000 ft from the river. She didn’t efficiently explain to me why poultry and fowl are not allowed, but dogs, cats, rabbits, and humans are.
Now, I want to cry out duck and chicken lives matter too! I feel angry at the injustice my useful, egg laying, feathered pets are being dealt. While my useless, non-egg laying, furry dog, skips about the yard clueless of her furry privilege! It really ruffles my feathers! Yes, pun intended; sometimes laughter is the best medicine for me, especially in upsetting situations. To be fair to the dog, if she could talk she would likely demand that her feathered friends stay, for who else will she chase during the day? Perhaps there is some valid reason for not keeping poultry and fowl in this area. Possibly communicable disease between the wild fowl and the domesticated, although if this is indeed the reasoning, I would insist on solid research and evidence to back up such claims.
The woman at the county emphasized the stink and fly factor which doesn’t really apply to my place. The chickens and ducks mostly roam around my yard, thus their manure doesn’t really accumulate very much. When I notice their poop piling up in their coop, I clean it out and till it into my gardens as it makes a great natural fertilizer. Our dog’s poop on the other hand, is in my opinion, much stinkier than the chicken’s and ducks’s and it isn’t suitable as fertilizer for our garden. Another example of animal discrimination, assuming feathered pet’s poop is stinkier and attract more flies than furry pets, while overlooking the benefits of the poop. Grrrrr…I digress.
Perhaps the most upsetting aspect in all of this, is that the county became aware of our chickens and ducks by an anonymous caller. Most likely a neighbor, although I do not know which neighbor, though I tend to find out and politely give them a piece of my mind! Folks, if you have an issue with a neighbor’s doings, please speak directly to the neighbor rather than go behind their back and tattle to a government agency! That is not the neighborly thing to do! Surely we could have worked something out.
After we relocate the chickens and ducks temporarily to my sister’s place, we will begin to plan our relocation. I don’t know where or when, but it needs to happen. I dream of a location where my feathered friends are welcomed and can coexist with all of God’s creatures! A place where neighbor’s mind their own business. A place where I can raise my animals and kids with out worrying about neighbors getting upset with the noise or smells potentially emitting from my yard at times! A place in the country away from nosy, controlling neighbors! Supportive and kind neighbors would be a bonus! Up until now, we’ve been blessed with great neighbors here in this neighborhood. They will be missed. Who knows, maybe they’ll decide to join us and we’ll start a hippie commune where the kids and animals can run wild and free! For real, I’m down!! Until that day, I’ll be here, missing my feathered friends.