“crying fowl”

In other news, I made some pistachio ice cream with pistachio praline  that is RIDIC.
No eggs in here, obvs.

Update: I’m being interviewed on a local station (YNN) about this in an hour. And…..this. (And….this.)

Also I’m making enemies all over town! Here’s what I’d say to that: I respect those who are arguing for keeping chickens. They’re the ones who will keep them responsibly. But we can’t make laws for the people who are going to be the best case scenario of a situation, we make them in the real world.

{July 10 update: This whole thing really got to me, I gotta admit it.}

The original post:

My town is having a hearing tomorrow about whether or not to allow backyard chickens. Here’s a little flier I made to hand out at the meeting which I’m planning on reading during the public comment period.

If you have thoughts on how I could make the flier better, leave a comment before 5 PM EST Thursday!

One note not appropriate for the flier: I’ve got some vegan pals who are madly in love with their one or two rescued chickens. Much love to them, keep on keepin on. (Just do it illegally.)

Thanks especially to LH for thoughts on this matter.

Five reasons not to allow chicken ownership in the New Paltz R-1 zone:

  • As with cats and dogs,* many people are short-sighted and think chickens will be a fun pet, then lose interest when the work piles up. I know many people have pointed to Brooklyn’s acceptance of backyard chickens to justify a similar New Paltz ordinance. Any Brooklyn animal shelter worker will tell you that they are overflowing with discarded chickens from people for whom the idyllic dream of stumbling outside in the morning to collect a few eggs for breakfast has been replaced by the reality of how much work (daily henhouse cleaning, feeding, watering) is involved in keeping chickens. Our local animal shelters and sanctuaries cannot accommodate any more animals.
  • Chickens are vulnerable to inclement weather and undoubtedly many will freeze to death during our East Coast winters.
  • Chickens attract coyotes, foxes, and rats, all of which put our existing cats and dogs at risk and further pull our tenuous ecological balance out of kilter.
  • People think they’re being kind by having backyard chickens, but in truth there are a lot of hidden cruelties involved in the practice. For example: most people order chicks through the mail from large hatcheries. Male chicks, which generally people who want eggs have no use for, are usually ground alive in compactors shortly after they are hatched by these giant operations. Even if New Paltz citizens treat their hens well, they are still supporting this horrific system. Furthermore, there are many, many documented cases of sexing errors (some statistics I have read say 25-50%!), which means that, whether we want them or not, our town will soon be full of roosters. As someone who spends a month each year on Kauai, Hawaii, which is famously overrun with chickens, I hope every single person in town is prepared for roosters screaming all around town every hour (not just the morning! But the very early morning too, yep!) of every day.
  • Hens, like people, continue to live after they can no longer produce eggs. What will happen to all these “useless” hens?

*One could argue that since we obviously allow dogs and cats, chickens are not that different. This argument could be extended forever until our backyards are overflowing with goats, cows, etc, which all of us would most likely agree is not an ideal situation. Whenever possible, we should strive to create a more natural ecological balance by not continuing the practice of animal domestication.

Instead of creating a system where all of us have to put up with neighbors having unsanitary and potentially cruel mini-farms, why not encourage people who eat eggs to buy from local farmers, who can provide a more humane and appropriate place for chickens to live? Almost every organic farm in town sells eggs from their own chickens.

101 Responses to ““crying fowl””

    • lagusta

      Already fixed it (I gotta start editing *before* I press “publish”!) but I do so appreciate that within 5 minutes three people caught that error! Fellow typo nerds!

      Reply
  1. Kara

    The town not being prepared for a boom in stray chickens and roosters is probably the most compelling argument for the average person. Glad it appears as #1. Go get ’em!

    Reply
    • daveliepmann

      And yet, we have not seen this boom in over a decade of people keeping chickens against the law. Weird. It’s as if the boom in stray chickens is factually wrong and empirically false.

      Reply
    • daveliepmann

      And I’ll add–Hawaii has wild chickens because it’s a tropical climate, and the chickens survive the winter. As Lagusta notes, chickens not kept in a coop will freeze. So the concern that we’ll be overrun by stray chickens gone wild is immediately resolved.

      Reply
  2. Chris

    I would add to your first bullet the costs and work of deworming, mite and lice care, health maintenance, and exotic animal vet care costs for the chickens. I volunteer on an animal farm that shelters animals (rescues and such) and just to walk in the door of the vet it costs us $95. We just spent over $300 on one chicken. People don’t realize that chickens need vet care just like any animal would. Also, yes on the rooster issue. We get many calls about accidental roosters because chicks are not sexed so when you get a chick you often don’t know what you are getting.

    Reply
  3. Ann

    Really well done! Don’t know if this could be worked in somehow, but I know (secondhand) about someone whose own dog killed one of her backyard chickens. I’m thinking that the attraction for dogs of chasing and potentially killing chickens could create additional chaos in a lovely dog-walking town, and also there could be disease potential for the dogs, no? Maybe when people start talking back, this is something extra you could have in your back pocket to pull out.

    Reply
    • daveliepmann

      My chickens are not diseased. And I’d be delighted if you found any numbers (or even anecdotal cases) of disease-carrying chickens being a significant problematic vector for dogs in the mainland US.

      If dogs are attacking animals in town, you ban DOGS, not the entities they attack.

      Reply
  4. Pauline Yearwood

    Excellent! I can second that about shelters ending up with unwanted chickens & roosters once a town passes a chicken ordinance. And they are hard to place — there are several farm-sanctuary type places in Wisconsin that have taken chickens from our shelter, but now they are getting filled up too. Go get ’em!!

    Reply
    • daveliepmann

      I’ll place those chickens. They’ll go great with some homegrown potatoes and greens.

      Reply
    • daveliepmann

      “Consuming” in the negative (as opposed to literal) context reasonably applies to buying plastic shit, building McMansions, and factory farms. Humanely raising chickens and eating their eggs while enriching the local soil does not qualify.

      Reply
  5. Angela

    I just saw at a cafe in my town (just moved here a little bit ago) that they are having a meeting soon about allowing backyard chickens here. I’d like to maybe hand out fliers similar to yours, too, make a few friends while I’m at it, heh :)

    I’ve had enough with all this local animal cruelty is so much better than the alternative bs!

    Reply
  6. lagusta

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone! The meeting went well, I think without our little anti chicken-enslavement camp they probably would have passed the resolution, but the Town Board said we gave them a lot to think about. Unfortunately they made the weird decision that since the person who had introduced the resolution wasn’t there to defend her position (even though the meeting topics were announced beforehand and the meetings are, obviously, public), they would wait and have another public hearing about it. Very strange way to do democracy if you ask me, but next time we’ll have more people with more ammunition!

    Reply
  7. Dave Liepmann

    Let me address your concerns, point by point. 1) As you note, a lot of New Paltzers are already keeping chickens. There has not been a problem reported from the animal shelters, has there? 2) Similarly, my chickens and many others have easily braved our relatively mild winters (this one as well as previous more harsh years). 3) Well-kept chickens don’t attract rats. And how does feeding the local foxes cause an ecological imbalance? 4) See (1) for your roosters-everywhere slippery slope. For the chicks, that doesn’t concern me as it does you. I am giving my chickens a good life and cannot stop the broader chicken factory from being evil. 5) I eat them. No problem. The issue here is that your values are not my values. I think backyards full of goats, cows, and chickens would be swell, because I think it’s good for the world to keep these animals well, and to eat them (and their milk, and eggs). I hope we in New Paltz legalize and lightly regulate backyard chickens. I will fight to stop your radical veganist obstructionism. Cheers!

    Reply
    • lagusta

      We simply disagree. I’ll continue to work for a world in which animals are not enslaved, and will continue to be peaceful neighbors with people such as yourself, while fighting against your agenda as hard as you fight against mine.

      Reply
      • Concerned citizen

        So your fine with “enslaving” dogs and cats? I for one love to hear the beautiful sound of a rooster crowing!! Most people that raise backyard chichkens do so very responsibly. I see nothing wrong with giving people the freedom to raise their own chickens. Are you sure that you are not an agent of the corporate farm factory?

      • lagusta

        Nope–I say elsewhere that I think dogs and cats should be spayed and neutered out of existence, though I do love my (indoor) kitties so. (This isn’t going to happen obviously, but in a perfect world we wouldn’t have domesticated animals at all.) I can see how the argument could me made that if you’re not in favor of backyard chickens, you’re in favor of factory farmed eggs. As a vegan for 20 years that’s certainly not my argument, and I’ve said in at least 10 places on this very thread that in my opinion people should get their eggs from local organic farms. Many people see it as “freedom” issue. I can totally see how if that’s your worldview I seem awfully meddlesome. Sorry ’bout that, but we just don’t share that worldview. I believe animals don’t need to be any more domesticated than they already are.

        For the wild, Lagusta

  8. Alexandra

    Interesting points; however, if there are any wildlife ecologists in your audience I would avoid having “cats” and “ecological balance” in the same sentence. eaighwarr (skin crawling noise).

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Meh. Whatevs. My cats don’t go outside.

      So, your argument is that since our ecosystem is already out of balance it no longer matters what we do to it?

      Reply
      • daveliepmann

        No, Lagusta, Alexandra’s point (I believe) is that you’re being mind-bogglingly self-serving and ludicrously illogical by saying “my cats are fine” and “your chickens should be banned” in the same sentence.

        We want you to either be consistent and ban cats, OR be consistent and recognize that allowing deer-killing cars and fox-feeding chickens is a reasonable amount of ecological harm, considering the benefit we get from these things.

        It’s an issue of critical thinking. Your chicken ban is a knee-jerk conservative alarmist reaction to people taking control of their food sources. If you step back for a moment, you’ll see that banning chickens is equivalent to banning all manner of things that you yourself hold dear. I don’t ban your cats, ergo you shouldn’t ban my chickens.

      • atsugal

        Dave! I don’t know what I can say to you except what I’ve already said. We just disagree. You’ve have presented good facts, but I stand by my views that it simply doesn’t make sense for 1-acre properties. How about this: let’s just keep things as they are, ok? No one’s taking your chickens away from you, are they? Live and let live (well, ok, except for the male chicks), but let’s not legislate in favor of more animal keeping. That’s all I’m saying. I never put forth a ban (more than there already is). I’m simply not in favor of legal encouragement.

        Lagusta

      • daveliepmann

        (Again, in response to https://blog.lagusta.com/2012/06/27/enough-with-this-chicken-crap-already/#comment-8593 because I can’t reply directly to it.)

        Advocating for keeping a ban is obviously logically equivalent to calling for a ban. Perhaps I should’ve said, “Lagusta wants the ban on your chickens *to be continued*”. Either way you’re saying that what I do should be illegal. Stand up for what you believe. Don’t weasel-word your position to my (online) face by saying that no one is coming for my chickens, when you want them to be able to. (And my family has had roosters in the past, too.) Your position is not “live and let live”, it’s “not to allow chicken ownership in the New Paltz R-1 zone”.

        If you’re against 1-acre properties keeping chickens, then propose that regulation. (Hint: the R-1 ban is way more broad, and affects 10-acre properties.) I would agree to the extent that we probably should have a per-acre limit on the number allowed. But right now you’re being two-faced: arguing for a total ban to the town, and telling me that you’re fine with my chickens. You’re not. Be honest to your neighbors.

      • atsugal

        Um. Wow. You’re accusing me of a lot. To be honest, I truly don’t want anyone coming for your chickens, because your correspondence here has proven you’ve thought a lot about this issue, which means you’re most likely taking care of your chickens just fine.

        I’m not being disingenuous, I just…I was just thinking about it exactly like I said I was. I don’t enforce code. I don’t make laws. Wiggle room and laxity doesn’t bother me on a personal level. I contain multitudes!

        I truly, truly truly was not thinking of this in this devious way you’re saying I was. Yes, there’s a ban on the books, but I know that in the real world no one enforces it.

        That’s truly how I was thinking about it.

        Sorry for…um, what? Letting you think I have some grand scheme to impose veganism on New Paltz? I don’t…I wish I was that ambitious!

        Lagusta

      • daveliepmann

        You say “I contain multitudes”. I hear “I contain a desire to have what Dave Liepmann does illegal, even though I say that I don’t mind it.” That’s fantastic, but no thanks. Let’s go ahead and have my chickens be legal. Thanks!

      • lagusta

        Dave! We could argue about this forever, but if I don’t work I won’t be able to pay my mortgage then I’ll have to pack up and leave town! I’m sure you’d hate that, so I’ll bow out now.

      • Alexandra

        Actually, no my argument is not that since our ecosystem is out of balance it no longer matters. I know that the domestication of animals is bad for our environment; including cats. I was merely pointing out that if there were any ecologists in your audience they may be more receptive to your otherwise good points if cats were not a part of the (initial) discussion (because it seems clear that they would come up eventually from these posts!).

        Wow, you got quite the discussion going here. Good luck.

  9. Roberto LoBianco (@robertolobianco)

    You call for restored ecological balance but native species like coyotes and foxes apparently seem not to fit into the idyllic environment you envision.

    Do you really want to try and argue whether keeping a dozen chickens or three domesticated cats places a greater strain on the environment? Any animal shelter worker will tell you that they are overflowing with discarded cats from people for whom the idyllic dream of stumbling downstairs in the morning to pet their feline friend has been replaced by the reality of how much work cleaning a litter box, feeding, and watering is involved in keeping cats. Our local animal shelters and sanctuaries cannot accommodate any more animals. So are you proposing New Paltz ban or restrict the keeping of cats as well? Why did you decide that cats are OK, despite their harmful effect on the local ecology, and the line needs to be drawn at chickens?

    I could go on to list the myriad ways that chickens are amazing animals to keep around, like the fact that they eat ticks, reducing the dangers of spreading lyme disease. But the burden of proof is on you and you’ve failed to convince me that you oppose raising chickens for any reason other than that you view all domestication of animals for human use, even when done with the conscious intent of being humane and environmentally sustainable is wrong. This is out of balance with what the community’s needs currently are.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Well, I’m against animal domestication, it’s simply that I see cats and dogs as too far gone. In New Paltz, or anywhere, there’s simply no reason to keep this ludicrousness going. Again, we simply disagree and I will fight as kindly as possible against your cruel agenda.

      Reply
      • daveliepmann

        Would you be in favor of a law banning outdoor cats in New Paltz?

      • lagusta

        Dave–no, but I am in favor of not making things worse with chickens!

      • John House Wilson

        Although there are half a dozen pragmatic legal points to elucidate upon I will wait for a different venue to discuss them for now. BUT!!! I would like to make a few points here on domestication, agriculture and civilization that I learned studying agriculture and ecology and as a farmer and permaculture designer. First and foremost I would like to point out that plant domestication and agriculture are deeply and inherently disruptive to the ecology of any bioregion or ecosystem. The growing of plants chosen, breed and propagated by humans displaces animals and destroys their habitat. As a farmer on small-scale organic vegetable operations I saw this first hand. No matter how diverse or compassionate we were in our work our cultivation displaced and excluded wild animals and seriously transformed the ecology of place (it was also still dependent upon underpaid labor and petroleum). Indeed over the last decade as I have studied agriculture, culture and ecology it has become increasingly clear that grain, legume and fruit cultivation has done more to destroy the lives of wild animals and their ecosystems than any other force since the mega-faunal collapse of the Paleolithic Era. Indeed animal domestication was and is destructive as well. The deserts of the Middle East, Asia and Africa are as much a product of overgrazing as they are agriculture and irrigation. AND yes of course animals are mistreated and killed in the process! All this eventually led me to become a anti-domestication proponent and a primitivast. I proclaimed often and loudly that agriculture and domestication were twin evils at the root of our inherently corrupt and cruel human civilization. They had destroyed the the natural ecology of the globe and lead to war, patriarchy and all the rest. As a result I studied permaculture and learned to identify wild foods. But as I learned more about ecological agriculture and permaculture I became more hopeful that we could design human agricultural systems in an efficient, sustainable, compassionate way and this has guided my work as a gardener and educator in the years since. With this experience and knowledge I discovered many principles CRITICAL to sustainable agriculture three of the most critical are 1. The integration of animals (domestic and wild) into the ecosystem is critcal if we are maintain soil health and human health. 2. Small scale growing that minimizes cultivated land and the disruption of ecosystems is key if we are to aviod another global extinction. 3. And the engagement of common folks in growing their own food is critical . AND THIS is why I support backyard chickens. Anywho there is so much more to say. But I will add this. THERE IS NO WAY TO LIVE LOCALLY AND SUSTAINABLY WITHOUT ANIMAL PROTEIN IN THE NORTHEAST AND EGGS ARE THE HEALTHIEST AND MOST COMPASSIONATE OF ALL ANIMAL PROTEINS. We should be helping train people to raise backyard chickens not outlawing it!! So much more to say!!!! Lets talk sometime Lagusta!

    • lagusta

      Hey John! I’m an ethical vegan so…your arguments don’t carry weight with me personally. I’m not talking about ethical veganism when discussing the chicken issue (well, I didn’t intend to…), but just on a personal level, eating animals just isn’t my thing.

      Reply
      • daveliepmann

        Part of John’s point is that none of your arguments hold water in the absence of total, radical veganism. When you admit to that, your arguments are consistent, though I disagree with them. When you deny it, your arguments just aren’t coherent. Ecologically, ethically, and practically, backyard chickens are superior to the alternative, which is buying eggs and chicken flesh from factory farms (or even Pete Taliaferro). Your only cogent counterargument is that we shouldn’t be eating these things in the first place. So be an adult and say that, instead of pretending to reject it on other, less stable grounds.

      • John House Wilson

        Wait! Wait! Are you saying that you’re ethical system does not take into account the ecological health of the globe, the sustainability of human civilization or the health of your local community? Also if your stance on this law is not informed by clear ethical ideas then why do you have a strong position on the issue? I would argue that your emotional and ethical world view IS what is driving your involvement in this issue it just may need to be expanded to include other critical factors.

      • John House Wilson

        Oh! Although I hinted at in the last post I want to be clear… I am totally o.k. with your ethical veganism being a core component in your stance on this issue! I think it should be! Alright enough for now. Maybe we can talk in person at some point soon.

      • lagusta

        OK, to these points.

        Yes, even lovely veganic farming is disruptive to the environment. Yes, everything is. Of course. Yes, we should take more control of our food production. Yes, of course. But introducing chickens to a backyard environment and seeming to say that it has less of a negative environmental impact than vegetable farming doesn’t make sense to me. Animals change the nature of an ecosystem. We can live just fine without animal protein. We don’t *need* chickens in backyards in New Paltz, and since they will undeniably have a negative environmental impact, let’s not have them.

        To your other point: I’m not opposed to the sustainable transport of foodstuffs from around the world–it’s what makes being a chef so wonderful in many ways. I love my Taliaferro summer squash, but I also love my Japanese matcha tea.

        That said, I sincerely wish I had the tools at hand right now to refute your all-caps point about the unsustainable nature of veganism on the east coast. Perhaps I’ll call on some smarter vegans than me to enter into this discussion!

        One quick thing I’ll throw into this mix: I have no financial or dietary stake in this fight. I just have an opinion. I find it interesting that everyone else who is discussing this has both. Just throwing that out there.

      • xdavex

        assuming most everything that wilson said about civilization/agriculture/permaculture/sustainability is true… cuz i’d say most is.(i’m anarcho-primitivst, vegan, and am highly supportive of permaculture).. how does allowing backyard chickens contribute to such sustainability? it’s all out of context. most people who’ll be raising chickens aren’t primitivists or permaculturists. if sustainability is the goal, how will this out of context piece of the sustainability puzzle help? yes some people may take more direct action in their food sources, but if what’s needed is something more, when does the more come in? and don’t the costs outweigh any benefits? will someone be helping set up each house with it’s own permaculture installation? it will be argued that it’s just a start but are the lives of chickens where we should do that?

        also the assertion: “THERE IS NO WAY TO LIVE LOCALLY AND SUSTAINABLY WITHOUT ANIMAL PROTEIN IN THE NORTHEAST” needs to be defended. especially since, to wilson and myself at least, permaculture is hot shit. in other words – wouldn’t the effectiveness of permaculture make this statement untrue? and “animal protein” is missing a qualifier – domestic and/or wild.

        also the assertion: “EGGS ARE THE MOST COMPASSIONATE OF ALL ANIMAL PROTEINS.” is bunk. if you take out of context, the picking an egg out of a coop, you could say that. except, what about the meat chickens? will people use the eggs and not eat the meat? unlikely. and what about the male chicks?

      • John House Wilson

        Hello again folks! First off sorry for the cap locks… its just something I do when I get excited typing, or what I call typcited! To respond to a one of your major points above: What evidence is there that chickens have a negative environmental impact in a suburban or urban landscape? In reality I know of no research that looks at this issue in a thorough and scientific fashion and concludes that backyard chickens are destructive. In my experience chickens do little if any harm to the backyard ecosystem at all. They primarily eat grass seed heads, insects and decaying matter, things that are quite abundant in human managed landscapes. As a by-product they create nutrient rich fertilizer, which is easily and safely absorbed into the soil (as well as eggs). They can be a source of food for foxes, coyotes, fishers, weasels and the odd tomcat gone wild but this is not “disruptive” to the ecology of place in detrimental way. In fact the increasingly large numbers of predators in the Hudson Valley (and throughout the Northeast) is a sign that our ecosystems are recovering from the detrimental effects of the large-scale farming that was practiced here over the last 3 centuries by Europeans Americans. Further in the pre-colonial Hudson Valley not only were predator populations likely much larger, so were the population of ground birds such as Bobwhite quail, pheasant and wild turkeys, birds that emulate chickens in many of their behaviors and ecological roles. So the idea that somehow more chickens or more predators is destructive is not based on historical perspective or ecological evidence.

        Yet with this said it is even more important to recognize that when discussing ecology or the “environment” we must understand that our concept of a healthy ecosystem cannot be founded upon our perception of our current ecology or an idealized past. The ecology of the Hudson Valley 100 years ago was the byproduct of massive disruptions, extinctions, and monoculture. Wolves, mountain lions bobcats and coyotes had been massacred by the hundreds of thousands. Many species such as beaver, mink, shad, sturgeon and more had been hunted and trapped to near extinction, while some such as the passenger pigeon, which once flocked by the millions across America, had been hunted to complete extinction. Yet to trace back further! Even before European Imperialism, indigenous hunters had cleared millions of acres of forests and substantial transformed ecosystems. HELL before that the first indigenous people of the Americas likely has a hand in killing off the amazingly huge Mega-fauna (such as the Mastodon, short faced bear, etc.) that had dominated the ecosystems for millions of years.

        My point being… our current ecosystems are human made, recovering from trauma and likely to devastated again by changing economics and geopolitics. And they are not static! So the question is how do we want to manage them. Are we comfortable allowing a few chickens to graze the excessive backyards of suburbia where they can transform insects, seeds and dirt into super-rich proteins and fats? I am! Can it be done without harming the ecology of place? I would posit that it can! In fact I would say that the huge, excessive, ugly, expensive, monocultural lawns of New Paltz could easily support over 10,000 chickens without in any way damaging the ecology of the yards or the surrounding second growth forests, wetlands or meadows. Now of course 10,000 chickens would be a lot!! And that might cause nuisance issues. But lets be clear nuisance issues are not often ecological issues. They are usually human complaints arising out of what humans perceive to be the comforts, freedoms and luxeries they are entitled to. Now that does not mean that nuisance issues should not be dealt with. They must be addressed if we are to live together peacefully, but lets leave ecology out of that!

        So much more to say (especially in response to your comments xdaveX! I’m glad we are having this discussion and if you all are not… I’m sorry but thank you for giving me this venue to think and write!

      • daveliepmann

        xdavex — You seem like someone who has thought a lot about these issues, but you whiffed on calling the statement “EGGS ARE THE MOST COMPASSIONATE OF ALL ANIMAL PROTEINS” bunk.

        The key word is “most”. Unless you can point to a *more* compassionate animal protein–milk might be a candidate, but I would argue that eggs take the cake–you don’t have a leg to stand on.

        And even if we address your argument, which is that eggs aren’t maximally compassionate, your attempt to link eggs to killing chickens is debunked by the plain fact that people *in this comment thread* have stated that they eat the eggs of their backyard chickens without killing the old hens for meat and without culling the male chicks.

  10. d.bear

    I absolutely adore your radical vegan obstructionism! Obstruct away, dear Lagusta! Chickens are not disposable lifestyle accessories, but humans seem to enjoy trends of this kind. Thank you for your loud & clear voice of reason.

    Reply
    • kira

      lagusta- i really do like you but your views here are so fucked and flat out wrong on many counts that i can not believe you bothered to print them up and make yourself look so foolish. you might just want to think more and research a bit more before you run around spouting off. i have 400+ chickens now and had anywhere from 10 to 50 when i was a kid growing up- i had one die from the cold ONE- and really when a chicken is 8 years old it may have been from the cold or any other variety of things. now please tell me how many homeless people die each year from the cold and we can compare weather hardiness. I have never spent one penny deworming delicing and whatever else you are ranting on about. i do order my chicks from breeding houses in the mid west- on this you are correct that that industry could use a lot of improvement, but in the area of sexing chickens you are so far off it is UNBELIEVABLE- I have had less than five sexing mix ups- the roosters i have i either requested or got when i ordered straight run chickens. i have also had hens laying eggs up until they are 7 and 8 years old, yes they lay less often, but lay they do and they are not useless, they are pets- hence they bring pleasure to the people that have them and are cared for until they simply die, much the same as people do for any other pet. chickens do not attract foxes, coyotes, and rats- or racoons for that matter. those animals exist here already and if a homeowner keeps the chicken feed in a tight container and is not sloppy with feed rats will not be a problem at all! and some roosters even kill rats. a fox mama that has lived in a neighbors yard for many years does come steal a chicken from time to time to feed her babies- this is all just part of life. I have never once seen a coyote running around here in the daytime and you might as well say the deer attract them because i do have dead deer on the farm from time to time that the coyotes have killed at night- but isn’t that nature working to be in balance? i do not know lady- i just think you are out of your league arguing about this stuff —–and you probably feed your cats a vegan diet *which is not as nature intended felines to be* — and i will go right on knowing that you just like and need to argue, and i will still come in to buy chocolates if i am not now blacklisted!

      Reply
      • lagusta

        Of course I don’t feed my cats a vegan diet, Kira. I feed them local dead animals! I do so appreciate the assumption that I’m an idiot though, one I’ve come to count on from you!

        Thank you for sharing your experiences. As a farmer, you are obviously keeping chickens on a different level.

        I have actually done a lot of homework on this issue, and it’s good to get your perspective, but it is different from what everyone else who has had chickens has told me and from everything else I’ve read.

        Good to know though–and I’m glad you agree with my points about hatcheries.

        Thanks for such a kind and thoughtful response.

  11. Betsy

    I can’t imagine having 400 pets. I’m no expert but that sounds more like animal hoarding or farming to me. If you’re an animal farmer how can they be pets? You are by nature using them for your own financial gain. I’m no expert, but I’ve seen well cared for chickens, and horribly neglected chickens. It all depends on the persons caring for them. The well cared for ones I have seen, have been rescued from chicken farms. When people buy them from breeding houses, they are more likely treating them like food, and not as sentient beings.

    Reply
    • daveliepmann

      Would you rather she set up a banking account for the hens, so that she shares profit with labor? If not, then how exactly would you propose she eat the eggs (and the chickens) without financial gain?

      And if, as you say, “it all depends on the persons caring for them”, then it sounds like you oppose Lagusta’s proposed and bizarre chicken ban.

      Reply
      • kira

        yes, my chickens are here on my farm and i most certainly am a farmer. if you would like to know the truth i actually lose money on keeping my chickens. I buy them local organically grown and processed feed. i free range them on two acres of land and they sleep in moveable coops so i can bring them to fresh green areas after they scratch, eat and peck an area clean. I talk to them when i go to feed them and to collect the eggs. when one is sick, i bring it into my house and attempt to nurse it back to health, and have on occasion taken them to the vet- which really is only for a diagnosis when i am unable to figure out a problem on my own. the vets solutions tend to be treat with antibiotics, but since that only works with some things and the efficacy tends to be low on any problem i have encountered I make them special high protein feeds and high carb drinks to keep calories and stamina up to help them fight off their illness. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I get immense pleasure from watching my chickens- they are always busy doing something and they have their own little social structures. i cull none of them because they have passed their egg laying prime- so that combined with the organic feed makes them not profitable financially, but the eggs do attract customers to my farm stand who then buy other products- so you can see them as a kind of loss leader- much the same as sales in supermarkets are. so yeah my 400+ chickens are on a farm, and i am a farmer, and i count those chickens as pets even though I sell their eggs, and i see no contradiction in any of that. I do not see the point in a ban because some people may not treat their chickens well- if that is the case call in the aspca- but preventing everyone from keeping chickens for their own feed or pets because of the potential of some people being neglectful seems a little backwards to me. And unfortunately I have just been blacklisted, via phone call, from Lagusta’s chocolate shop. woe is me for speaking out in contradictory fashion. Lagusta, my post is in no way mean, or condescending and nowhere in it am I insulting your intelligence- so I am sorry that I have offended you. Reread the first line where I state super publicly that I really do like you, hopefully it will help make you feel better.

      • lagusta

        Kira, I never blacklisted you! I just said you’ve been a bully to me for too long. I’m done. Since you’re making this public (I attempted to keep it private), you always find a way to insult me, in all of our interactions. As I stated in my message, you made good points here, but I’m really tired of you insulting me. Best of luck to ya, I just need space from your bullying.

  12. daveliepmann

    Lagusta, your updated post and your recent comments seem to run from your original position. You think I, eater of chickens and the byproducts of their menstruations (i.e. eggs), “enslaver” of animals, will keep them responsibly because I advocate for making what I do legal? Or are you just appeasing the middle-class chicken-keepers so that you can deprive the poor and illiterate of their protein?

    Regardless, I fail to see how any of your worst-first-thinking arguments avoids the fact that our existing animal endangerment and noise/nuisance laws already cover the nightmare scenarios you propose.

    I would note also the ENORMOUS entitlement overflowing from your statement that “Oh, *my* enlightened friends should be allowed to keep chickens, but let’s keep it illegal anyway.” For me and not for thee, eh? Is that a good activist position? You want the state to have a law hanging over your chicken-savior friends’ heads, but just…not to enforce it unless they don’t like your friends?

    Reply
      • daveliepmann

        No, seriously, those aren’t rhetorical questions.

      • lagusta

        Well, I did decide it would be nicer to be nice, so I tried that. Caught me!

        And since I’m just a citizen, not on the Town Board, the double standard I mentioned above is just fine with me, I think people who have rescued chickens are doing a good thing. Creating more of a need for rescued chickens=not a good thing.

        I’ve been trying SO HARD to separate my personal views on chickens from this proposed law. It’s been difficult, for sure, but I truly believe that even if you are not vegan there are plenty of reasons to oppose this. That’s about all I can say. I do appreciate your points though–come into the shop and we can hash this out in person over a lavender lemonade! Neighbors shouldn’t just fight online. We should meet.

  13. daveliepmann

    (Can’t reply to thread https://blog.lagusta.com/2012/06/27/enough-with-this-chicken-crap-already/#comment-8590 so replying here.)

    I agree strenuously with your last sentence and appreciate the invitation. Unfortunately I’m in Manhattan for the next few weeks.

    I keep chickens in New Paltz. I keep them healthy, fed, and mostly safe from predators to the best of my abilities. I want that activity to be legal. You want that activity to be illegal. My point-by-point refutation of your position, as well as my request for a reasonable explanation of your double standard, have gone totally and willfully un-addressed. This leads me to suspect that your position is informed by the gulf between your veganism and my eating of eggs and chickens.

    If I’m wrong, please explain. If, perhaps, you would rather *regulate* chicken-keeping in New Paltz, such that neglectful keepers are minimized or eliminated, let’s have that discussion. But right now you’re saying that because you don’t want the benefit of chickens, I shouldn’t be allowed to have them.

    Reply
    • atsugal

      I simply fail to see how you’ve pointed out any inconsistency in my view, which is the simplest thing in the world:

      Encouraging increased animal keeping in a small residential area is not in keeping with our current zoning.

      I happen to think chickens are utterly darling. But they don’t belong in my 1-acre backyard. Neither do my domesticated cats, that’s for sure. If I could go back in time and undomesticate cats and dogs, I sure would. But without me living with my cats, they would be killed. (That’s the difference for me between pets and chickens, but I fully recognize that that doesn’t really have any bearing on the issue at hand.)

      I just try to not make things worse, and to live in the real world, where Pete Taliaferro sells humane eggs for far cheaper than the cost of setting up a chicken coop.

      Time to go to work.

      Lagusta

      Reply
      • lagusta

        (sorry, when I reply on my phone it puts my name backwards. I should really fix that.)

      • daveliepmann

        I want my own eggs, not Pete Taliaferro’s. He’s swell, I buy his veggies. But I want my own, and for some reason you think that my chickens (which are by any account given a much more loved and humane life than even his well-cared-for chickens), less than a mile down the road, should be banned. That’s bonkers.

      • atsugal

        Hey! We must be neighbors! I live less than a mile from him too! Small world.

        Lagusta

      • daveliepmann

        Wait a second. Will you admit that you oppose Pete Taliaferro’s “enslavement” of chickens just as much as you oppose mine?

      • lagusta

        Yep! Totally! But Pete’s still my pal. In the real world, people eat eggs. Let’s let responsible organic farmers keep chickens. (Not saying you’re not responsible personally, just saying, again, that animal husbandry doesn’t fit in backyards).

  14. amifixler

    I too am a Pete T. neighborhood person! and love your chocolates! and I also love Dave’s chickens who come and visit me everyday! Sometimes they are joined by other neighbor’s chickens. If we connect, they receive a sprinkle of organic oats or millet and get all perky. And they’re eating ticks too! Yay! They seem very happy and well cared for. Safe, friendly, funny, fuzzy, folky and oh so foragy.

    I’m a lifelong vegetarian sometimes vegan ex-fowler who may venture into fowlplay again if the impulse ever hits, with or without a ban! Dave…incubated them myself (borrowed a few fertile eggs and an incubator from Chris Harp) and that’s better than supporting the cruel factory chick-makers. Last time they hatched on Mother’s Day! But a warning — incubating makes you even more attached to these fragile beings. Was I lucky they were all hens? Hmmmm…

    They had names, were talked to, lovingly cuddled, petted and perpetually followed me around the yard. They didn’t mind the cold, but I ran the heat lamp on extremely cold nights, I think for my own peace of mind. The only maintenance was to keep food and water in their hopper, shut the coop at dusk, open it in the morning. I never saw a single rat.

    Predators, such as the fox and the hawk, yes, they did attract a few … not many, but it only takes one fox to kill 3-6 chickens. I miss having the chickens, but I don\’t miss the heartbreaking process of attrition.

    I am a strong animal lover, consider them as conscious, sentient beings worthy of the respect we give fellow Homo Sapiens (or at least the respect we should be giving each other!) The meat industry disgusts. Makes me very embarrassed to be part of the club we call human ”civilization”. Nothing civil about how we as a culture treat our ”food” animals.

    I understand both points of view on this issue.

    I wonder if legalizing the backyard chicken will promote more of them? Seems those who want to already do, and legalization won’t matter much. Personally, I did not even know there was a ban … I just built them a super-coupe (but it didn’t fly like Super-Chicken’s Super-Coupe ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQq6xfbgfXw ), and it made me, my daughter and my neighbor’s children very happy! I only received positive comments from the neighbors about how interesting and fun they were to watch and how they appreciated the gifts eggs and tick consumption. I have been hearing and reading similar comments about Dave’s and other neighbor’s chickens.

    On the other hand, a continued ban isn’t stopping anyone in NP from keeping fowl, or is it? I would hope that if there is cruelty and inappropriate or disturbing keeping of animals (of any kind) that the affected neighbors would work it out among themselves or take the necessary steps to remedy, with or without a law. There is some common sense required when keeping animals, and one should be cognizant of the limitations based on the amount of open space that exists where the animals live and forage. For example, it seems to me inappropriate in more densely populated areas where there is little or no open space, and fresh chicken-shit at your doorstep or on your porch can be an awfully yucky problem.

    Sometimes laws are created to handle worst case scenarios — I am usually against such laws/rules. One example is the restricted swimming in Minnewaska/Awosting lakes. Is a backyard chicken ban such a law? I lean towards common-sense based zoning laws, which aim for the common good. An all out ban might not be the necessary or fair solution.

    On the issue of inhumane keeping, slaughtering and eating of animal (carcasses), although I wish for a more compassionate society, I just don’t see it happening via legislation … but I do via education. May everyone read books such as Diet for Small Planet!

    Okay, time for a chocolate break … may this issue be resolved by a good compromise!

    Ami

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Hi Ami! Thanks for your thoughts. I really appreciate it. I’ve already stated my thoughts on this issue about a million billion times on this thread, so I won’t say any more about my views…so thanks for yours!

      Reply
    • Kelly

      “Sometimes laws are created to handle worst case scenarios — I am usually against such laws/rules”

      I’m an out-of-town backyard chicken keeper from Guelph, Ontario and, Ami, you’ve nailed it for me right here. I’ve read through most of the comments and I definitely see both sides of the argument. Lagusta, I’m sure you’re tired of all this, but for me, I’m confused as to whether your premise is that treating chickens as pets is bad, introducing them into a backyard enviornment is bad, or both.

      In my best-case scenario, well kept chickens can be rescued from factory farming and teach people about sustainable living.

      It can’t be any worse than how the poultry industry that currently exists. Just my two cents.

      Reply
  15. David Siegel

    I’m going to go point by point to address the inaccuracies in your flier. I try to stay out of arguments like this, but anti-science fundamentalists on both sides are bringing this country into the dark ages. So, here goes:

    Point 1:Instead of looking to Brooklyn, which is nothing like New Paltz, why don’t you look to neighboring towns such as Rochester, where I live. They have a somewhat strict chicken law of 50 hens per acre (I believe other towns, such as Marbletown, allow even more), and I have never heard of chickens overflowing the animal shelters. I actually live next door to an animal shelter and I’ve never seen a chicken there.

    Also in flier point number 1, chicken coops don’t need daily cleaning. In fact,there are Cornell approved methods of raising chickens that only require cleaning the coop twice a year–with no odor! Furthermore, I have four hundred chickens and I don’t have to feed and water them daily. You just need to get large feeders and waterers that will stay full for several days.

    Point 2: Chickens aren’t really vulnerable to inclement weather and they do just fine in our northern winters. I’ve had chickens for 20 years and none have ever frozen.

    Point 3: A lack of wild predators is a huge source of ecological imbalance, partially responsible for a massive deer over-population, lyme disease and countless other ecological problems. House cats, on the other hand, are a huge source of ecological imbalance. They kill song birds, many species of which are disappearing. The statistics on the amount of songbirds killed by cats each year is staggering. Chickens don’t do that, and if they feed a fox or two occassionally, that is not an ecological disaster.

    Point 4: As far as the hidden cruelties of backyard chickens you list, like I said, I have about 400 chickens. I also raise several acres of vegetables. In raising my vegetables, I destroy habitat and kill countless animals, unintentionally, by turning over the soil. Just digging up potatoes with a shovel has killed countless rodents being raised in nests. Tilling, plowing and discing soil kills lots of animals and destroys habitat. What I am saying is that I believe there are a lot more animals killed in raising an organic head of lettuce, potato or tomato than from free range eggs. So, if you’re really concerned about animal cruelty ,you should be banning gardens and organic farms and eating lots of local, backyard eggs.

    Point 5: I personally don’t have a problem with people making soup out of hens that don’t lay many eggs. There is no law against that. However, about half of my hens are way past their prime. I don’t know what you’re talking about when you say older hens don’t produce eggs–I have several five year old hens still laying eggs. My experience is that a backyard chicken owner can get two or three eggs a day, for about six months of the year, from five older hens up until they die of natural causes. So, some people, such as myself, may choose to keep those hens.

    Also, to your vegan friends who are keeping one rescued chicken, you really should consider getting a few more hens. Chickens are flock animals and I (and New York State) consider it cruel to not have at least a small flock.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Hi Dave!
      Good points here.
      #1: Good point! I’ve talked to shelter workers from Woodstock and Catskill and Chicago (ok, that one was my mom, but the stories she could tell about people who’ve dropped off chickens at her shelter–ugh.) who say they’re overwhelmed with chickens, but good to know about Rochester. Also, yep, Brooklyn certainly isn’t New Paltz…(even though we both have Stumptown coffee.).
      #2: Don’t you heat your coops? My point here is that people think chicken keeping is super cheapo, but in the long run, buying eggs is much cheaper. Like, buying eggs from you!
      #3: Not sure your point speaks to anything I was saying…but, thanks. I’m certainly not in favor of people having more cats. I’m in favor of spaying and neutering domesticated cats and dogs out of existence, as much as I love ’em personally.
      #4: This point doesn’t make sense to me from vegan p.o.v. when you consider the hatchery/rooster cruelty thing. Veggies will always be more ethical when the entire animal industry is taken into account.

      Reply
      • Ami

        All of what David Siegel says in exactly in line with my personal experience of keeping chickens and also jives 100% with my observation of several other backyard chicken keepers.

        I’m sorry Lagusta, but only one of your arguments holds sway, and that is about destroying baby roosters at the hatchery. From my personal experience having chickens and from observation and knowledge of the chicken keepers I know in New Paltz, I find difficulty with the validity of your other points.

        The New Paltz backyard chickens I know are all treated well, never freeze, live until predation or old-age ends their incarnation, pose no health risks, control the tick/lyme disease population, do absolutely nothing to upset the eco-balance, bring immense joy to children and adults alike, elicit a refreshing, relaxed rural timeless quality to the neighborhood (much needed in today’s fast-paced techno world) and are enjoyed and appreciated by the non-chicken keeping neighbors as well!

        The problem with inhumane treatment at hatcheries certainly needs to be addressed directly and our energies are better spent doing exactly that. (And people need not order/buy from those nasty places to start or increase their flock … and with some education many or most will hopefully abstain from supporting that industry.)

        I do understand that you are anti-all-forms-of-animal-domestication, and it appears you are arguing from this vantage point. Yet, you have 3 cats which I am sure you love and love you right back. Interesting how strongly you feel about not allowing people to have a small flock in a rural setting. As a very compassionate animal lover and vegetarian, if I found your points laden with truth, I’d be egging you on (excuse the pun) big time! Again I am speaking from personal experience and observation … I have not researched other towns and cities, etc.

        If people are in fact over-running shelters with chickens, then I believe they need to be educated about the alternatives. There are many people who have a flock and will gladly take in and care for someone else’s unwanted hens … as I myself have done.

        As for the cost, I spent less that $50/year on organic feed for a small flock. I didn’t keep a spreadsheet or do a cost analysis, and shared the eggs with neighbors, but am confident to report the venture was not more expensive than buying someone else’s organic eggs. I built the super-coupe from wood leftover from other projects and used someone’s discarded window (with storms and screens) so they had a nice view of the woods from their coop perch.

        And whose operation is more or less humane, organic farm or backyard keeper? I submit that the free-ranging backyard flocks of under a dozen hens, which is what this law is supposedly about, are going to be happier and better treated than the ones at larger organic farms, by virtue of the fact that they have more freedom, less competition, greater human attention and affection, and a more natural diet of bugs and whatever else they are happy eating as they casually roam about.

  16. d.bear

    I lived in the Finger Lakes Region for years and was contantly dismayed by the number of chickens – especially roosters – available on Freecycle, along with other domesticated animals that people have come to consider disposable. Enough said, if you respect nonhuman beings. If you don’t, you’ll want to consider other points mentioned by Lagusta and others commenters. When people dream of back yard chickens, they imagine only pretty pictures, not thinking about the expenses, the predators, the roosters waking the neighbors, etc.

    Reply
    • daveliepmann

      A) So you’re opposed to people on Freecycle finding new homes for their chickens? WTF? B) You’ve successfully argued against shitty chicken-raising. That means absolutely bupkus with regards to humane and responsible chicken-raising, which is the topic here.

      Reply
  17. JMG

    Thank goodness I don’t live in New Paltz! Did you contact the Ulster County Coopertive Extension to get your info or did you just go along with what PeTA & HSUS told you? Did you think about the 4Hers who live in New Paltz who won’t be able to show their chickens at county fair? Probably not. Oh and FYI, before being allowed to display a chicken at fair, it has to be tested for the diseases that you’re claiming to be an issue. They don’t freeze to death in winter. They don’t attract predators and rodents. Restaurants throwing out scraps do though, so why not ban them too? If you want to take up a cause, why don’t you get someone to do something about the people who walk out from in between 2 parked cars where there’s no cross walk, don’t look both ways and cross the street before someone gets killed. Then again, as an obvious PeTA/HSUS supporter, you’d probably be a-okay with that.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      In no way to I support PETA! Yuck. Their tactics aren’t mine, in any way.

      Reply
      • daveliepmann

        It’s almost like JMG made several very cogent points, all of which you totally ignored.

      • lagusta

        Indeed I did! Because he’s not ever going to convince me of the pros of chicken keeping. Neither are you. So we should now go our separate ways.

      • daveliepmann

        We should go our separate ways, and you should keep yourself out of laws involving my backyard chickens.

  18. David Siegel

    Hi Lagusta,

    No, I don’t heat my coops. I don’t know anyone who does, including people on the border of NYS and Canada. There’s no reason to.

    It would be a lot cheaper for someone to raise ten chickens on an acre of land than buy eggs from me or even cheap eggs at the grocery store. Here’s why: on an acre, ten chickens have unlimited foraging greens to eat. They don’t need to eat much bagged food at all. Even in the winter, food scraps from the house, and maybe a from a neighbor or two, are a significant source of food for such a small amount of hens. So, the feed bill would be next to nothing. This kind of situation makes the best quality egg. Another thing to consider is that their manure, mixed with whatever bedding material is used, is an amazing organic fertilizer. When it is composted and tossed on a garden, the chickens pay for themselves in the veggies they produce. I would have given up trying to grow on this property long ago if not for the chicken manure. Man, those first two seasons before I had spread lots of manure around here, they were a disaster.

    Reply
  19. daveliepmann

    Lagusta, I want to get my eggs from a local, organic farm *just like you say*. That farm is called my backyard. Thanks a mil for supporting me in that effort.

    Reply
      • daveliepmann

        This person got in over their head and didn’t really want chickens anyway. (Her conversion was when she realized that eggs came out of chickens. Stop the presses.) So what? The terrible, awful outcome of her failure was that she “found someone who had a small farm and also kept chickens and we gave her ours.” OH NO! Quick, call the police before somebody else has to suffer this awful fate!

        The logical response to the fact that some people are incompetent is to regulate, not to ban. Some people aren’t qualified to keep chickens. Fine. You admit that I am. Since your nightmare scenario of some people sucking at chicken-raising *isn’t even all that bad*, and none of your other arguments make any sense outside the context of a radical pro-vegan worldview where we are banned from eating eggs, meat, or milk in New Paltz, you really are left with arguing in favor of a light regulatory structure such as the one I and Roberto Lobianco are trying to get passed.

  20. d.bear

    Yes, there is something very wrong with disposing of animals on Freecycle. Living beings aren’t stuff to be gotten rid of, but that’s how most human beings seem to think of other living beings. But hey, if the chicken situation gets out of hand in NP, folks can just take their extra chickens to Dave. He’ll kill ’em & eat ’em.

    Dave and folks of similar mindset: why bother, unless it’s just to go all Nugent and harrass people who care about this enough to speak up? It has been pointed out that no one is bothering you about your back yard chickens, and will not do so even without a law specifically supporting you. You win either way.

    Reply
    • daveliepmann

      D.bear, I don’t know you, but you strike me as smarter than to define “dispose” as “ask someone else to adopt and take care of”.

      As to your question–you are *explicitly saying that my activities should be illegal*. To take a flagrantly more egregious example, but one which is logically equivalent, what if I said that we should keep anti-miscegenation laws on the books, but just not enforce them? That’s what you’re saying: we should keep the anti-chicken laws on the books, just not enforce them. That’s totally wrong-headed. People of sound mind want their laws to mirror their values.

      Your values, as far as I can tell from what you say, are to get rid of my chicken coop. My values are to produce hyperlocal, nutritious, ethical eggs by caring for chickens in my back yard. So you very much *are* bothering me about this issue. The question is, why do *you* bother? If you weren’t so intent on dismantling my chickens, why the flyers? Why campaign to keep the ban? It’s plain from your actual political activism that, regardless of your statements to the contrary, you want my chickens gone. I will not apologize for “going Nugent” (which is plainly an absurd caricature that weakens your argument) by standing up for my right to responsible chicken raising.

      Reply
  21. Joan Feuer

    Sorry, Lagusta. Anyone who has ever owned chickens can tell right away that you really don’t know what you’re taking about and that your arguments are just bumper sticker ideology, nothing more. All over America, communities are realizing the value and need for more home-based agriculture, incuding raising chickens, and are legalizing (and monitoring) backyard flocks. People want to know where their food (and for the VAST majority of Americans that includes meat, milk, and eggs) comes from. They want to be involved in the food process rather than buying all their food in the store. Raising chickens is a part of that process. I know plenty of people with backyard flocks, all of them responsible caring people and good neighbors. Did you ever stop to think that as backyard flocks increase, maybe the need for those horrible commercial chicken factories might decrease? Isn’t that a good thing? And yeah, you are alienating people, which from a business point of view is not very smart.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Hi Joan!

      Not sure how having a different opinion alienates people, unless they aren’t very confident in their positions to begin with…but thanks for the comment. I, of course, simply don’t believe chickens and their byproducts are food.

      I’m really glad you know people who keep chickens well–so do I! But that doesn’t logically mean that chicken keeping is appropriate for our town.

      Reply
      • daveliepmann

        Lagusta, your return to the comments section on this issue is frankly astounding. You already deleted the original post, along with dozens of pro-chicken comments where people more knowledgeable than you decimated your illogical arguments and pointed out your weak facts.

        Now that you’ve purged the opposition, you’re willing to come back and bravely take a stand? Now that pages of comments by me, John House, Ami, Roberto, the other two Daves, and the two hundred-plus chicken-raisers aren’t around to show how wrongheaded your position is, you’re going to start arguing? You’ve got some chutzpah.

        Act like a reasonable adult instead of a petulant child. Either stick to your word and be done with the issue, or restore the old post and comments. If you can’t restore the comments, well, then I guess you’ve made your decision.

      • lagusta

        wait…what? I never, ever deleted any comments! You don’t see them???

      • daveliepmann

        Wow, do I look dumb in that comment. My apologies. I swear I was looking everywhere for this post to see if it had been restored, but didn’t look at the same page I was on.

        I’m sorry.

      • daveliepmann

        I wish *I* could delete a comment now. :P

        I should add, thanks for restoring this page. I do appreciate it, and I was wrong to fly off the handle when I assumed you hadn’t.

  22. alan feuer

    How arrogant you are! Worrying about the irresponsible people who aren’t as enlightened as you. Absolutists like you, the Taliban, fundamentalists of all sort always know all the answers about how everybody should live and eat. Here’s a scoop for you: Most of us are trying to live responsible and honest lives. Anyone who thinks they know best for the rest of us is a dangerous fool. If you think you have a one size fits all model for the right way to live, then lead by example.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Wow. Saying I care about how animals are treated makes me basically the Taliban. Interesting.
      My “one size fits all” model is simply this: if you can cause no harm, cause no harm.

      Reply
    • Condor.

      Absolutists like you, the Taliban, fundamentalists of all sort always know all the answers about how everybody should live and eat.

      >> Dude. You dont know shit about the Talbian do you ?

      Reply
  23. Pree

    I love how people have “extended” Lagusta’s argument to use it against her. (For instance, it was said that Lagusta is against enslaving chickens but is okay with “enslaving” dogs and cats.) By that same logic, if you consider it okay to kill animals (I.e. sentient biengs) for your profit,would you be okay with doing the same to a human being (i.e. Murder) if you were to derive profit from it? If you think that the idea is preposterous, so is the logic that is being used against Lagusta. As much as she and other vegans would love a world with zero animal abuse, we do understand that there are always going to be those who might not share the same beliefs.
    And why is veganism radical? Not that I think being radical is wrong. I just don’t think that there is anything radical or extreme about abstaining from animal products. While I personally am against backyard chickens, what I find more troubling is how personal some of the attacks on Lagusta have been. If you are confident in your beliefs, why does it necessitate an attack on anyone who disagrees? This is her blog, after all. If you have a problem with what she says, post a reply. If at some point, she doesn’t want to continue the conversation, go start your blog or do your own thing. What are you getting out of repeatedly insulting her/her beliefs? You’re obviously not going to change her mind. And you don’t have to. She is going to fight for what she believes is right; you can do the same. Letting another person respectfully disagree with you doesn’t mean that you are compromising your own, does it?
    Geez. Live and let live, people. (See what my radical, vegan, obstructionist self did there? ;-) )

    Reply
  24. A

    I just wish to add one final poultry and mostly paltry comment … I was under the impression the chicken law in question here was town-wide, but now realize it is only for the village. Quaint it would be to see chickens roaming about the village and slowing down traffic! But alas, this will never happen :-( and the village-chicken will instead be a confined-chicken, kept to a small fenced in area. Personally, I like a free-chicken. In light of this, I am not as pleased with the idea of the village-backyard-chicken.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Actually, there are proposals before both the village and the town. There’s an actual law being voted on in the village tonight (I couldn’t be there, maybe someone could write a comment here saying what happened?), and some sort of free-flowing proposal being considered vaguely in the town. At least…that’s how I understand it.

      “Quaint it would be to see chickens roaming about the village and slowing down traffic!” And seeing as many runover chickens as there are runover squirrels now? It’s always so sad in Hawaii for me to see them. : (

      Reply
  25. amifixler

    L, yes, I know, of course, roadkill is why chickens roaming freely about hi-density, hi-traffic area is not smart. What I mean by quaint is ummm ….think Fiddler on the Roof …

    “Anatevka, Anatevka.
    Underfed, overworked Anatevka.
    Where else could Sabbath be so sweet?
    Anatevka, Anatevka.
    Intimate, obstinate Anatevka,
    Where I know everyone I meet.

    Soon I’ll be a stranger in a strange new place,
    Searching for an old familiar face
    From Anatevka.

    I belong in Anatevka,
    Tumble-down, work-a-day Anatevka.
    Dear little village, little town of mine”

    My statement was admittedly paltry and dreamy.

    As for the village meeting, the law as drafted was discussed and there was a lack of consensus … thus, was not passed and was tabled for another go-around. The main point of contention was whether the chicken would be allowed in under 1/2 acre lots. There was talk of annual $100 permit and regular building inspector inspections to insure all the rules and setbacks were being adhered to.

    Ami

    Reply
    • daveliepmann

      Hi alongthewayjt; I replied to your comment but forgot to use the WordPress “reply” so I just wanted to make sure you saw my comment in the main comment thread. Cheers!

      Reply
  26. daveliepmann

    You’re not linking to a vegan anti-backyard-chicken blog post. You’re linking to an omnivorous pro-backyard-chickens-with-eyes-open blog post. It supports none of your radical vegan obstructionist positions.

    That author *has backyard chickens* and *writes blog posts about how to keep them*. In the post you linked, Erica is merely pointing out that one must understand the long-term responsibilities of keeping chickens.

    She eats the eggs: http://www.nwedible.com/2011/12/backyard-eggs-vs-store-bought-eggs-side.html

    She marvels over their compost-making power: http://www.nwedible.com/2012/02/the-real-bounty-of-the-coo.html

    This is a pro-backyard-chickens-for-sustainability-and-homesteading blog.

    Reply
      • daveliepmann

        …and yet you and these commenters repeatedly try to use this article as evidence against backyard chickens. I *don’t* think that alongthewayjt knows it’s a pro-backyard-chicken article, mostly because she uses the word “anti backyard-chicken” to describe it.

      • lagusta

        Oh yeah, I just read her comment. Ah well, I know the author has chickens, yet the point is: the article makes good points. And that’s good. So there we are. By now, Dave!

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