Back-yard chickens on acid;

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

The true "acid test" per the definition, "a rigorous and conclusive test to establish worth or value" would not ask if I WANTED to live next to someone who had chickens. As has been mentioned elsewhere Mr. Sparks has had his chickens since 2003. I have been his neighbour since 2005. No mayhem has resulted from Mr. Sparks obviously clandestine "egg farm." As a matter of fact I stopped by to see for myself the other day.

Not only could I not smell or hear the chickens I couldn't easily find them.

I had a good look, surely they must be running helter skelter down the road, or possibly out attacking the neighbours unleashed pit bull! Just the fact that the chickens he hasn't had for dinner are still with us is a testament to his competency.

It's ironic one wouldmention our own city council member voted against this ordinance, since it was my understanding she was put there to represent the folks in this area.

The argument regarding bad precedent is a logical fallacy... surely if we allow folks to make their own decision as to whether to take on the responsibility of keeping a couple of hens, the crack addicts will all run out and get notes from their Doctors! It's ludicrous.

And oh the burden of having yet another ordinance that will only be enforced if the citizenry complain!

Upon investigation I recently discovered two Iowa egg producers who sell eggs under 24 brands. In case anyone was wondering how the recent salmonella infection got out of hand so quickly, this might be the answer.

And what would happen if they closed their doors? No Christmas egg nog for you bad boy!

This has become a "trend" in our food supply and I for one feel it is contrary to the very spirit of our area.

The worry about histoplasmosis is equally off target in regard to a few back yard chickens.

If anyone has been to our neighbourhood lately, they might notice the incredible destruction of dozens old growth trees between William and Good Hope in order to build a yellow brick road to the Arts campus.

This resulted in extreme disturbance to the ground in an area that has been populated by birds for hundreds of years. Histoplasma is endemic to this area, it grows in soil and material contaminated with bird or bat droppings. The fungus can be found in bird roosts (particularly those of starlings).

It is just such an event as this massive destruction that poses a risk of outbreak. It produces spores that can live for years, and when disturbed, become airborne. Would beg the question if these health hazards were properly taken into account when this project was undertaken?

These facts combined with miscalculation in regards to the drainage in the area, have created a perfect environment for an outbreak.

Perhaps we're lucky, in the middle of a drought we now have our own pond, even when we haven't had a drop of rain in weeks! I hadn't realised a water feature was part of the plan.

Another benefit (depending on your point of view of course) is how this muddy little oasis attracts large flocks of birds in the mornings. Some migrating, others just murmations of starlings "dropping" by to share their breakfast of wild berries with the hood of my white car.

There will be a meeting for a final vote tonight, please consider coming if you have a hen in this roost:)

The cows will thank you.

The City Council of the City of Cape Girardeau meets on the first and third Monday of each month. A study session is held at 5 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. Meetings are open to the public and are held at:

City Council Chambers

City Hall

401 IndependenceCape Girardeau, Missouri

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