Not in My Backyard

Someone made the mistake of telling the Chicago City Council—the same governing body that famously banned foie gras, although not particularly effectively—that keeping backyard chickens is becoming more popular. (It’s a hard secret to keep: Even the New York Times ran a story about urban husbandry a few months ago, complete with photos of an overall-outfitted Brooklynite who uses the eggs in cocktails.) Needless to say, Chicago’s City Council has decided that urban chickens look like a nail too, and the council is now considering banning local poultry.

This is, of course, the opposite of the prevailing legislative trend. As the Associated Press reports, a number of cities have recently passed laws allowing residents to keep chickens. Here’s all-star alderman Lona Lane explaining why Chicago’s different: “This past summer I started hearing that residents were letting chickens out of their yard and they were leaving poop and mice were feeding off of it. Then we started getting rodent-control problems and, sure enough, it was the chickens.”

Right. Those “rodent-control problems” in Chicago—that’s all the fault of a few urban chickens. But before the vote was held, several alderman came to their senses and delayed the measure, possibly because of squawking from the pro-chicken contingent. In the meantime, Alderman Lane might want to take a look at Backyard Poultry.

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