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Change of Mount Angel ordinance would be egg-cellent

With the recent discussion during Mount Angel’s Aug. 5 City Council meeting on the topic of repealing an ordinance against poultry inside city limits, we at the Woodburn Independent believe the current ban on our feathered friends is scrambled logic.

For a mostly rural town known for the Chicken Dance, especially around Oktoberfest, why is the council getting its feathers ruffled over an issue that we believe is a no-brainer?

Now we don’t mean to hen-peck the current leaders in Mount Angel, but just because a couple of bad eggs cried fowl over allowing poultry within city limits many years back, doesn’t mean the practice should continue.

Putting the poultry puns aside for the moment, let’s look at the issue in a practical light. There has been a very real trend toward raising urban livestock in cities much larger than Mount Angel for good reason.

When they are well-regulated by a caring owner, chickens can add many benefits to a vegetable or ornamental garden. They help root out persistent perennial weeds and eat many pesky insects that would otherwise damage young plants.

With a light-weight and mobile coop, chickens can be moved throughout the garden over the course of the year. This keeps them away from new plants they could potentially damage with their constant pecking and scratching while acting as portable fertilizers that keep the rest of the garden vibrant and healthy.

A few chickens can also cut down on the amount of garbage a household throws out, since they can happily live on a diet of kitchen scraps, grass clippings, coffee grounds, stale bread and much more.

Just a few birds can provide a healthy number of eggs to feed an entire family.?A good laying chicken should produce somewhere between 200 to 300 eggs per year before they begin to decline production in their old age.

They literally eat garbage and turn it into eggs. How great of a deal is that?

And for those who feel a bit squeamish about cooking up a former pet after a laying hen “dries up,” chickens make wonderful companions for children and adults alike. They’re less noisy than dogs, less temperamental than cats and a great deal more gentle around kids than either one.

We’re living in an age where we don’t often know the source of food we eat, what the animals eat or how they’re treated, so what is the issue behind keeping citizens from responsibly raising food on their own property?

A common complaint is that roosters create an awful lot of noise, an understandable issue we won’t try to argue against, but that’s no reason to keep a ban on all poultry.

While we don’t necessarily worry that allowing chickens in city limits will lead to an avalanche of poultry pouring through the streets, it wouldn’t be difficult to put limitations on the number of chickens people could own and where the chickens could live.

Essentially, we believe that the burdensome ban on bantams represents an unnecessary ordinance that flies in the face of Mount Angel’s reputation as an agrarian town with deep-seated roots in farm and agriculture.

If this feather-brained poultry prohibition persists, Mount Angel is ordering itself a 12-piece bucket of trouble.



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  • 22 Oct 2014

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