Sunday, March 7, 2010

Who's clucking idea was this

It's either an interesting idea or a clucking stupid plan.A while back, the fearless leaders of Vernon and Kelowna requested staff look into a backyard chicken bylaw.I recently spoke to intrepid city council reporter Ron Seymour, who said not much is hatching when it comes to the fowl bylaw, but the fact that there was even a need to look into it in the first place seemed rather odd.I did not know the Okanagan urban chicken population was so large it needed a bylaw, but they are working on one so the situation must be fowl indeed.The bylaw would allow people living within city limits to have chickens in their backyard on a permanent basis without breaking the rules.Apparently, some people already have the feathered friends fluttering around freely on their city-encased range, so instead of telling them they were not allowed, the city is looking into making it legal.If it goes through, any Farmer Brown wannabe can have a few birds without running afoul of the law (pun intended).My grandparents used to have several chickens on the little rural farm they retired to. They also had two roosters. One was a regular ol' rooster who spent his time doing rooster things, but the other was the meanest, nastiest piece of feathered terror God has ever put on this earth.Even the eagles would not mess with this mean little clucker.The stupid beast would attack pretty much anyone, or anything, that went into the chicken coop. Grandma used to carry a broom when she went in to collect the eggs to keep the critter at bay. They put up with the antics of the reddish rooster until it attacked one of their grandchildren - me. I was about five years old and when I went into the coop, the danged monster attacked me and laid a pecking on me I remember to this day.That was enough for grandpa, he was done with the dumb cluck. Let's just say we had chicken for supper that night.In your face bird brain.That left one rooster and he did his best to maintain the rooster code of making as much noise as possible very early in the morning.The sun would be rising into the heavens, small birds would be chirping and all of a sudden there was this horrid sound, kind of like a schizophrenic bagpipe player. And Foghorn Leghorn of the family homestead did not just crow once, noooo, that would be too easy.This feathered freak would make noise until even the dead were showing up, asking the stupid bird be shut up.So what happens if the urban Okanagan farmer gets a rooster so he can have more little chickens to sell to other urban farmers and the rooster does what a rooster does and keeps half the 'hood awake?I have never seen a chicken murder on CSI, but I guess there is a first time for everything.If there is such a thing as rooster rage I am sure it will happen.Mind you, accidents happen and as tragic as it would be, roosters have been known to trip and fall on axes in the past. Hey, I'm just saying stuff happens.And what happens if people get tired of the birds and just let them loose. The next thing you know there are thousands of chickens setting up house all over the place.Remember the bunny brouhaha that embroiled the city for so long?The bunny huggers will have to become hen huggers and lobby to save the birds by sending them to a farm or something where they can live out their lives in the setting they were meant to be in.Or, the city collect the wayward cluckers themselves and have one helluva barbecue.It will be interesting to see what, if anything, becomes of the bylaw.

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