Tonight at 5:30 at City Hall the City Council’s Neighborhood Subcommittee which consists of Councilors Leahy (chair), Lorrey and Mercier will meet to discuss a proposed ordinance amendment that would permit the “keeping of farm animals and fowl” for personal use. It should be a contentious hour because many on both sides of the issue have expressed strong feelings both pro and con. While I haven’t followed the debate closely, much of what I have read and heard locally on this issue isn’t exactly what I would call evidence-based. This is not a new phenomenon: the urban chicken movement has been going strong in America for several years now, so there should be a substantial body of reporting from those who have actually experienced this. Whatever decision is made should be based on a judicious weighing of the evidence from places that have already tried this and not on broad generalizations like “fresh eggs are great” or “chickens are smelly”.
Here are a couple of videos I found, the first from Greenville, North Carolina; the second from Orlando, Florida, that give you a glimpse of what’s going on in other cities in the US.