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Fowl play or a fun pet?Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007, at 8:28 AM
Suppose you live in town or in a subdivision and your neighbors suddenly bring home chickens. Live chickens, roaming the yard as a dog or cat would.
Would you complain?
The Associated Press reports one of the nation's developing trends is pet chickens. Some owners raise them for food, more enjoy the fringe benefit of fresh eggs, many others treat them like a dog or cat.
"The backyard chicken makes a remarkable pet, especially when reared soon after hatching. It has the loyalty of a dog, the intelligence of a cockatoo and the cheekiness of a monkey."
How far could the chicken trend go? I'm imagining loving owners walking their strutting chickens down the street on leashes. Okay, I'm fantasizing a little.
But live chickens smell, at least when kept in large numbers, as anyone who passes a chicken farm or one of the trucks full of semi-conscious Tyson-bound fowl can attest. And I'm sure that, just as some people go overboard on the numbers of dogs and cats they amass, the same thing would happen with chickens.
There was a controversy a while back in Shelbyville about keeping non-domestic animals in the city limits. Right now, you'll see a cow in a field, really more like a big yard, off Coney Island Road.
And I've seen a few homes in Shelbyville with chickens running loose in back yards. I've also seen yards on country roads where each chicken has its own individual little A-frame shelter, lots and lots of them, and wondered if they were being raised as fighting chickens.
I'm not sure about chickens as pets. At least, if they get loose, they won't respond to strangers like some pit bulls do. We don't have to run from a chicken.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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