Blue Springs Residents for Backyard Chickens
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A lot of Blue Springs residents are wanting the city of Blue Springs to allow chickens with in city limits. A lot of their reasons why it is not that way are easily proven to not be true. For example:
1. Property Value Reduction: Our property value has increased since we purchased home in February 2016. We have proof of this value increase with purchase appraisal and then re-appraisal 2 months later. 7 out of 10 cities on Forbes Magazine’s “Most Desirable Cities” List for 2010 allow Backyard Chickens”. Appraisers that I have spoken to have stated in 30+ years they have never had an appraised house value be lowered due to the presence of chickens in the neighborhood.
2. Waste of chickens: A forty-pound dog generates more poop (about ¾ pound) than ten chickens (two-thirds pounds of daily poo). Both poops are smelly, but the key is to keep the chicken manure from accumulating by composting which we do for our plants. Composted chicken manure is valuable as a high-nitrogen fertilizer.
The smell of chicken waste should not pose a problem where the coop is properly cleaned: “If you pile pine shavings 2 to 3 inches deep in the coop and clean it out every month or two and compost it, it's not going to smell,” says Penn State poultry expert Phillip J. Clauer. In some cities, including Seattle, Austin, and Atlanta, chicken owners arrange coop tours to show off what good neighbors chickens are (Foley, 2016)
3. Noise of chickens: Laying hens at their loudest have about the same decibel level as human conversation (65 decibels). Roosters make most of the noise. They have about the same decibel level as a barking dog (90 decibels). “I challenge anyone who says a chicken is louder than a dog. “If we don’t allow chickens because of noise, we shouldn’t allow dogs. It’s not fair.”
4. Histoplasmosis: This is primarily found in the Ohio and Mississippi River valley’s over 500 miles away from Kansas City. In medical studies HIV patients with severely depressed immune systems were the most at risk people to contract the disease. Those with intact immune system can get a mild version of the disease and then become immune. Many in the endemic areas have already had the disease and are immune.
There is a very low risk with 4 chickens. The risk is not much higher than the general population. Thousands of farmers live with more chickens than this and don't get Histoplasmosis.
Cities allowing chickens:
Many major cities around the US currently allow chickens. Here is a short list of cities that allow chickens, there are 100’s more not listed; Kansas City, Lenexa, Shawnee, Roeland Park, Mission, Olathe, Wichita, St. Louis, Omaha, Lincoln, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Fort Collins, Seattle, Dallas, Austin, Houston.
Other common questions about chickens and responses to those concerns:
1. Urban Chickens Carry Diseases
Fact: small flocks have literally no risk of avian flu transmission to humans. Centers for Disease Control states on there website: “There is no need at present to remove a family flock of chickens because of concerns regarding avian flu.” The 2006 Grain Report states: “When it comes to bird flu, diverse small-scale poultry is the solution, not the problem.” Salmonella is a food handling sanitary problem, not an avian problem.
2. Health Benefits of Free Range Eggs: I have heart disease in my family. Free range backyard eggs are have 50% less cholesterol compared to commercially raised chickens. 25% less saturated fat, 66% more Vitamin A, 2x more Omega 3, and 7x more beta carotene. (Mother Earth News)
3. Chickens Attract Predators, Pests & Rodents
Fact: Predators and rodents are already living in urban areas. Wild bird feeders, pet food, gardens, fish ponds, bird baths, trash waiting to be collected all attract raccoons, foxes, rodents and flies. Modern micro-flock coops, such as chicken tractors, elevated coops, and fencing provide ways of keeping, and managing, family flocks that eliminate concerns about such pests.
And about those pests . . . chickens are voracious carnivores and will seek and eat just about anything that moves including ticks (think Lyme’s disease), fleas, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, stink bugs, slugs, even mice, baby rats and small snakes.
4. Property Values Will Decrease
There is not one documented case that a home property value decreased due to a family flock next door. In truth, some Realtors and Home Sellers are offering free coops with every sale. This emphasizes the values of green neighborhoods, and residents who value local, healthy food supply and respect the environment.
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