Allow Backyard Chickens in Alabaster, AL

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Here are a couple points as to why chickens should be allowed for backyard ownership:

Chickens are fun, friendly pets with educational value for children about where food like eggs comes from
They can provide food security for poor families
They lay healthier eggs compared to store-bought eggs
They give gardeners high-quality fertilizer
They control flies and other pests (chickens eat insects), not add to them, and dispose of weeds and kitchen scraps that otherwise might end up in the landfill
They are not loud or smelly

Possible Concerns:

            The first concern with chickens I would like to bring up is noise complaints. The most noise that comes from chickens is the rooster. Roosters are not required for hens to lay eggs, many people don’t know that. So roosters do not have to be required here. Hens, on their own, quietly cluck throughout the day and go to bed at dusk as they cannot see at night. So there will be no overnight disturbances.

                The second thing people worry about is the smell. A small flock of four or five chickens will poop about as much as an average dog, and their coop won’t smell if it is kept clean. If the law only allows chickens in a “well-maintained coop,” then a chicken owner with a messy, smelly coop is out of compliance and can be cited under the law.         

            Okay, what about predators? It should be the responsibility of the chicken owner to keep his or her chickens safe from predators — just like it is for cat owners, say — , and there is ample advice available on how to do so. Even though a careless owner may lose chickens to predators, I fail to see how this is a municipal problem, as it is not something that causes a nuisance to anyone except for the chicken owner. And, if the owner keeps the chickens in a well built coop, no chickens will be lost to predators.

            Okay, so how does chicken ownership benefit the city? There are less food scraps in the landfills, food provided for poor families, healthy fertilizer for gardeners but what else can the city gain from this? Many cities require that chicken owners register each year and pay a small fee for ownership.