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updated: 2/8/2011 2:20 PM

Questions about backyard chickens

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This is an open letter to the Village of West Dundee and would-be chicken owners. Just how well are people thinking this through? Is there going to be someone to oversee these animals to prevent neglect and abuse? If you seriously are thinking about "3-4 chickens for personal use," have you considered what is involved? Have you researched this? Do you know where to get vet care for the chickens? Do you have the knowledge to properly house them?

They need a coop that is "predator proof" - good luck with that. The neighbor cat that roams, the coyotes that are in the area and the raccoons that love eggs.

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Do you have a dog? Who is going to train it not to chase the chickens? Are you ready for a 24/7 commitment? When it's 10 below zero are you ready to clean the coop and keep their water flowing?

Speaking of cleaning the coop, have you researched the respiratory diseases you can get from doing so? You need to wear a mask. Don't forget to call the electrician; you're going to need electricity for lights and something to keep the water from freezing.

You'll have to have a supply of medicated powder, because lice and mites love chickens. Then there's the run to the feed store that actually carries chicken feed and other supplies. Do you know chickens can be aggressive?

I am not opposed to anyone having a couple of chickens, if properly cared for they are not an odor problem or a noise problem nor a disease problem. We live outside of any village limits and have a neighbor with chickens. They are cute to watch and extremely well cared for. We never hear them or smell them.

These are living creatures that deserve to be treated with knowledge and kindness. Village fathers need to do a little more research.

Richard Kamp

Dundee Township

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