Monday, September 19, 2011

Big Chicken Flap in Chicago's 18th Ward

Alderman Lona Lane of the far South side 18th ward has embarked on a crusade to keep Chicago chicken-free. I have seldom been in agreement with this Obamaite, liberal Democrat solon, but on this score I am 100% in her corner.

Ms. Lane has introduced a bill to the Chicago City Council to ban chicken coops, chicken breeding and chicken keeping in her Marquette Park area ward.

Why, you might ask, has this become an issue?

Well it seems that some of our fellow citizens are chicken fanciers who have taken to keeping sizable assemblages of the fowl things on their urban properties.

Much of this activity seems to be taking place in Ms. Lane's 18th ward.

In fact, the 18th ward chicken advocates have organized themselves into a Google group entitled (I am not making this up) The Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts Group.

There and on their Facebook page, they gather to chat about chicken lore, exchange chicken-raising tips and to hatch dark plots to foil Alderman Lane's onerous anti-chicken legislation.

I learned about this roiling controversy by tuning in left-wing WCPT radio's Sunday morning Mike Nowak gardening show yesterday. On the "sustainable food segment" of his broadcast Nowak interviewed one Michelle Thoma, a chicken-fancier and ringleader of the Google chicken enthusiasts group.

Ms. Thoma said she raises chickens on the roof of her urban abode. Kind of free roof range chickens.

She says she does this because the chickens supply her with healthful, organic, chemical free eggs and because chickens are really nice animals.

Her cantankerous neighbors do not agree.

They object to her rooster's around-the-clock cock-a-doodle-dooing (as loud as a dog's barking), to the defecatory odors emitted by the fowl creatures and to the notion that her aviary is giving the neighborhood the ambience of Jed Clampett's pre-Beverly Hills, Bugtussle, N.C.

Alderman Lane tends to agree and adds that urban chicken-keeping can lead to avian diseases that would kill robins and sparrows and other nice birds.

The WCPT chicken enthusiast said that she will be conducting her annual informational chicken tour of the ward (formerly called hen-a-palooza) this coming Sunday for the benefit of Aldermanic staffers and others to allay citizen chicken concerns.

To counteract this insidious pro-chicken propaganda, The Chicago Lampoon, in conjunction with Alderman Lona Lane's office will be conducting an anti-chicken teach-in at the very same time.

It will take place next Sunday from 1 to 2pm at the W. 87th Street and Western Avenue KFC.

All are invited.