The writer wishes to note that the following story has been modified with comedic content. Any similarities to actual events is purely accidental. — Ed.
I am in bit of an quandary. Actually in a bit of poop. Chicken Poop to be exact.
I do not own chickens. We did own chicken when I was a child.It was my job to sneak in the coop early in the morning and slide my hand under ‘Ole Red before she woke up and get eggs for breakfast. However, those days are long gone as I am an old woman. I much prefer to sneak my eggs off of the nice clean shelf at Wal-Mart.
Here is my dilemma. While I have no problem with having Hispanic neighbors, their chickens do as any chickens would. They assume that my yard is their yard. Kinda like Me Casa, Su Casa. It is Not ! Chicken poop is not cool when you are rushing out to get in the car and slip on a strategically located pile of Poop. It is also not desirable when Ma Hen take aim at your head when she thinks you are trying to hurt her brood which she brought in tow searching for her breakfast.
You decide to take matters into your own hands and ask the owner to please contain her chickens. She gives this dumb-founded look. It’s a chicken. Chickens are gonna do what chickens do; roam during the day and roost at night. All upstanding country folks know that.
Enter: the other city slicker neighbor. He is highly perturbed that those chickens are up on his porch pooping and flying at his face and head. He calls me to see if I can do anything. They are spreading all kind of disease, maybe Bird Flu. Even threatens with calling the police because the chickens have to cross my property to get to him (those devious vile fowl) . My thought is: but never leaves my lips: Who is the big chicken? After all, he does have a point. Since I have already called Animal Control several times, my cool response to him is this: Animal Control says there is no ordinance in the city or county regarding chickens. I told him to wring the bird’s neck and have chicken and dumplings. He is Not amused.
While truly wanting to rid myself and my other neighbor of the chickens, I call the Humane Society and get this wonderful phone message: emergency dial: yadayada, for spade or neutering dial: yadayada. For Animal Control dial : I know this number already, by heart, can recite it in my sleep. Then finally for Wildlife dial: YaDaYaDa. Hurray! Eureka! A Blind Hawk has found an acorn! I dial the number in a euphoric stupor.
The nice man who answered was having phone problems and we had trouble hearing each other We had a long conversation about my chicken problem. He said that he resolved situations between humans and animals and felt that he could help us with a none violent solution. This is exactly what I wanted. He suggested Fox, Coyote Urine. I said we have those here naturally, along with crayfish, turtles, fishing cranes, wild ducks,geese, bobcats, bunny rabbiters,cats, dogs and Lord only knows what else.
I thought all was well until I get a phone call from Animal Control. You called us regarding a chicken problem? Yes, but I’ve already called the Wild Life Agent because you guys said you couldn’t do anything. He’s not from Wildlife. He’s an independent contractor for hire. I do a double take, at no time in any of my many phone calls am I told that there is a large fee for someone to tell me I’ve got a chicken problem and what to do about it. Of course there is an additional fee to apply the said solution. The Animal Control Officer confirmed that this indeed it was correct. They are here beanballs a man called and said he was setting out poison for the chickens. We told him he couldn’t do that because it is against the law. What? It’s against the law to put out poison to rid yourself of chickens that your city/county does not have an ordinance against. Lord give me strength ! I truly do not know what to do. I know it’s not a burning priority with our local officials, our state officials and our great nation’s officials. But, it is a quandary.
You see my Hispanic neighbor has a lot of children and the chickens lay eggs for her and her family as well as giving real meaning to the term “Egg Money”. The real problem is not the chickens.
The real problem is how do we choose to respond to someone’s call for assistance. Does their request fall on deaf ears? Is there still someone out there who believes that a job done is worth doing well?
I don’t want anyone to be slighted here. I don’t mind chickens. I was raised around chickens. I understand chickens. And yes, I eat chicken. Don’t you?
PS: Please forgive any misspelled words. I don’t have spell check on this program and I can’t find a dictionary. Besides, I never won a Spelling Bee !
Our Law Enforcement Department found the following Henderson city ordinance on chickens:
Sec. 6-3. Fowl–Running at large; enclosure requirements.
It shall be unlawful for any person owning and keeping chickens and other domestic fowl to allow the fowl to run or be at large on the streets, sidewalks or public squares of the city or on the property or premises of any individual within the city other than the property and premises of the owner. Enclosures shall be located not closer than 25 feet to a property line nor closer than 50 feet to another residence.
(Ord. of 9-13-04(2), Â§ 1) — Ed.