The Government Will Seize Your Pet Chickens

Urban chicken craze denied in DC!

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Shutterstock
    You want me to go where? I'm a city chicken...

    The urban chicken craze is the new hotness, but then you probably already knew that, right?

    Getting back to your bucolic roots is so much better than designer dogs, and you get to escape the nefarious associations with vapid starlets.

    Ah, but the slimy tenticles of city government are always trying to keep you from your chic chicks. As Capital Community News (via In Shaw) details, two young girls are battling to keep their cute little cluckers from being shunted away by The Man. 

    When sisters Ada and Leah Silverman (ages 4 and 6) travel from their Capitol Hill home to visit relatives in Austin, Texas and Santa Fe, New Mexico, they love playing with their cousins’ chickens.  Ada and Leah’s parents, Josh and Caryn, have helped the Capitol Hill Cluster School obtain fertilized eggs and a loaner incubator. Students hatch and raise baby chicks, eventually moving them to nearby farms.

    All was going well until a few weeks ago when somehow the police were contacted, and in turn, an Animal Control officer arrived at the scene threatening to remove the birds. Cooler heads prevailed, and the pullets were left alone that day. But Animal Control told the Silvermans that keeping chickens was illegal in DC, which we now know is not the case.

    While not strictly illegal to have chickens in the city, negotiating the permit process seems like a nice jaunt through bureauacratic hell. One municipal code states that any proposed housing for up to four hens (roosters are verboten) must be more than 50 feet from any building used for human habitation, which would make for tough conditions on the Hill.

    There's apparently been a groundswell of support among the local community for the girls to be able to keep the chickens. In the meantime, they've sent them out to live in a "summer camp" outside the city, where the birds, no doubt, are learning to canoe and make god's eyes. Sadly, the code is what it is and it does look like the coop will fly.