Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sarasota chickens: Facing a double standard?

One of the things that frustrates backyard chicken advocates is the double standard applied to keeping a few hens compared with more typical pets such as dogs and cats. Some critics insist on treating backyard hens as livestock that must justify their existence based on a cost/benefit basis. We've written about this phenomenon before and pointed out that no one expects Rex or Mr. Bigglesworth to clear a comparable bar.

Now the New York Times has come forward with some eyebrow-raising figures from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. According to the ASPCA, a large dog requires $560 in first-year set-up costs and $875 each year thereafter for food, medical expenses, toys and " a few related expenses". Cats are somewhat more affordable according to the ASPCA -- first year costs of $365 and $670 a year thereafter.

Let's just accept the fact that most pets are expensive, even if the ASPCA figures seem inflated. People get pets for multiple and complex reasons and expecting any pet to be some sort of profit center misses the point.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Observer Newspaper covers City Chickens

The Observer Group of newspapers has run a brief article regarding CLUCK's efforts to amend the City Code to allow a few hens. The article includes a photo of some of Sarasota's clandestine fowl and is generally accurate.

The article does report that there would be a limit of four to six hens, which is probably true, but a little confusing. Staff is recommending a maximum of four, while CLUCK advocates six.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Graphic summarizes proposed changes in city chicken rules

City of Sarasota Planning Staff are recommending changes that would make it possible for some city residents to keep a few female chickens if they (the residents, not the chickens) complied with thirteen provisions meant to insure minimal neighbor impacts. Those provisions, as well as eight provisions benefiting the chickens, are summarized on the attached file.

Provisions marked with an N (inside a square) denote provisions added out of consideration for neighbors. Provisions marked with a C (inside a circle) denote provisions added out of consideration for the chickens.
The file appears small, but if you click on it, it should enlarge and become readable.