Repeal the onerous four hen rule now!
This issue is coming to a backyard near you and the helpful folks in Portland, Oregon are showing us the way -- what to do with an urban chicken that is past her egg laying years?
I would say kill them and then eat them. I have recipes I can share.
But I am an unfeeling sloth. In Portland, by God, they have a more holistic, sensitive answer.
That's right. Instead of ending up in the soup, your old bird can end up at a retirement farm to live out her golden years. It's called "rehoming."
There is scant detail in a New York Times story about what actually happens when the end finally comes. Is there aromatherapy and soft music to ease the transition as the fowl is rehomed yet again to that big coop in the sky? Or is she tossed in a truck and ground up to be fed to living poultry at a factory farm?
What's needed is some regulation of the rehoming industry and maybe a certificate that assures the family that their chicken will be well cared for in this life and on to the next.
Or better yet, there could be some easing on Madison's four chicken rule, which as far as I can tell is often ignored anyway.
A few years ago the flock atop the Madison Children's Museum went over the wall and down three stories. They landed safely. No chickens were harmed in this story. But here's the problem: six chickens escaped and were rounded up. Six. That's two more than the four allowed by ordinance.
Well, I did not hesitate. I not dither. No, I swung into action and pushed through emergency legislation legalizing up to six chickens for children's museums. It was one of my proudest legislative accomplishments.
So, I may be walking on egg shells here, but I say scrap the four hen rule altogether. I know it might be controversial, but hey, you gotta break some eggs to make an omelet.
Without the limit poultry parents can hang on to their geriatric fowl while acquiring new, egg-producing youngsters and, when the time comes, they can assure that the old birds rehome at home.
And for the less sensitive among us, I have a recipe for Chicken Big Mamou that will knock you socks off.