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Support home poultry flocks

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As an offset to economic stress, many have taken to growing a garden in their side yard. Now, in a similar vein, we are seeing enterprising families opting to raise poultry in their backyards, a resurgence of small agriculture that has county officials seemingly grinding their teeth and examining zoning laws. To those who would stymie backyard poultry flocks, let me suggest they pause and consider the wholesomeness of raising one’s own chickens, be they for eggs, meat, or both. Children will actually learn basic animal husbandry skills. They’ll eat eggs that are better than those from the market and they might even sell a few eggs to less-enterprising neighbors. A backyard poultry enterprise could eventually turn into a 4-H project, and such activity would appear to be far better than playing video games. Limiting a flock to just three hens, as I have seen bantered about in the local news, is brainless thinking. If limits must be set, why not set the limit at 10 to 15 birds, a sufficient number to meet a family’s needs? Just setting such a limit does not mean everyone would have a dozen hens; some might be happy with a half-dozen. Bart Ruud, Auburn