(Spoiler alert: absolutely nothing!) In early 2008, there were quite a few ruffled feathers and loud squawks of despair around the thought of legalizing urban chickens in Fort Collins, Colorado. The arguments against keeping chickens were the usual "we don't want no dirty, smelly, loud, disease-infested, rodent-attracting critters around here" kind.
However, thanks to the perseverance of Dan Brown of the Fort Collins Urban Hens, the measure (a strict one, at that) was passed in September 2008, allowing six hens per household.
This week, the Coloradoan has a great follow-up story on all that's happened in Fort Collins since chickens were made legal, and as we urban chickens fans would expect, everything's gone just fine, thankyouverymuch.
In fact, a total of 36 households have acquired chicken licenses (and one could assume, chickens, too), yet none of the bad things the opposition had foretold has come to pass.
Director of animal control with the Larimer Humane Society, Bill Porter, says that of the 14,314 calls to animal control since the chicken law went on the books, "There were four calls of complaints from roosters crowing." The four roosters in town that peeved off neighbors were "accidents," Porter reports: owners thought they were buying hens as chicks only to discover they were roosters. "The other two regarded smell and location of the coop, and both cases were unfounded." (emphasis mine)
Longtime readers know that one of the arguments AGAINST urban chickens that's consistently trotted out time and again is the myth of "it'll cost too much to enforce the new rule." Even though the calls to animal control in Fort Collins were bogus, they still took time to investigate. But these calls were less than one-tenth of one percent of the volume of complaints to deal with (0.04% to be exact). A rounding error, at best.
It's satisfying to see real evidence that enforcement costs come nowhere near what the anti-chicken crew would have you believe. Yet another case of proving the anti-chicken hysteria wrong.
Reminds me a lot of the follow-up story Missoula Urban Chickens Law: what went wrong?