Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Chickens Are Coming

On Tuesday night, the chicken law passed in the Common Council by the skin of its teeth--if chickens had teeth. A simple majority requires 1,011 aye votes. The chicken law got 1,020 ayes and 1008 nays. Common Council president Don Moore and aldermen John Friedman (Third Ward), Nick Haddad (First Ward), David Marston (First Ward), Abdus Miah (Second Ward), Sheila Ramsey (Fourth Ward), and Chris Wagoner (Third Ward) voted in favor of permitting backyard chickens; aldermen Robert Donahue (Fifth Ward), Wanda Pertilla (Second Ward), Cappy Pierro (Fifth Ward), and Ohrine Stewart (Fourth Ward) voted against it.

Before casting his nay vote, Donahue said he didn't want chickens for neighbors and his constituents in the Fifth Ward didn't want the stench of chicken poop. Friedman, next in the roll call, said he represented the Third Ward where they wanted "all that stuff."

In the discussion that preceded the vote, Miah spoke of Islamic slaughtering methods, saying that Muslims now have to go to New York City to get chickens that have been slaughtered in the appropriate way. Haddad said that the law provided for egg laying not slaughtering, but Friedman, who crafted the law, maintained that people could raise chickens and kill them for personal use. 

Paragraph 70-17.C of the chicken law, however, states: "Chickens shall be kept as pets and for personal use only; no person shall sell eggs or meat or engage in chicken breeding or fertilizer production for commercial purposes. The slaughtering of chickens is prohibited."


  1. I wish then chicken owners & the chickens good luck.
    Well Henry, there goes the neighborhood.
    So roosters it appears that you will have to organize & seek an attorney to fight for your rights against "females" only allowed in what will be the start of the "chicken wars in Hudson"
    I trust that the Hudson building inspector is prepared to be busy & the CC Health Dept. too.
    So what's next on the "major issues" in Hudson?
    I bet J-O-B-S isn't even on the list.

  2. And please add that when walking past the Egan home people were actually attacked by the chickens, pecked at the feet & legs.
    It happened to me.
    Could the free range chickens have become territorial, ill, or god forbid rabid?
    Or just formed a chicken gang.
    So here's an alert to Animal Kind of Hudson.
    Get prepared to capture chickens running amuck thru the byways of Hudson.

  3. Yes, Alderman Friedman crafted this law (which I welcome), but I also heard him with my own ears say that chicken slaughtering is permissible under the law. Mr. Haddad should ask Mr. Friedman whether he's actually read the law?

    I also heard Mr. Miah with my own ears, but I could barely make out the word "chicken." Of course that might have been due to the fact that Quintin Cross spoke to his friends for nearly the entire meeting from the bench behind me.

    Ms. Mussman was sitting next to Mr. Cross throughout the meeting. Perhaps she'll take an opportunity today to explain the anti-social behavior of her protege on WGXC radio (at 10 AM).

    1. unheimlich--If you read the account in the Register-Star, you will see that Council president Moore explains the distinction between "kill" and "slaughter"--"slaughter" being a commercial term that applies to business purposes. According to Moore, "killing" does not equate to "slaughtering." Tell that to the chicken.

    2. Ah! but of course. "Killing" is probably more along the lines of "I'm doing this for your own good" (as I return to my chicken sandwich).

      Sometimes I literally have to remind myself that the Register Star exists, and to give it a second chance under its new publisher.

      I liked Susan Troy's choice of words: "kitty corner" (heh).

  4. Susan Lynn Troy resubmitted a corrected comment:

    In the 60s and 70s, and maybe even into the early 80s, former Police Commissioner Egan's brother kept chickens and pigeons on his residential property on the 600 block of Union Street. . . only separated from the then very active Elks Club, by the municipal parking lot, and kitty corner to the Home for the Aged.

    His property was later sold to Mrs. Green Thumbs, Cassandra Danz.

  5. One permit per private property owner with a large enough backyard or an unusual landlord's permission for one tenant, for up to 5 chickens, eggs/meat, not to be sold. This excludes a great number of citizens, many who are of low income. The odd distinction, of killing allowed, but not slaughtering(explained as commercial, but no selling is permitted by this law ,anyway), is confusing, especially for my Muslim neighbors, who embraced this law, as Halal butchered chickens are not available locally.
    The codes on maintaining , approved structures , their distance from property lines,seem clear enough. The provisions" for the storage and removal of chicken manure and other waste" are not. "All other manure not used for composting or fertilizing shall be contained in a
    well aerated garden compost pile." No distance from property lines or neighboring structures for this composting are defined in this law. However,I do not foresee that many people who qualify, taking on this responsibility, work and expense. My concern is not Chickens, per se...but Code Enforcement ,or rather the lack of. Just for one. Look at our sidewalks, that are the responsibility of property owners as well, by Law. That's code enforcement's job, to force owners to comply with law.

  6. I'm trying to understand why the prospect of fenced in, backyard chickens is causing so much consternation. Menacing chickens running amok in Hudson seems pretty unlikely. All I see is a storm in a teacup.

  7. Not really fair to the folks who want to have chickens but don't have a backyard or big enough yard. What we need now is a community chicken yard, like the community garden. That way anyone who wants a chicken can have one.

  8. Just so you all "johnny come latelies" know, Hudson was a very SMELLY place not so long ago.
    Hudson had a "glue" factory that some say slaughtered horses, the City dumps were often on fire, the sewers stunk & guess what went into the Hudson River. It sure as hell wasn't roses kid.
    So chicken stuff is no big deal, unless your neighbor just ain't gonna comply w/the rules.
    If you can't get people to comply w/ codes now what makes you think all the chicken keepers will comply with regulations.
    Well, a least the cats & rats will be happy.
    And please spare the me the domestic cat pics, I'm talkin about the alley cats sweetheart.
    Hope we have stock of bird flu anti-virus shots too. Hope you got your code book ready Mr. Wurster w/ all the updates too.
    Back in the day, Grandma went to the chicken farmer, bought a live chicken brought it home,
    chopped off its head & I watched as a "headless" chicken ran about the kitchen.
    A great site for a 4 year old.

  9. Yes it may seem rather funny to those who did not live through the Egan chicken brouhaha, the horse tails left on the road outside the glue factory or the raw sewage that dumped into the Hudson River. This chicken law was well intended, but short-sighted. History is destined to repeat itself, given the nature of chickens (and their owners).