Epic Chicken Fight of 2013: Arlington Heights Village Board Is Fox Guarding the Hen House By Disallowing It

Epic Chicken Fight from Family Guy on FOX.

The Arlington Heights village board denied variance requests from Mary Green, of the 200 block of South Mitchell, and Matt Scallon, of the 400 block of South Walnut, who wanted to keep up to three hens in their backyards. Both property owners were unanimously rejected, and there was rejection noted about the repeat attention to the subject of chicken farming.

“Having repetitive discussion of the same subject is not a good use of the board’s or the public’s time,”

— Trustee Thomas Glasgow.

The Arlington Heights community is rich in farm history. In the late 1950’s farmland stretched from Euclid Avenue north. In the late 1960’s farmland was devoured by residential and commercial development with sporadic farmland property around Palatine Road and areas north toward Buffalo Grove. Today, there is not even a nursery business in Arlington Heights, except for a department

Several other communities have backed the sustainability concept of home farming including Batavia, Cary, Evanston, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park and Palatine.

A Palatine man, Steve Brosio, can have a chicken coop with up to six hens on his 1.8-acre property in the 600 block of West Hill Road. He’s probably one of the few that will get permission to raise hens.

After a Palatine petition was filed with 19 signatures representing 11 properties that opposed Brosio’s request, several people attending a Palatine council meeting offered support. Brosio’s original proposal of 15 hens was approved with a limitation. The number of chickens permitted was knocked down to only six hens, and the topic will be re-visited. In six months the chicken police will check on any possible issues with the home-based chicken farm for hobby or personal consumption. Basically, the size of Brosio’s property was the basis for his approval. If a property owner has 1.8 acre or less, no chicken coop will be permitted.

Home farmers claim that home grown chickens produce safer, more nutritious eggs, and home-based farmers point to poor conditions at commercial chicken or egg farms. Poor conditions on factory farms can cause chickens to produce increased levels of a stress hormone that promotes the growth of a dangerous pathogen, Campylobacter. Human can get Campylobacteriosis from the bacteria, which produces an inflammatory, sometimes bloody, diarrhea, periodontitis or dysentery syndrome, mostly including cramps, fever and pain. The infection is usually self-limiting and in most cases, symptomatic treatment by liquid and electrolyte replacement is enough in human infections. Food-borne illness from eating chicken is rare, however.

There are over 75 chicken breeds to choose when working on a sustainable chicken farming project. For now, locavores in Arlington Heights will have to stick to fruits and vegetables.


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