Normal is considering a proposal to allow residents to raise chickens. This seems to be a popular topic in other parts of the U.S. -- Washington, California, and Missouri, for example. Headlines take advantage of the humorous poultry-related expressions, such as "one cluck closer," and "opponents squawk."
I have to say I am in favor of allowing residents to have one or two chickens (let's not go crazy and have dozens of them running around). They do create somewhat of a mess and can be temperamental, so I doubt that everyone will want to have them. They're a lot quieter than dogs, though, and they don't require walking! We raised a couple of chickens (one pictured above) when I was a kid. I remember Tweety (not pictured) proudly "crowing" after laying an egg in the barn every morning and how she would come running to me when I swatted flies for her. She held her own against the barn cats, too. I was surprised at how much fun a chicken could be as a pet.
If anyone is interested in furthering the cause, here is a pro-chicken petition from the fine folks of Brunswick, Maryland:
To: The Mayor & City Council of Brunswick, MD
Whereas, cities across America are realizing the many benefits of urban chicken ownership and changing their ordinances accordingly;
Whereas, during a time of severe economic crisis and world-wide oil shortages, backyard urban chicken rearing provides an economical source of healthy protein for citizens;
Whereas, the keeping of backyard chickens makes a highly positive impact on the solid waste stream, county-wide recycling efforts, and the unnecessary use of chemical fertilizers in urban gardens;
Whereas, a well-kept coop regulated by ordinances poses no threat to city sanitation or the health of our citizens;
Whereas, a well-crafted town ordinance can adequately address all concerns such as noise, number, setbacks and registration; banning roosters and ensuring that specific guidelines are in place to protect all;
We, the undersigned citizens of Brunswick, MD hereby request that the city council amend the current ordinance, Section 3-1202, to allow for the ownership of 4-6 laying hens within Brunswick limits.