Akers, the Chicken

In case you don’t already know, the Denver “Food Producing Animals” ordinance passed at the Denver City Council on June 20 by a vote of 7 – 3. This is actually closer than it sounds, because there are 13 members of the Denver City Council and to pass this ordinance required an absolute majority of all members, not just a majority of those present. If just one of the “for” votes had been changed, the ordinance would have failed.

We did achieve one important concession: the permeable land requirement for hens was substantially increased in committee.Some people argue that urban chickens are an alternative to factory farms. That was my view until I started to talk to people who had actually dealt with urban chickens, like Chicken Run Rescue (still the only urban chicken rescue shelter in the nation).

What many urban livestock ordinances are really doing, is legitimizing cruelty in an area where it was previously illegal or highly restricted.  Some people will be nice, but others won’t.  If you actually take care of the chickens, it’s going to be a lot of work and money (just like a dog, rabbit, or any other pet — duh!).  Those are going to be some pretty expensive eggs.  So chickens need some protection; and chickens that are actually loved, instead of being exploited, are less likely to be a problem for the city.

This humorous comic, “How NOT to Raise Chickens,” sums it up.

But I digress.

There is one other small positive thing that came out of this losing battle. A chicken has been named in my honor. Others may have gotten “activist of the year” or some such award from Important National Organizations, but how many vegans do you know in Denver who have had a chicken named after them? O. K., maybe it’s not that unique, but still it’s worth writing home about.  What follows is the description that Chicken Run Rescue provided.

Akers is a rooster and comes with two other companions named Charlie and Sherri.  (Inside joke: Charlie and Sherri are named after two other Denver activists.)  All are very hand tamed, gentle and happy and all three can be picked up and held together. They arrived together; someone just got bored and didn’t want them anymore — typical for a fad. They are very bonded and must be adopted as a family! The boys are very good with each other and with Sherri.

Akers is a very smart and confident guy. He is actually the Alpha but lets Charlie think otherwise. He is gentle and very easy to pick up and hold. He’s always first at the door making sure his little family is safe. Akers, being the Alpha, crows the most readily, but it’s a tiny crow and not constant. Akers is tiny; probably some type of Silver Duckwing Old English Game breed.

Roosters are still illegal in Denver. But if anyone wants to adopt Akers the chicken and his companions in an area where it is legal, please let Chicken Run Rescue know. Roosters are wonderful companions. All Chicken Run Rescue roosters are hand tamed and socialized before adoption.


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