Tag Archives: Bremerton chickens

A chicken in every pot and a pig on every Bremerton porch

Seems to me, he wrote in old-timey voice, there was a warnin’ about just this thing. First they’ll want chickens, then goats, then pigs.

Seems it’s true, though I heard it was true before residents managed to persuade the city council to decriminalize chicken raising in Bremerton. The photo you see here is of a pig on a porch of a home in Bremerton. We’re not telling you where, because we’re far too polite to tattle. I’m no agriculturalist, but that there pig looks like a pot-bellied feller.

The photo was sent to me with the question, “Does the chicken ordinance apply to hogs?”

No. Not yet it doesn’t. Even in Bremerton a chicken is not a pig.

We see the movement building, though, if history is any lesson. The chicken movement included those who were already thumbing their noses at the city’s ordinance and raising them in spite of an alleged ban. Most, it should be noted, of those who signed the petitions were not chicken raisers and didn’t have much interest. They just thought those who did should have been able to.

Would they feel the same way about this guy? I’m guessing the legalization of pigs might be a tougher sell, no matter how artsy or cute you make the campaign sign.

Speaking of Feathered Friend Fanciers

Have you been following the twists and turns of the Bremerton chicken saga? The latest development in efforts by poultry promoters to legalize the keeping of hens (no roosters thank you, too noisy) within the city limits is that the ball may be sailing back into the city council’s court.

As the Kitsap Sun’s intrepid chicken reporter reported today, “the council’s Public Safety and Parks Committee held a special meeting Wednesday and discussed details of an ordinance that would allow city residents to have up to four hens. The proposed ordinance also would establish rules for how they would be housed and how their effect on neighbors could be lessened.”

A chicken-legalization ordinance that could go before the full council as early as next month.

Meanwhile, the city of Port Orchard has been wrestling with its own resolution related to birds, in this case parrots, macaws, cockatiels and other such feathered friends.

Responding to complaints about “feathers, fleas and (animal) feces” at the city’s Active Club, city officials drafted an ordinance barring animals from the building, among other new rules.

In July, members of the Olympic Bird Fanciers pleaded with the council to reverse their position on animals. Sue Marshall of the club cited the numerous educational events the bird fanciers put on, teaching bird owners about proper care and training. She said she had spoken to other groups who lease the building and that they were in favor of letting the birds (and other animals) back in, at least conditionally.

In August, the city council entertained the bird fanciers’ request and approved an ordinance repealing the previous ordinance, with conditions. First, any group wishing to have animals must submit a petition from all other users showing their assent. Second, any complaints and the animals would have to leave.

Voting against the ordinance were Fred Olin, who chairs the public property committee, and Carolyn Powers, also on the committee. Powers, at one point, said the ordinance would seem to open up a Pandora’s box, so to speak.

“They’re not defining what animals they could bring in,” she said. “Goats, snakes, there’s nothing in here that says they couldn’t bring anything.”

“We thought we couldn’t discriminate,” Public Works Director Mark Dorsey replied.

“What, have you got something against cows and horses?” Clauson asked.

Dorsey was serious (at least he appeared so). Clauson was not.

Olin and Powers said they were against the ordinance because it was a reversal of a position the council had taken after long and careful consideration.

So far, the reversal is a moot point. I checked with Dorsey today, and he said no animal group has submitted a petition.