Our Battle

Our Battle

When we first encountered Lyme and the associated diseases, we realized the magnitude of the problem. We started doing everything we could to try to prevent tick bites and the resulting disease. I read that Guinea Fowl and Chickens provided an excellent means of controlling insects without having to wage chemical warfare in your back yard.

I went to the township and checked the animal control ordinances. At that time (around 1999) we were in complete compliance for both Guinea Fowl and for Chickens. We started a small flock of Guineas and purchased 5 Rhode Island Red chickens.

Things went well. The insect population near our home took a dramatic downturn. We fenced the property to keep the deer out which also allowed us to keep the chickens on the property for the most part. We did not clip the wings of the guinea fowl due to the number of predators. Some people train the guineas to roost every night in a hutch. The problem for us is that we aren't always home to lock up at dusk which means they are vulnerable to raccoons, possums and other predators.

Comply or else

This summer, we received a 'comply or else' letter from our code enforcement officer. It wasn't a citation, but it looked like one. We were shocked to say the least. On speaking with the township manager we found that the township code was recently revised. There is now an almost total ban on guinea fowl and chickens.

My wife got over 30 signatures from the immediate neighbors who all signed stating that they wanted the birds to stay.

At the township meeting (September 2003) we spoke to the board and provided 12 pages of documentation about