In the middle of August, we received our Kaysville City newsletter informing residents that to raise backyard chickens (four or five on an 8,000 foot parcel) it was going to cost us. How much, exactly? $50 a year. Now, normally, I wouldn’t care much about chickens. I mean, I can get eggs at the grocery store for very little money, and quickly find delicious chicken of all types and spiciness at any number of fast food and local eateries.
But earlier this summer, my wife and 10-year-old daughter surprised me with the notion that they wanted to raise four chickens. They went to C-A-L Ranch store, and picked up four of them, along with a chicken coop that I can only describe as the JW Marriott of chicken coops for them to live in.
We fenced off a section of the yard where they would have access to sun, shade, water and feed. At first I rolled my eyes and put up a fuss. I didn’t want chickens. We didn’t need another project. We were not farmers. But I soon realized that I was wrong.
After a long hard day, it was actually kind of fun and peaceful to swing in my hammock and watch the little creatures. They required very little maintenance, they were quiet and kept to themselves, and I would have an egg source if Glenn Beck was right, and the apocalypse came next week.
But like any good deed nowadays it seems, it couldn’t seem to go unpunished (or untaxed) by government; local, state or federal. Kaysville wants all mild-mannered chicken enthusiasts to cough up $50 a year for the privilege of teaching my kids how to raise and care for small animals. I’m sad to say rather than pay $50 to have chickens on my property, I gave them away to a cousin that lives in Sugarhouse in Salt Lake City where there is no fee to keep them.
I lost the chickens, but still managed to get the bird from Kaysville City, “Utah’s Hometown”.