Opinion: Raising chickens in Village of Potsdam creates too many clucking issues, says Hannawa Falls man
To the Editor:
The recent newspaper articles regarding allowing chickens to be raised in the Village of Potsdam refreshed memories of the activity in the 1970’s.My wife JoAnne and three young daughters and I arrived in Potsdam in 1965 for me to assume an assistant professorship of chemistry position at Clarkson University. We were blessed to be guided to purchase a home on Sealy Drive in the village and were quickly welcomed by close and distant neighbors.
I was awarded a National Academy Fellowship for research in Belgrade, then Yugoslavia, and all five of us went there for a very educational and successful 1967-68 academic year. But of course we were extremely glad to return to our Potsdam, home.
In 1972 the Sealy Drive Partch family decided we needed to hatch our own chickens for Easter and fortunately 3 of the 12 fertilized incubated eggs hatched, one rooster and two hens. They were range free, not in a cage and no fences separated Sealy Drive properties. The chicks received much love and care not only by us but also by neighbor families such as Whitey and Dianne Hansen, and Jay and Sam Molnar.
As the birds matured the rooster, called Fluffy, began protecting his two hens and all three nested in shrubs in our backyard at night. When Fluffy decided to crow about 5am mornings I was mad and knew neighbors would be also.
That’s when neighbor Sam Molnar told me “just put Fluffy in a cardboard box at night so he can’t stretch his neck which is needed to crow.” Wow, what an education! It worked so all were happy.
But later Fluffy began exerting his manhood by clucking and strutting around JoAnne when she was hanging clothes on the line in the backyard. She complained to me that she was afraid he would peck her, at which time I said “how could any human be afraid of a chicken - - just give it a gentle kick.”
A few days later, I was in the backyard when Jay Molnar next door was hanging clothes and Fluffy was giving her the same treatment. OK I said to myself, that’s enough!
So, JoAnne and I had chicken to eat for a few days that the three girls would not touch. The next year Potsdam declared that chickens could not be raised in Potsdam Village. End of anecdote.