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Dalton Roberts

My friend Lana Sutton speaks intelligently and frequently in favor of teaching citizens the joys of self-sufficiency. She wrote excitedly on Facebook about Chattanooga's discussion of allowing chickens inside city limits.

I'm sure she's disappointed in the 6-3 vote to not allow a coop of chickens inside the city.

I had mixed feelings about it myself. The excrement problem with big dogs is severe, but I find myself unable to believe that chicken owners could determine where the chicken poop would go. I might feel differently if Howard Lovell owned the chickens. As I wrote in a previous column, he owned the house where I now live and, when he was annexed into the city, he was grandfathered in as a legitimate chicken owner.

I am wondering about one thing. The AARP newspaper has a funny little story about two companies that sell chicken diapers: Pampered Products and Hen Holster. Believe me, these folks are serious. At Pampered Products, the cloth chicken diapers cost $12.50 each -- with a discount if you buy in bulk.

If you chose to purchase from, you'll be thrilled to know, they also sell a chicken breast protector and a chicken apron.

It's people like this that keep me from feeling so all alone in this great, big, goofy world. I think goofiness is OK if one remains aware of their goofiness, but I can't help but wonder about the awareness of goofiness in people selling diapers for chickens at $12.50 apiece.

One thing I do know: If I had a chicken running around the house, she would be wearing one of their diapers.

How I long for the day when they start making drawers for cats.

It's just as well that Chattanooga didn't approve keeping chickens inside city limits. The City Council would have had to get into some real technical legal stuff in the authorizing ordinance. Like: When their chickens drawers fall off in your yard who's responsible to pick them up? If it was yours, surely the city would be required to buy you one of those super-duper grabbers and picker-uppers.

If self-sufficiency is our true goal, we can buy from a wide selection of winter green boxes and garden for 12 months a year. My brother-in-law made me a large winter box where I grew turnip greens, kale, collards and a dozen lettuces.

Difficulty in stooping ended my gardening career after 20 wonderful years. To me a garden is a meditation haven, a prayer room and a spiritual/scientific laboratory. Finally, I have figured how to keep four or five earth boxes that will involve very little stooping.

If the city someday approves chickens, I'll keep eight for fertilizer. Old Howard Lovell's chicken house is still available and in pretty good shape.

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