Backyard chickens have polarized the city council of Salem, Ore., as residents argue over whether to legalize keeping the birds in home coops, the Wall Street Journal reports. It’s one of several such disputes around the US, with some extolling the virtues of a source of free eggs and fertilizer for backyard gardening—especially during a recession. But the noisy, messy birds have opponents squawking over lower property values.
"It's silliness," says a Salem real estate broker. "Eggs aren't even that expensive anyway. What's next? Goats? Llamas? Get a farm."