West Columbia, SC — In the decade I’ve kept chickens, I have learned a lot about them. I wish other people were so schooled, starting with West Columbia Mayor Joe Owens. Before City Council banned backyard chickens, he said, “Their odor can be a bit overwhelming at times.”
Really? If council truly wanted to tackle the city’s odor problem, it would target Columbia Farms, the chicken slaughterhouse that stinks to high heaven, especially in hot weather. But instead of dealing with the ugly plant sitting on prime riverfront real estate, council decided to ban residents from keeping four hens, enclosed, with no roosters.
That’s a shame. The truth is that, if cared for properly, hens do not stink. They are kind of like humans that way.
As Americans become more concerned about the source and quality of their food, West Columbia is moving backwards. How sad that its residents cannot enjoy fresh eggs and the company of these charming creatures. Let’s hope the council reconsiders.