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Bourbonnais
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Opinion: Bradley surrenders town to pending 30,000+ chickens, could outnumber residents 2:1

Some prominent members of the community have already welcomed our chicken overlords, as Bradley stumbles with another poor choice

Surrender.

It sure feels like more than accurate verbiage after the Village of Bradley board voted Monday 4-2 to allow backyard chickens, with up to six per household. Roosters remain unwelcomed.

With the vote, these little cluckers are now strategically and lawfully set to invade the town, with as many as 36,000 possible stretching across the village’s 6,000 plus households. Bradley currently has over 15,000 residents.

Trustees Bob Redmond voted against the measure, saying “This doesn’t add to the quality of life of this town.” Redmond added the measure was ‘not in the best interest of the community.’ Redmond was only one of two trustees, including Brian Tieri, to vote against the ordinance.  In favor included Mayor Pro Tem Mike Watson, Brian Billingsley, Darren Westphal, and Ryan LeBran.

It’s the latest controversial act by the Mayor Pro Tem Watson and Co in Bradley. 

Throughout the pandemic, the Village of Bradley did not allow remote viewing through online mediums like ZOOM or Facebook Live, as allowed by the State of Illinois, opting to meet in person instead.

Let us not forget the purchase of the 1.1 million dollar regional punchline that is Carson’s Men’s Store last year by Village Administrators. Watson and Co approved the purchase of the 80,000-square-foot former Carson’s Men’s Store without voter approval months after being sworn in on May 2nd, 2019. The appointment was made by trustees after elected Mayor Bruce Adams stepped down from the figurehead seat in Bradley. 

The pending invasion is backed by the Kankakee County Farm Bureau, saying the chickens create an “opportunity for a lot of learning for the entire family as keeping chickens can teach children about responsibility through caring for an animal while producing a valuable low-cost food source for the family.”

Chickens are now welcomed in two area towns, including Kankakee. Among those in the County who have welcomed their chicken overlords with open arms in the past include Kankakee County Chairman Andrew Wheeler.

But the thing is, with livestock, comes disease, something we could use less of during the current pandemic.  The CDC has reportedly warned against backyard chickens spreading illness. Chickens have been known to spread salmonellosis, E. coli, campylobacteriosis, and bird flu.

Just last month, 16 people in Illinois were part of 465 individuals nationwide that became ill with Salmonella after coming in contact with poultry in backyard flocks, according to the CDC. Two people died last summer hundreds became infected after a salmonellosis outbreak was linked to backyard chickens.

Incidents have normally remained rare among backyard chickens. Last year, a woman was killed by a rooster in a deadly pecking after he hit her varicose vein in her leg. In 2016, a woman was arrested for sacrificing chickens on a weekly basis. That same year, a Florida woman was arrested after police found 100 chickens in her yard.

So sure, welcome the chickens, pigs, and any other decrementing animals you can think of into a town with a history of horrific decisions, and now diseases. As of Wednesday, IDPH reports the Village of Bradley has had a confirmed 109 case of COVID-19.

There’s a true lesson for the kids, if it’s not a move with little thinking, it’s not the Kankakee County way.

Shane Saathoff
Shane Saathoffhttp://www.SocialSnowball.com
An active writer for two decades, Shane's focuses on local news and events throughout the area, Shane is an active historian, science nerd, and tech geek. Shane is a native of Bourbonnais, IL, and alumni of Olivet Nazarene University.

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