Chicken Law No Match for Law Librarians!

Readers of WisBlawg know that last week was National Library Week. At the UW Law Library we held a number of events, including daily contests, workshop and displays.
On Wednesday we held our first ever Stump the Law Library Staff contest. We received 9 questions, a combination of faculty, staff, and students. I’m happy to report that we didn’t get stumped by any, thanks to a little help from our colleagues across the country.
The following “chicken law” question from one of our law students had me stumped, so I posted it to a national listserv for law librarians (Law-lib). It didn’t take long before several people responded with the correct answer. Law librarians are awesome!

  • Question: “I am a farmer living in a city called Arjay. I sell chickens. I have some chickens that were born on April 1, 2005. I want to give some of them away today. If I give any away, what is the minimum number I must give away to avoid violating the law?”
  • Answer: Six. It turns out that the law in question is Kentucky Revised Statute § 436.600. Dyeing or selling dyed baby fowl or rabbits “No person shall sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange, display, or possess living baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits which have been dyed or colored; nor dye or color any baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits; nor sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange or to give away baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits, under two (2) months of age in any quantity less than six (6), except that any rabbit weighing three (3) pounds or more may be sold at an age of six (6) weeks. Any person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $ 100 nor more than $ 500.”

It’s unclear whether or not the chickens in question have to be dyed or not. But this was indeed the law that the student had in mind. Several people noted that the law appeared on one of the dumb laws sites It seems that Ohio and Pennsylvania also have similar laws.
This was a very fun event for us and, from the response that we received, it was a pretty successful marketing event also. We had students play along and even thank us for providing a break from the end of the year time crunch. Faculty & staff also asked questions. One stopped to check on the progress of the “chicken stumper” and another asked what questions we received so she would know what type of questions she could ask the library staff in the future (Anything, I told her!). Several law librarians also noted that it was a fun diversion for them also.
Thanks again to everyone who participated!