The Hoosierist: Is It Legal To Raise Turkeys In The City?

Backyard birds, neverending Vonnegut stories, and dining out on Thanksgiving. Ask the Hoosierist.

Q: I know it’s legal to keep chickens in your backyard, but what about other types of birds, like turkeys?
A: Marion County regulations allow residents to keep as many as 12 hens and one rooster on their property. The same goes for quail, pigeons, and ducks. Turkeys aren’t specifically mentioned in local ordinances, but Andrew Brake, co-owner of the feed-supply store Agrarian, says that hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from keeping them. “We have plenty of people who buy food for turkeys, ducks, and emus,” Brake says. You read correctly: Some locals apparently keep emus (the world’s second-biggest flightless bird, after ostriches) as pets. Or livestock. Or whatever. “I was in Ravenswood recently, and there were two of them in one of the yards,” Brake says. “So whether it’s legal or not, people do it.”

Q: Is Thanksgiving usually a boost or a bust for local restaurants?
A: Restaurants typically feast during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Perhaps because folks who are freaking out about cooking 36 side items for their in-laws would rather make reservations than meals in the days leading up to the Main Event. “The week before Thanksgiving is usually very good, because family and friends begin getting together for the holidays,” says Neal Brown, owner of Pizzology and Stella. He doesn’t, however, see a tidal wave of places (including his own) that stay open on the holiday itself. That niche is occupied mostly by family-style eateries such as Hollyhock Hill, which serve Thanksgiving-esque meals all the time anyway.

Q: Are they ever going to run out of undiscovered Kurt Vonnegut short stories? His publisher seems to release new ones every year.
A: When it comes to posthumous prose, Indy’s favorite literary son is indeed having a good run. Since his death in 2007, roughly half a dozen collections of his short stories have hit the shelves. Where’s it all coming from? Remember that Vonnegut was a late bloomer who didn’t become a big deal until the publication of his sixth novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, in 1969. Which means many of the stories he wrote before then ended up in a drawer rather than in a magazine. “There is good finished work from his early years that has been discovered,” says Julia Whitehead, founder of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. Several new pieces appeared in the recently published Kurt Vonnegut Complete Stories, which should just about clean out his desk. Just about. “I hear there are one or two things that may be released down the road,” Whitehead says, “but I doubt there would be more than that.”

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