In a couple of weeks, residents in Champaign can begin applying for licenses so that they can get backyard chickens.
City Planner Lacey Rains Lowe said there will not be a limit on the number of permits available, something the city had discussed. She said the city is confident its ordinance addresses potential problems that could come up with too many people getting backyard chickens.
“We do have a chapter in our ordinance already that regards noise and that regards other property maintenance standards, and we reference those in this new hen ordinance but it also includes specific language that says no odors detectable from the property line,” Lowe said. “So, we don’t anticipate that being a problem.”
Lowe said backyard chickens will only be allowed in most single family homes or duplexes, and roosters will not be allowed. People can begin applying on Dec. 17 for a permit to obtain up to six hens, but the licenses won’t take effect until Jan. 1.
Next week, the Champaign City Council will vote on whether or not to allow residents to raise chickens on their property. While some are really excited about the possibility that they could raise chickens within Champaign city limits, some are skeptical about the smell and the noise. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about why people choose to keep backyard chickens and what it’s like to raise them. To start their hour on Focus we’ll hear from Karen Carney, who is a Champaign resident and wants her own chickens.
Then, host Jim Meadows also talks with Colleen Wagner, who lives in Urbana where backyard chickens are allowed. Wagner built her own chicken coop to raise chickens for their eggs in her backyard and says its empowering to know where her food is coming from and what the chickens are being fed. Steve Ayers, who is with the University of Illinois Extension also joins us to talk about the cost of raising chickens and some things to consider before getting your own.
Do you get your eggs from your backyard? Do your neighbors keep chickens? Are you for or against the idea the idea of backyard chickens? We’d love to hear from you this hour on Focus.