Backyard Chickens

I’d like to have some chickens in my backyard, but they’re not allowed in my city.

Dear readers, has any of you been part of getting your city to accept backyard chickens?

About Tony Jones
  • 2TrakMind

    Boy, that’s a different topic for you! Fortunately, I live in a rural community, so we don’t have to worry about it. You may want to check out a site Backyard Chickens ( They have a ton of info and a very active forum. I bet this topic has been discussed there.

  • Aran Walter

    Oshkosh, WI allows it now but you need written permission from each neighbor that your property touches.

  • John D’Elia

    Having had chickens, and lived next to people who had chickens, I understand the regulation. They’re loud, they smell, and dogs bark at them (which makes them even louder). Chickens will give you ample opportunity to be a bad neighbor, if you’re not careful.

    • Tony Jones

      How will I ever be in a Portlandia sketch if I don’t have backyard chickens?!?

      • Craig

        Put a quail on it. Quail are great, and you can pickle the eggs. Chickens are over.

    • Craig

      Damn the barking, biting, flesh-eating dogs. Nothing good drops out of their rears, and dog recipes are hard to find.

    • Larry Barber

      The smell is probably the biggest problem. There is a reason these ordinances were passed in the first place, and odor is likely the biggest reason. And nothing stinks like chicken sh*t.

  • Jonnie

    We have five. My wife deliberately choose breeds that are not loud (silver laced Wyandottes are friendly and quite.) We also have Shepherd mix and she’s fine with them (probably doesn’t have the birding prey drive labs do though…). Our city has ordinances on distances between where the chicks live and neighbor’s homes/ property lines. I’m sure there are many people in cities that technically don’t allow chicks who pick quiter breeds and have cool neighbors who go for it. Are your suburban neighbors mellow and worth asking you think?
    No eggs taste as good as backyard chicken eggs…no joke. And I don’t have to check labels and farms everytime. ; )

  • Charity Jill Erickson

    Don’t you live in Edina? Hmm. Good luck with that! :) (Most suburbs over here on the east side have seen people successfully petition their city councils to allow backyard chickens, w/ some limits. For example, my town allows up to 5 female chickens, w/ a yearly coop inspection.) Oh, and as another commenter said, is a great resource. You could probably find other Edinans on there.

  • Dan Wilkinson

    My town’s working on this same thing, see:

    Or do what I do: make friends with someone outside of town who has chickens and get eggs from them!

  • T.S.Gay

    One of my granddaughters favorite things is to go to a rural livestock auction- they sell chicks which are brought in cardboard boxes and she can open the box and pick them up. We live rurally and could bring some home- but not me. Animals( even dogs) make it difficult to leave for any amount of time. At my age that isn’t attractive, although my wife says if she were gone I would have a dog who I’d take to the dairy freeze for ice cream cones. I was big into dogs once, but not going back. I was a big gardener for years..quit after the children moved on, but now am back. I gave up fishing for a while, but now am back with grandchildren. We had farm animals once, but not going back.

    Been there, done that……may or may not go back. This can also be true of politics, church, jobs, writing, blogs, relationships.. Of all things, backyard chickens makes me think about care for the environment, healthy diet, family, depredations of big business, even religion as a tradition.