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Will Chicken Ordinance Fly the Coop?

Trustee Jim Racich asks board members to consider amending code to allow small chicken farms within the village limits.

Less than 10 hens; no roosters.

Those are the new rules being suggested by Jim Racich when it comes to amending Plainfield’s ordinance on owning fowl and livestock.

Racich made his plea on behalf of Doug Soika, a Plainfield resident hoping to pave the way for small chicken farms within the village limits.

“Would we be considered radical to allow people to raise chickens on their lots?” Racich asked Monday, citing other Illinois towns that allow small chicken farms, such as Evanston, Oak Park, Downers Grove, St. Charles, Elgin and even the City of Chicago.

“It can be argued that a small chicken farm — less than 10 hens, no roosters — is educational … It’s healthy, it’s organic," Racich said.

Along with growing his own vegetables, Soika said he’s raising four chickens in a small coop to teach his children sustainability.

“I would like the opportunity to raise chickens on a small scale,” he said. “I think it would be a fantastic opportunity for them.”

Current ordinance bars Plainfield residents from keeping fowl or livestock on less than five acres of property.

But Racich asked the board to consider revising the ordinance to permit small chicken farms.

“The hens are really no problem at all,” he said. “Roosters are the troublemakers.”

 Soika, who said he keeps his chickens in a small coop designed to match the siding on his home, agreed.

“I will say, chickens are silent as long as you don’t have a rooster,” he said. “They’re quieter than dogs.”

Soika invited village officials to view his chicken coop to get an idea of the impact it has on the neighborhood.

Racich asked his fellow trustees to consider the matter, requesting that it be brought forth at an upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting.

In the meantime, he asked residents to share their views — both for and against allowing chicken coops — with him via email. To contact Racich, email jracich@goplainfield.com.

Mayor Mike Collins asked Racich to collect the responses he receives and bring them forward at a future Committee of the Whole meeting.

“If it’s managed properly, perhaps we can consider it,” Racich said. “If we were to approve this … people would say we are ‘eggstraordinary.’”

What do you think? Should Plainfield allow small chicken farms? Tell us in the comments! 

Lisa S. July 19, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I am with you Butch. First off...most of the lots in Plainfield are small. Not a whole lot of room for chickens. I don;t want my neighbor raising chickens 10 feet or less from my bedroom window! And the smell is absolutely horrifying. I have personally experienced the hell of living next door to a 'small flock' and would never do it again. You can claim it won't smell because people will keep the enclosures clean. But not everyone will.
Lisa S. July 19, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Those birds all have one thing in common...they are inside pets. i am all for people raising chickens in their living rooms if they so choose.
J.D August 14, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Those that have chickens do not eat all the eggs- they share those healthy eggs with neighbors, friends and family. What egg would you prefer to eat or better yet, would you feed your children? A) a healthy organic egg loaded with vitamins B) a pale, infested egg with no nutritional value because the hen was not cared for or fed properly Things to consider....
Lisa S. August 16, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Somehow I think I'd prefer one of those "a pale, infested eggs with no nutritional value" to chickens outside my bedroom window any day of the week and twice on Sunday. But I guess that makes me a bad Mom.
Lisa S. August 17, 2012 at 10:59 PM
saw what I assume is your deleted comment...I want my children to live in a healthy, clean environment which is not subject to the blight of urban chicken farms. Additonally, in this economy I seriously doubt that having that in your backyard or your neighbors is going to help your property values any (my professional opinion). Last I checked most sperbarkets sell organic. there's a good alternative and supporting your local economy as well.

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