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 email@example.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!