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Chickens receive a warm welcome from village PDF Print E-mail
Written by JOE POIRIER   
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 17:16

Controversial in other communities, ordinance allowing fowl unanimously approved by board

    Chickens are coming to the Village of Grafton after the Village Board unanimously approved a new ordinance on Monday, Aug. 7,  that will allow residents to own chickens as pets.
    In Ozaukee County, outside of townships, chickens are allowed in the Village of Fredonia, and the cities of Mequon and Cedarburg.
    While not controversial in Grafton, chickens have been a point of contention in the past in Ozaukee County. In 2013, the City of Port Washington rejected a change in its ordinance that would’ve allowed residents to keep chickens as pets.
    The ordinance says residents can keep a maximum of four hens and no roosters. The permit would be issued by the inspection department with a $50 application fee and a $25 annual renewal permit.
    Chickens must be kept in a coop and pen, which must be in clean condition at all times. The coops must be located at least 40 feet from neighboring houses.
    The coop must provide no less than three cubic feet of space per chicken and be connected to a secured and fully ventilated pen with an appropriately sized nesting box, which can’t exceed two chickens per box, the ordinance says.
    It also says chickens must be kept as pets for personal use only with no owner selling or bartering eggs or engaging in chicken breeding for commercial purpose. No slaughtering is allowed.
    The village’s director of planning and development Jessica Wolff said owners must register their chickens with the state, like any other farm animal.
    “If there were any issues with diseases like the bird flu, we could pull those records of the owners from the state,” Wolff said.
    The permits will not be issued to any multi-residential properties, which include condominiums and duplexes.
    “My family and I are excited about the new ordinance for keeping domesticated chickens,” Rachel Mumme, one of the petitioners for the ordinance, said last month. “We see this as an opportunity to teach our children about the source of our food in a direct way, and to be responsible for the birds and for what comes to our table.
    “Keeping chickens is a great way to reduce food waste, help control backyard bugs and fertilize the garden. Plus, from all we’ve seen, chickens are just plain fun and make great pets.”

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