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Resident Asks City To Allow Backyard Chickens


A proposal to be able to house chickens inside Rhinelander will return to committee.

Jen VanOrder of River Street asked to establish an ordinance allowing 4 or less hens at a private residence. She listed a number of positives health and environmental reasons for the change including healthier food.

She says most people are concerned about waste and noise...

"...a flock of 4-5 chickens are just as clean, if not cleaner, than one medium-sized pet dog, and they produce about the same amount of waste as a medium-sized pet dog.

VanOrder says hens are far less disruptive than a constantly barking neighborhood dog. Roosters would not be allowed.

She says other cities allowing hens limit them to four or less birds and all must be the much quieter hens. She says chickens require far less space than commonly thought, and can easily be contained in a backyard structure. Green Bay requires owners to have an annual renewable permit and has strict controls.

Fire Chief and Inspector Terry Williams thought the process was reasonable but could lead to complaints..

"....everything she has laid out here seems reasonable. My fear is that we're going to have issues with neighbors..."

The committee asked Williams to talk more with VanOrder and put together a proposal for the next Protection of Persons and Property committee meeting.

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