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Backyard Chicken Movement Outfoxes Restrictions

As the ranks of backyard chicken enthusiasts grows across North America, municipalities are wrestling with ways to keep it safe and legal.

Backyard chicken advocates are pushing back against bans and looking for creative ways to get around restrictions.

As cities and towns across North America grapple with the dangers and benefits of backyard chickens, advocates are looking for creative solutions.

In Windsor, Canada, a dozen small-scale chicken raisers formed a cooperative to get around restrictions on backyard birds. Their group, “Cluckative,” shares space outside city limits, pools labor and access to sustainable food sources, like spent grain from a beer brewery. Domestic fowl are banned within the Windsor city limits but allowed in the country.

Many communities have passed bylaws allowing backyard birds.

Oswego, New York, recently passed an ordinance that allows backyard chickens, with the caveat that homeowners’ associations can impose their own bans.

An ordinance in Gloucester Township, New Jersey allows backyard chickens as long as they are not raised for slaughter.

Big cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco allow limited raising of backyard fowl.

Meanwhile, some urban areas are cracking down with more restrictions.

Washington, DC has floated a ban on backyard chickens, making it clear that chickens are not considered a “common cage bird,” closing a possible loophole in pet ownership.

Read More:

  • Group Farming For Eggs In The County To Avoid Running Afoul Of Windsor Bylaws (CBC)
  • Do You Raise Chickens In D. C.? Their Days May Be Numbered (Washington Post)
Chad Bouchard

Chad Bouchard is a veteran reporter and WFIU alum who has covered wild and wooly beats from Indonesia to Capitol Hill. His radio work has aired on NPR, PRI and Voice of America, and his writing has appeared in The Sunday Telegraph and Scientific American’s health magazine, Lives. He has also spent a lifetime gardening, foraging and eating weird stuff.

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