Fifth Grader Makes Case For More Backyard Chickens

NEBRASKA CITY – Nebraska City fifth  grader Tigerlilly Weaver asked city commissioners Monday to change city codes that prohibit  most citizens from the ability to own and raise backyard chickens.

Citing current city ordinance, keeping of chickens is not allowed within 100 feet of any residence.  The proposed change would allow the keeping of chickens by residents of single-family homes who obtain a permit.

Coops would need to be kept in the backyard, 20 feet from any neighboring dwelling and 10 feet from any property lines. This ordinance change would also limit the number of hens allowed to 7 or less with no allowance for roosters.

Weaver spoke about the importance of sustainable living and the roll chickens have in that.

Weaver: A lesson in self sustainability, along with growing vegetables and keeping compost chickens are the next step to becoming self-sustaining.”

Additional benefits outlined by Weaver were fresh eggs, fertilizer for gardens, pest control, cutting down on food waste, and cruelty free farming.

According to Weaver, other communities in Nebraska have laws that are more chicken friendly, and she would like to see Nebraska City adapt their city code to become more chicken friendly as well.

Weaver: “These changes to city code are similar to others in Nebraska towns like Milford, Grand Island, Omaha, Ashland, and Lincoln. These codes are enforced by police and seem to be going smoothly with very few complaints.”

City council took the matter under advisement and directed city attorney David Partsch will work with commissioners on drafting a new ordinance that is more chicken friendly. This new ordinance is scheduled to be presented at the next city council meeting on Dec. 4.

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