Sunday, March 01, 2015

Letting our chickens come home to roost in the Summit City?

Jacques DuBois of St Paul MN feeding his flock
via Twin Cities circa 2012
Its a fowl request of which if allowed to hatch would only begin to resolve the roost of sustainability practices throughout the Summit City. And while my response is feathered with caution as this does peck at certain sanitation concerns it is still worth scratching across the interwebs for you to flock together and season the grass of possible success.

presents: The Pros & Cons
and Tools For Newbies

I should take this moment of calm, to let you know that this initiative is being spearheaded by Michele Berkes-Adams, who is also one of the Co Founders of Food Not Lawns Fort Wayne Chapter, but securing this modification to City Code will benefit more than just one organization, it will go towards an overall long game establishing food security and economic sustainable practices within urban farming environments, which will increase sustainable entrepreneurial and economic opportunities here in the Summit City. Currently they have just over two hundred signatures and they are looking for a thousand before presenting the ordinance to City Council.


Urban chickens (backyard chickens) are chickens that are raised within city limits for their eggs, companionship, and other important roles in the urban landscape. Raising urban chickens is associated with sustainable agriculture, permaculture, and the local-food movement -- which emphasizes participating in home-grown foods and food security. Proponents of the urban chicken movement cite many benefits.

First, advocates claim home-raised livestock helps minimize the fuel use and carbon emissions that result from transporting food to markets. Second, urban chickens give owners control over how the chickens are treated and what they are fed. This is important to some owners because research has shown that chickens that have access to the outdoors produce more nutritious eggs than chickens raised indoors. Third, chicken droppings are good fertilizer and can be used in compost piles. Finally, chickens will eat garden pests and thus they provide a chemical free pest solution.

Urban Coop Company
Round Top Chicken Coop
Many municipalities have recently drafted and/or passed ordinances regarding chickens within their city limits. This particular proposal drafted for Fort Wayne includes recommendations that are influenced by what other cities have found useful.

2. Recommendations for legislation

There should be a limit of 6 birds kept on each lot, although, since they are social birds, there should never be less than two or three together. No roosters will be permitted. Hens must be kept in a suitable enclosure such as a hen house or chicken coop with at least 2 square feet available for each chicken.

Enclosure must be located at least 10 feet from any property line, and at least 20 feet from any neighboring dwelling. Enclosure should be at least 35 feet from any stream or river. Enclosures must be kept clean and feed kept in a airtight container. There must be at least 10 square feet of permeable space on the lot for each bird. No slaughtering for meat, breeding animals for sale, or selling eggs will be permitted.


Jeannette Jaquish said...

I would love to keep a few chickens, but how do you keep them warm in the winter? A heated building?

F6's Editor said...

Michele Berkes-Adams said

They generally keep themselves warm in the winter by ruffling their feathers. If the temps get really low, a simple heat lamp in the coop will give them enough heat.

Ken Miller replied

Yep^. And they'll keep one another warm by huddling together. But a heat-lamp is the least I would provide them during colder seasons.

klucker said...

Did Michele present this to the city yet? If not, can someone find out when she plans to do so?

FoodNotLawns Fort Wayne said...

We are trying it again! Please help us by signing the new petition and sharing it. Thanks!

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