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April 2014

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Big Bend considers allowing chickens

Village of Big Bend - Village residents might soon have something to cluck about.

An ordinance is in the works that would allow residents to keep up to six chickens hens on residential properties. Village Clerk Bobbi Woppert explained that several residents recently showed an interest in keeping chickens, which prompted the ordinance being drafted.

The working, unapproved ordinance would prohibit residents from keeping roosters and from slaughtering chickens outdoors within village limits. It also prohibits chickens from being kept in a residential dwelling or garage; they must be kept in the property's rear yard and must be at least 25 feet from any residential dwelling on an adjacent lot and 10 feet away from the property line. Chickens would need to be kept in a fenced area at all times and have a structure devoted exclusively for use as a hen house. The hen house would be required to be a covered, predator-resistant, well-ventilated structure and provide a minimum of 2 square feet per chicken. The house must be kept in a clean, dry and sanitary condition at all times.

The proposed ordinance also states that chicken feed, if stored outdoors, must be kept in sealed containers.

Anyone who keeps chickens in the village would have to obtain an annual permit.

The ordinance also states that if you live in a neighborhood that has residential covenants that conflict with this ordinance, the neighborhood covenant takes precedence.

A working draft of the ordinance has already been reviewed and approved by the Public Safety Committee. The Plan Commission will review it Oct. 25. If it approves, the ordinance will likely be on the Nov. 1 Village Board agenda.

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