July 12, 2012
The city of Berea, Kentucky is just the most recent addition to a growing list of cities to just now allow its residents to raise hens, not roosters, in their backyards. The Berea city council, however, added several stipulations to the new ordinance.
The first two requirements are understandable:
- No roosters, only hens, due to the sound nuisance
- No more than six hens at a time to keep the clucking down
But there are now some disgruntled residents over the final requirements: a city permit and reporting requirements. Chicken owners must report the number of chickens they are raising and housing annually and must pay a fee in order to get the permit.
The permit, which costs $35, does not require the prospective chicken owner to know anything about how to raise chickens and has no training element.
Unfortunately, many local governments are seeing backyard chicken keepers as an opportunity to make a quick buck and this action has prompted many fiscally conservative voices to label chicken permits a pathetic attempt by these governments to extort some quick cash out of its citizens.
Most cities, including Sacramento, California and Sag Harbor, New York, chose to not require permits in their ordinances concerning raising chickens. A permit, one must suppose, is still an improvement from draconian outright bans like the ones in effect in Great Neck, New York and Black Jack, Missouri.
As more and more cities legalize chicken ownership, what do you think about these permit fees? Let us know by commenting whether or not you think cities and other local governments should be able to require permits for owning chickens or not.