A former Madison east-sider wants to bring a piece of her past neighborhood to her current city of La Crosse, with a chicken ordinance modeled after the capital city’s law. Natalie Rose Kemp can cite nearly a dozen benefits including egg production.
Kemp says the feathered friends providing fresh food makes sense not only health wise for individuals, but for a community as well. The registered nurse says chickens reduce the amount of insects, including ticks and mosquitoes, resulting less vector borne illness.
She cites environmental benefits as using chicken waste in compost cuts down on lawn chemical fertilizer thus reducing runoff into waterways.
The feathered friends may even be a way to peck at the recession. Kemp says raising chicks to an egg laying adult is cheaper than purchasing eggs and by using food scraps to feed the birds, there is less waste in garbage which translates to cost savings for the city.
Her legalization drive has stirred up the community.”People have stopped over to talk about either their experience raising chickens or how excited they are to have this be legal,” says Kemp.
The proposal skimmed through La Crosse’s Judiciary and Administration Committee last week on a 3-2 vote with a caveat that included neighbors’ approval for the chickens. Last night the city’s Committee of the Whole split 8-8. The full council will hear the measure, without the committee’s recommendation, on Thursday.
Critics of backyard chickens cite potential noise issues and limited resources to enforce such an ordinance.