The Janesville City Council is ruffling some feathers by voting down an ordinance that would’ve allowed residents to keep chickens in their backyards. The chamber Monday night struck down the proposal to allow four hens on a residential property. Concerns were raised that the city lacks the resources to properly enforce the plan.

Critical of plan (:18)


Council members said they didn’t have enough information on the permits or licenses necessary for the chickens or specifications for chicken coops. Critics also said extensive work been done to restore dilapidated buildings in the community and similar efforts would have to take place with unsightly coops.

Supporters said neighbors of chicken owners will keep them honest and have recourse the same way in dealing with a noisy dog. One woman testified that chickens are the next progression in her lifestyle, which already includes growing her own vegetables and fruit and buying meat from local farms.

This sustainability argument was echoed by Council Member Yuri Rashkin. After the hearing Rashkin said he’s disappointed the council isn’t more open-minded about the backyard birds.

Yuri Rashkin (:22)


Supporters of the poultry project say they’ll work harder to change the council members’ minds.

Contributed by Beth Wheelock-WCLO

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