Raising Chickens: Back-yard birds a growing trend 2014.07.30

When the subject of back-yard chickens comes up, Morenci city administrator Michael Sessions is hearing a range of responses. Some citizens wonder why the planning commission is wasting its time with something as ridiculous as chickens; others think it's an excellent idea.

Are you on the side that thinks it's a joke? Consider Lansing, Flint, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Northville...the list goes on. Chickens are allowed in all of those cities. Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas...once again, the list goes on and on. Communities large and small across the country are allowing citizens to enjoy fresh eggs produced right in their own back yard.

Why a back yard chicken coop? For most urban “farmers,” it’s a matter of eggs, but many people see chickens as a good pet—one that pays rent—and a good chance for children to learn to care for an animal. Other chicken owners mention the source of garden fertilizer and an easy method of insect control.

Whatever the reason, back-yard chickens are becoming more and more prevalent. The ordinance that Morenci’s planning commission is considering would restrict the birds to yards large enough to prevent positioning a coop near a property line. It would also prohibit the noisier male side of the chicken family.

If the planning commission moves forward with a proposal for city council members to consider, it will be interesting to see where the group stands on the issue—continue to prohibit or join the growing trend. 

Think it through. You don’t want to end up with egg on your face.