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Chicken Raising Program Brings Questions and Answers

Trustees and potential chicken owners have questions for each other with Village Board scheduled to vote Feb. 18.

What started with citizen inquiry about raising egg producing chickens in Deerfield is about to turn into a one-year pilot program that promises to be as much a work in progress as the discussion about the issue at Monday’s Village Board of Trustees meeting.

If things go according to plan, the Board will vote on a one-year test program Feb. 18 that will let up to five residents have as many as four egg producing chickens in an approved coop in their yard. No roosters or hens no longer able to lay eggs will be allowed.

Earlier: Chicken Ordinance Takes First Step

Citizens began to ask questions of the Village, according to Assistant to the Village Manager Andrew Lichterman. “We got letters from residents,” he said. “We took a look to see what could be done.”

The Trustees and Mayor Harriet Rosenthal had a detailed discussion during a meeting of the Committee of the Whole in November and directed the Village staff to develop a program. That plan was presented Monday.

During the first reading of the ordinance Monday, both potential chicken owners and trustees had more questions than answers as they had a conversation about the potential pitfalls. Trustee Alan Farkas recognized the need for a deliberate approach.

“There will be room to evolve down the line,” Farkas said. He also indicated an all inclusive ordinance allowing anyone wishing license to get one immediately by meeting the rules would not be likely to pass today. “Opposition is based on fear and misunderstanding.”

Two Deerfield residents who plan to take advantage of the pilot program are Barbara and James Solheim. They came before the Board with a plan and questions about their intent.

“We want to get chicks,” Barbara Solheim said. “We understand in five or ix months they will be laying and (keep it up) for a couple of years. After that we want to keep them as pets” She wanted to know if she could keep the hens beyond their egg laying years.

She got some reassurance from Trustee Mary Oppenheim “Anyone who will be here in the beginning will be there for the next step,” she said. “We would expect (the original licensees) to be first in line to have their licenses renewed.”

Though a number of trustees expressed support, not all were in agreement. “Would I want a chicken coop next door and the answer is no,” Trustee William Seiden said.

Trustee Barbara Struthers has no problem with the proposal. “I grew up with chickens in my yard and this is fine,” she said.

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Tom February 06, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Thank god. Lets get this done. Does Deerfoeld have room for maybe 20 chickens? I think we can squeeze them in. All the kids in our area have been talking about the chickens. Will the school take us? Can we go over and ask them questions? Can we eat an egg? And noise? We have to call the police about teens partying the park all the time... Out law teens? Regularly, people rolling the stop sign, speeding thru our school zone talking on their phone & holding their coffee in the other hand - kids in back to be dropped off at school. Out law talking on phones, speeding in school zones & rolling stops? Ok bad example. But, if I have to deal that one 10 times a day (the police are great but, can't be evry where) then deal with a couple chickens so ur kids get some fun.

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