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Chicagoans showcase backyard chickens amid issues with proposed livestock ordinance

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“..we know that the existing ordinances that are in place regarding no animal slaughtering, nuisance, noise ordinances and animal welfare ordinances have been effective in mitigating any problem that a neighbor might have with their neighbor keeping livestock.”

By Maia McDonald,
Environmental Health and Wellness Editor, The Real Chi
Free Spirit Media
Oct 30, 2019 (Must see video. Mike)


“You get an immense amount of joy from raising chickens,” he said. “Like, they’re funny little animals. For sure, it can be expensive raising chickens. It helped that we were able to do it ourselves and we had some extra material, so our upfront costs weren’t massive. But the direct benefits are you don’t have to buy eggs a lot of the time. You can also give eggs to your neighbors. You can sell them if you want so that is a way to recoup costs.”

Monica Brown, who lives near Washington Park, has participated in nine of the last 10 coop tours. It was her love of cooking and the help of a mentor that led her to consider raising chickens. Now, she has several heritage breed chickens that she cares for, all of which she chose because of their different colored eggs. Brown’s chickens live in a coop underneath the deck of the two-flat Brown grew up in and currently lives.

“Learning how to raise some of my food was important to me and has also provided me with a source of recreation in a way,” Brown said. “Recreation and enjoyment. I really enjoy gardening. I enjoy taking care of chickens and the eggs that they produce are fabulous.”

In its ninth year, the Windy City Coop Tour hoped residents like Silvesto and Brown could dispel myths and misconceptions about those who raise urban livestock in the city. This comes amid a proposed ordinance, officially called the Chicago Livestock Ordinance (O2019-7576), headed by Alderman Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) and Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward) that would severely limit Chicagoans’ ability to raise urban livestock. The ordinance was originally proposed after Chicago Animal Care and Control broke up an alleged cockfighting ring in West Englewood. Laura Calvert, executive director of Advocates for Urban Agriculture, expressed her disagreement with the response to the cockfighting ring at a recent AUA meeting.

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