Dubuque, which formerly had a $300 permit fee for backyard chickens, has recently changed its ordinance to virtually eliminate the permitting process and lift the cap on the number of hens residents can keep.
Cori Burbach, Dubuque's sustainability coordinator, said the change reflects rising popularity of chickens. "A lot of people want to know where their food comes from and really be kind of self-supportive. That's the biggest thing that we hear people that are excited about chickens say."
Meanwhile, Rockford isn’t so sure about chickens, but at least they're thinking about it. Chickens are currently illegal in Rockford, but the City Council is considering a change to allow them, according to the Rock River Times.
Loves Park and Machesney Park in Northern Illinois also prohibit chickens, but Beloit, Wisconsin, went pro-chicken last year.
In Iowa, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Waverly allow urban chickens, but people must apply for a permit and pay a fee, which varies from city to city. Iowa City charges a $100 permit fee and Waterloo charges $200. Cedar Falls doesn’t allow chickens.
Perhaps now they will all look to Dubuque for leadership and join the chicken revolution.