One chicken foot forward

It’s spring, which means it’s chicken season, and several communities are thinking about taking that great big, scary leap and actually allowing chickens in their city limits, joining such places as New York, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Milwaukee and Madison.

The Racine Journal Times reports that an ordinance is on the City Council docket. The proposal was backed unanimously by the city Board of Health; it would allow single-family, owner-occupied households in the city to keep up to four hens, but no roosters. The last time city officials discussed the possibility of allowing chickens in 2010, officials ended up receiving about 250 signatures from residents opposed to the idea, and the Committee of the Whole ultimately voted to set it aside.

Meanwhile, a ten-year-old in Waunakee is asking her elders, “why not chickens?” Why does it take a child to ask an obvious question. The Waunakee Tribune reports that Gen Mallin has sent letters to her immediate neighbors in Meadowbrook informing them about her proposal, and they may soon see a homeowners association meeting on the topic. The Village of Waunakee has an ordinance prohibiting livestock,

On a more positive note, the City of Elgin has issued its first chicken permits under a one-year pilot program. The programs allow up to 15 residents to keep up to four hens -- no roosters -- in coops in the backyards of single-family homes.

Of course, in places like Hollywood, the celebrities can have all the chickens they want. We thought we’d pass along this photo report of celebrity chicken keepers for those interested in such things.