Ferndalians Can Now Keep Up to Six Backyard Chickens

Ferndalians Can Now Keep Up to Six Backyard Chickens

Ferndale, MI- Ferndale City Council voted Monday night to increase the number of chickens permitted by residents from three to six.

The item was passed on Monday night’s consent agenda.  Ferndale first approved backyard chickens in 2012, with a limit of three.  The ordinance retains requirements for registration and for inspection of the coop.  The ordinance also prohibits male chickens due to the noise. It also bans slaughter of fowl onsite, and has provisions to help deter rodents.

Councilperson Melanie Piana helped in the creation of the 2012 ordinance.  “Chickens are a lot of work, but it’s rewarding to the families that have them.  People want access to fresh food, that they know where it comes from.”

Councilperson Dan Martin introduced the ordinance revision expanding the number.  “We’ve learned that as chickens get older, they produce fewer eggs.  People don’t want to get rid of their chickens, but they aren’t getting as many eggs as they used to,” Martin said. “This allows them to expand their flock without the pressure of getting rid of their older birds.”

Martin said there have not been any issues since the original ordinance was implemented, and that annual inspections help ensure that chicken keepers are good neighbors. “Other communities allow multiple chickens and this generally isn’t a problem,” he said.  “But council can always re-visit the ordinance if there is.”

For more details on the ordinance, click here.

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