Time for backyard chickens in Detroit Lakes?

Nina Kleinschmidt believes that what Detroit Lakes needs is a few good chickens

Mrs. Clucker Nutter, one of the chickens belonging to Erin Mayer, is seen in the backyard of Mayer's Fargo, N.D., in this 2015 file photo. While Fargo and several cities in Minnesota allow chickens to be kept in city limits, Detroit Lakes is not one of them. DL resident Nina Kleinschmidt aims to change that with a petition she is circulating. (Rick Abbott / Forum News Service)

Mrs. Clucker Nutter, one of the chickens belonging to Erin Mayer, is seen in the backyard of Mayer's Fargo, N.D., in this 2015 file photo. While Fargo and several cities in Minnesota allow chickens to be kept in city limits, Detroit Lakes is not one of them. DL resident Nina Kleinschmidt aims to change that with a petition she is circulating. (Rick Abbott / Forum News Service)

"Chickens have personalities, they are able to remember people," Kleinschmidt said in an email interview. "They can recognize over 100 different faces of humans and animals. They also have their own language with about 30 distinct vocalizations. If you ask a chicken owner if their laying hens are pets or for eggs, most of them will say both: They get both eggs and companions out of them."

Chickens are considered livestock and are not allowed to be kept in city limits, but Kleinschmidt aims to scramble up that status quo. She says she has collected nearly 100 signatures in an online petition circulated in hopes of getting the city council to go along with her plan: Up to four hens per household would be allowed within city limits, with restrictions that include no roosters (they're too loud, and hens can lay eggs without them), no butchering (too messy) and no selling.

An annual permit would be required, and chicken coops would have to be well-maintained, not visible from the street, and at least 10 feet away from lot lines.

Over the past few years, there has been some squawking over the urban chicken ban in DL.

"We have had a couple requests for the city to change the ordinance," said Detroit Lakes City Administrator Kelcey Klemm.

But there's a pecking order to these things, and those requests didn't fly with the relevant city committee, so the full city council never received a pro-chicken recommendation.

"Those opposed to backyard chickens are concerned about odors, noises, diseases, that kind of thing," Klemm said. "Some cities allow them and have no problems, and other cities have allowed it and had problems," he said. 

For full article, go to: DLOnline

Source, image(s), credits & more: DLOnline | Nathan Bowe