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New Lenox, Illinois

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Anyone else live in New Lenox want to help me change the ordinance?  It's very vague as it stands, but I've been corresponding with the mayor who says they are not allowed, and years ago it was brought before the village board for consideration and was quickly shot down, mostly for the "Noise" and "Smell" arguments.


Please let me know if you'd like to assist me; I could use all the help I can get!!


post #2 of 13
I live in New Lenox, too, and would love to have a few hens for eggs. Not sure how much help I could be, but I support you. smile.png I just don't understand how Naperville, Westmont and other similar towns can have chickens, but we can't. Restrictions as to coop location, no roosters, restricting the number of hens, and permits should be adequate. 3 hens, 25+ feet from my neighbors house shouldn't be an issue. Have you presented the mayor with the guidelines from other towns and asked why those same guidelines couldn't be enforced here?
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

This is what I emailed him:

Hi Mr. Baldermann,


A while back I asked you if you knew if chickens were allowed in New Lenox, and you were pretty sure they weren’t.  Above is a link to a community page maintained by a woman fighting to keep her backyard chickens in Tinley Park.  There are many links to articles in which other Illinois towns have revised ordinances to allow a small number of chickens to be kept by families as pets and egg producers, including Homewood, Downers Grove, Evanston, Deerfield, Brookfield, Grayslake.  Many other towns are working towards the same. 


Especially in light of the many continuing threats to the health of our planet, I think it would reflect positively on the Village of New Lenox to join these other towns in revising ordinances that discourage residents from adopting sustainable practices like keeping chickens, water conservation, composting and vegetable gardening.  I would argue that chickens (excluding roosters) are a lot quieter and less trouble than dogs (when is the last time you heard about a chicken mauling a toddler?) yet everyone is allowed a dog or two with little restrictions.


A great synopsis of the reasons to keep backyard chickens can be found here:



Probably the most obvious reason to keep chickens is to provide yourself with a steady supply of fresh, healthy eggs. Because you control the chickens’ diet, you know exactly what is going into the food your family eats. Chickens can also provide a source of meat, although this is really for the hardcore in a backyard environment!




Old bedding straw from the chicken coop is an excellent addition to the compost heap, and chicken manure gives your garden a huge nitrogen boost. But it doesn’t end there – you can also let the chickens roam the garden beds to eat weed seeds and insect pests and scratch over the soil. This is best done at the end of the season so they don’t damage your precious seedlings.



Keeping chickens is good for the environment, as it allows you to opt out of the factory-farmed egg production system and eat super-local food. They’ll also happily devour your food scraps from the kitchen, as well as any trimmings and spent plants from your vegetable patch. Even lawn clippings, autumn leaves and other yard waste can be handed over to the chickens – what they don’t eat will be turned over and broken down until lovely compost remains. Much better than sending everything to landfill!



Chickens have distinct personalities, and can be handled like a pet. Their daily interactions are entertaining to watch, especially their antics when you throw a treat into their pen. The huge variety of size, shape and color available makes chickens a lovely ornamental addition to the backyard, too.



Children can learn a lot about where food comes from by keeping backyard chickens. They’ll also develop an appreciation of living things, be encouraged to explore the outdoors, and will learn the responsibility of feeding, watering and checking the health of their chickens.



Organic free-range eggs are expensive to buy from the store. Producing your own eggs is quite easy and very cost effective. Add to that the savings through reduced need for garden pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. You can also sell fresh eggs to friends and neighbors if you have a surplus.


Please let me know what my next steps should be to working on getting the ordinance regarding keeping chickens in New Lenox changed.  Thanks for your time!


This is what his response was:


Hi Rachel,

Years back this was brought up and the concerns about smell and noise ensured that it wasn't going anywhere. I looked up the pros and cons of backyard chickens and every site, including those supportive of having backyard chickens, says smell and noise are a reality. Even females will make a lot of noise in the absence of a rooster. I don't have a problem bringing it up at our work session in April if you'd like. You can be present to speak also.


post #4 of 13
Rachelewhite are you going to the work session in April? It would be good to have someone there to make sure the issue is actually brought up and represented fairly. I can see it being brought up with rolling eyes"more crazy chicken people are bugging me to have the ordinance changed again"-our mayor.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

I was considering going to the April work session, but wanted to make sure I had myself organized and ready for it, plus as much support as I can muster up!

post #6 of 13

I just noticed this thread.


Has the session happened yet with the village or has any additional efforts been made?  I would be willing to help.

post #7 of 13

Hi!  I, too, am a New Lenox resident who really wants 2 quiet hens!  I would love to help get New Lenox on par with our surrounding towns.

post #8 of 13

Rachel, did you go to the meeting? Have there been any developments with this situation? I live in an unincorporated area outside of Wilmington, Il and a friend of mine in town just told me it's not legal to have them in Wilmington, either! I couldn't believe this! It's a small, community with strong farming roots.

How can Chicago allow them, and yet New Lenox and Wilmington don't? I encouraged her to go to the town meetings and try to get this changed. We all need to work together to get these laws changed!

post #9 of 13
I also live in New Lenox and I am all for allowing backyard chickens. I used to live in Wisconsin and had 10 hens with fresh eggs everyday. Noise is not an issue with hens. As far as smell, a clean coop is a happy healthy hen. If the village requested a reasonable license fee per hen with a 3 hen limit to certain friendly breeds, I bet they would allow it if they knew it could generate revenue. I've got little barking lap dogs all around me that never stop. As long as the coop is well constructed, kept clean with a 3 hen limit, neighbors would never even know they existed.
post #10 of 13
I live in unincorporated new lenox and I used to have chickens till a job change and I couldn't give them proper care. Chickens are docile quiet animals, hens I'm talking about. I had 14 and you couldn't hear them over the highway noise or my neighbors dogs barking. My neighbor across the street has 4 yappers and the neighbor next to me has 4 yappers that bark aaallll day long yet there's nothing keeping them from having loud obnoxious dogs. And for the smell as long as people clean the coop their is reletivly no smell. For some chickens are pets and others it's food.
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