Caledonia Wisconsin to Join BackYard Chicken Movement!

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by caledonachickens, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. caledonachickens

    caledonachickens Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 26, 2008
    Residents seek OK to keep backyard chickens
    By Pete Wicklund
    Journal Times
    Saturday, January 3, 2009 11:59 PM CST

    CALEDONIA — Chickens have a place in the backyard as well as the barnyard, promoters of a proposal to allow hen raising in the village say.

    A group of residents, who operate the Web site Caledonia Chickens, have asked the village government to change rules to allow residents to keep a limited amount of chickens in an enclosure to provide “a more sustainable lifestyle as they take care of our kitchen waste and provide compost for our garden and eggs for our table.”

    Patrick Flynn, one of the chicken advocates, said he and fellow fowl supporters want a village ordinance that would allow for keeping up to six hens and a clutch of chicks for up to eight weeks at single-family properties as long as: no roosters are kept; that no slaughtering of chickens takes place; that the hens are kept in a covered enclosure or a fenced enclosure at all times; and that the enclosure be no closer than 25 feet from a residence or adjoining property.

    Current village ordinances require that a property owner have at least 5 acres before they can be allowed to raise chickens. But Flynn, who lives at 4124 Mona Park Road, said that doesn’t make sense as property owners only need 2 acres to keep a horse.

    Gregory Shaver Journal Times Mike and Tracy Bernhardt are seen with their chickens on Saturday at their home in Caledonia. The Bernhardts, along with other Caledonia residents, are pushing to change the village’s ordinances on chickens.

    The proposal is tentatively scheduled to come before the Village Board’s Legislative and Licensing Committee some time this month. Kevin Wanggaard, a village trustee and the committee chairman, said he did not yet have a date yet for the meeting when the issue will be brought up for discussion.

    Wanggaard said he has a lot of questions and concerns about the proposal, but said he is not dismissing the idea.

    “It’s always been my practice that we don’t rush trough things,” Wanggaard said. “When we take a look at something, we try to take a look at all the angles.”

    Still, Wanggaard predicted there was bound to be some opposition among residents to the proposal.

    For his part, Wanggaard said he had questions about things like what happens to the chicken waste, noise and what the liability would be if a dog got loose into a yard where chickens are kept.

    Mike and Tracy Bernhardt are already illegally keeping chickens at their 1-acre property at 1807 4 Mile Road. They have kept seven chickens for a little more than a year since they were chicks, and Tracy said they consider the birds their pets.

    “Amelia, Francesca, Daisy, Ginger, Lavender, Sara and Clara are wonderfully entertaining,” Tracy Bernhardt said. “Our friends and relatives all enjoy coming to see them and they don’t mind the fresh eggs we offer them either.

    “Our girls provide eggs for our table, they eat our kitchen scraps and their litter goes into our compost pile and then onto our garden. It’s the ultimate in recycling!”

    Bernhardt said that by keeping the hens in uncluttered conditions “you can see and taste the difference in the eggs.”

    Flynn said that by limiting the number of hens and prohibiting roosters, noise should not be an issue. Bernhardt said that the hens lay eggs without roosters, although the eggs cannot produce chicks unless they are fertilized by a rooster.

    Flynn said raccoons would be more of a threat than dogs, but said that properly constructed enclosures should protect hens from predators domestic and wild alike.

    The chicken backers say other communities have adopted rules for keeping chickens, including Madison, Green Bay and even Chicago and Minneapolis.

    As they await to make their case to village officials, Bernhardt said the chicken backers are collecting signatures in favor of the proposal at

    On the Net:

    Caledonia chickens:

    Village of Caledonia:
  2. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    I used to live in Somers.

    Good Luck!!!
  3. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] GOOD LUCK!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    It's funny how the village website promotes an urban/rural lifestyle and shows numerous photos of idyllic farmland, hay fields and horses.
  5. ole-crone

    ole-crone Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our aunt lives in Caledonia! Good luck!
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    2 acres for a horse but 5 for a CHICKEN? How big are the chickens in good ole' Wisconsin these days anyway??? (I swear they were normal size when I left all those years ago...)

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