A Mother's Curiosity Leads to a Proposed Chicken Ordinance in Machesney Park

MACHESNEY PARK (WIFR) – A mother's curiosity is leading to controversy over a proposed ordinance in Machesney Park that would allow residents to own chickens.

Kristine Brown says she would like to house chickens in her backyard, but she wasn't sure if it was legal to own them. Months ago she asked her local trustee Kate Tammen about it, and now the village is considering an ordinance that would allow residents to own two hens.

Kristine started researching and buying organic foods when her youngest son Luke wasn't gaining weight properly as a baby. She says she buys a lot of organic eggs but it's costing her family too much and owning chickens would help her afford to keep her family healthy. Some are saying all they see is a potential safety hazard.

"If you want to raise chickens, I'm not against you raising chickens,” says local political candidate Joe Terrell. “I'm saying I don't want you to do it in the city in a high density area where people are going to get diseases."

"[With] backyard chickens you don't have that problem,” says Brown. “If you go to a big huge poultry farm, yeah, sure, you could probably pick something up, but not from backyard chickens.”

The Machensey Park Planning and Zoning Committee will go over the ordinance tomorrow night. Kristine says she'll be there.

We're told it may be a couple of months before we find out if the ordinance passes.

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