As the public's conciousness increases about home-grown produce and eating seasonal vegetables, many are now saying that raising chickens in the city is the next step for sustainable living. The idea to loosen the laws about urban chickens went up before the City Council, and proponents began a city-wide campaign to draft a new chicken ordinance.
A Missourian article by Bailey Jones and Paige Pritchard quoted Greg Baka, a self-employed businessman, about his support for changing the current restrictions on raising chickens. "Gardening has become such a common and popular thing, having a few chickens is a sort of natural extension of that,” Baka said. “If you’re already raising your own vegetables, to be able to raise your own eggs goes along well with that hobby.”
Current city ordinances do not specify the number of chickens allowed at a residence, only that half an acre be allotted per chicken. A proposal by the Board of Health recommended a maximum of four chickens, while residents wanting a change in the ordinance are asking for that figure to be changed to 15 chickens.
If the city maintains the maximum number of chickens allowed to four, Columbia would be considerably stricter than most Missouri cities that have changed their ordinances to allow chickens. Kansas City allows residents to own 15 chickens, Independence allows 20, and Springfield allows 25.
The Missourian article reports that the city has only received one complaint in the past eight years since the ordinance allowing chickens was passed.
Do you think raising chickens in urban environments is a step forward for sustainable lifestyle or a step back in the wrong direction?