GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – The push to allow chickens in Grand Rapids has hit a road block. On Tuesday night, city commissioners in Grand Rapids voted against an ordinance that would have made it legal for residents to have a chicken coop in their backyard. Many people want to raise chickens to have their own food source, but as many people began to move out of the country and into the suburbs, chickens were outlawed in many areas. Recently, there's been a renewed energy to bring them back, but that idea was shot down in Grand Rapids Tuesday night. “Urban chickens just aren't wanted in Grand Rapids,” said Walt Gutowski, President of the Grand Rapids City Commission, “at least for most people.”
This was a pretty sad news report for chicken lovers in our area, and the word is out that no counter-proposals will be made. I don't believe that folks have anything against the hens themselves. The big questions not answered are how to ensure that unwanted guests (mice/rats) would be controlled, and odors might be upsetting to neighbors. And if the commissioners think those are the toughest concerns, they haven't figured out exactly how to appoint "Chicken Police" to be sure all chickens are removed from the city!!!
Odors would certainly be of concern, but chicken coops are not smelly if they are taken care of properly. Our hen house is cleaned out completely once a week, and nest boxes are cleaned daily. I take care to powder the house when it is cleaned, to prevent lice and mites in the building or on the roosts. The chicken run is raked every couple of days, and if a person does not have a garden compost area, the used litter and debris can be bagged and tagged for trash pick up services.
Cuckoo Maran Hen
I believe in taking proper care of my animals, but the fact does remain that many folks just WOULDN'T. Excuses would range from loss of interest, ignorance of poultry care, not enough time, and pure laziness. I'm sure there are more. So, perhaps in the grand scheme of things, the protection of other city dwellers and the chickens themselves (not to mention the Complaint Department!) the best answer to the proposal has been chosen.
Hen House for Rent!
And, what do the folks do with the chickens they must now re-home? WELL-L-L-L---the "hubbs" thinks we should open a boarding house for hapless hens!