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Backyard Chickens - Scott County, IA

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To be presented to members of the Davenport, IA City Council

Please allow “domestic chickens” in the Livestock and Poultry ordinance.

Ref: (Chapter 6.04.055 - Livestock and poultry prohibited)

City Councils in these Iowa cities allow the raising of backyard chickens: Des Moines, West Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Iowa City, Sioux City, Urbandale, Ames, Council Bluffs, Ottumwa, Bedford, Clive, Knoxville, Webster City and Coralville.

The purpose of this petition is to inform the City Council about the renewed interest in growing ones’ own food - including raising backyard chickens – which provide healthful, wholesome eggs with superior nutrition and taste.

We agree that any change in the present ordinance must consider everyone in the neighborhood; therefore, the proposed ordinance must address the three most common concerns: noise, smell, and disease(1). These concerns rarely reflect small-scale flocks, but stem from large-scale chicken confinement operations.

Hens are generally very quiet and create less noise than wild birds, pet dogs, playing children and lawn mowers. Chickens begin to roost in their coop at dusk and remain quiet throughout the night, unless disturbed by predators. Roosters, which tend to be the noisy ones, are not necessary for egg production and will not be allowed in the proposed ordinance.

Regular coop maintenance effectively alleviates smell. Chicken droppings that accumulate in coop bedding make excellent garden fertilizer and also contribute to effective soil management.

Backyard chicken have more room to roam, access to sun and fresh air, and eat natural and diverse diets (insects, grubs, garden weeds), which keep them very healthy. Commercial flocks are prone to disease because of crowded confinement buildings, no access to sunshine and fresh air, and are fed commercial feed. There are no cases of Avian flu in humans on record with the CDC. Avian influenza spreads through contact with wild aquatic birds.(2)

Request for Change of Ordinance
We would like to join the other Iowa cities that allow backyard chickens successfully.

Therefore, we the undersigned, ask the City Council to restore the right of people to raise chickens for their own use by allowing “domestic chickens” in the Livestock and Poultry ordinance. (Chapter 6.04.055)


1. Residential Urban Chicken Keeping: An examination of 25 Cities.

KT Ladie, CRP580, Spring 2008, University of New Mexico, May 7, 2008

2. URL: Information on Avian Influenza [CDC] - http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/

This petition is sponsored by Backyard Chickens - Scott County, IA


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