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Monmouth considering hen ordinance

Jane Carlson
Tri States Public Radio

Monmouth residents could soon be allowed to keep chickens in town.

At the request of some residents, the city drafted a hen ordinance that was discussed by the city council this week.

Roosters would not be allowed. A license and $25 annual fee would be required.

The birds would only be allowed at single family detached dwellings.

The ordinance also sets other guidelines such as confinement and setbacks.

Resident Joe Bratcher spoke to the council. He said he started an online petition in favor of such an ordinance that more than 60 families in town have signed.

“People think if we have this chicken ordinance, we’re going to be having an apocalypse of chickens in town, that they’re going to be going down the streets and we’re going to be overtaken by chicken poo and all that stuff,” Bratcher said. “That’s not going to happen. Most people that have chickens treat them like pets.”

Bratcher said chickens are also a food supply for families.

Two council members – Susan Twomey and Brad Bone – voted against bringing back the hen ordinance for a vote.

So it will come back for a vote in August with a couple minor revisions and appears poised to pass, unless the other council members chicken out.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson is TSPR's regional reporter.