Reprinted from Camden Community News August 2009
With the census just around the corner, an inventory of just who lives where is in order—and animals come into the picture. Many of us have childhood memories of experiences with farm animals, including chickens. Most of our fowl memories are of chickens at the state fair or on a farm in the country.
But now some of the Camden Neighborhood’s residents are raising chickens in their yards as pets. Other urban folks have crossed the ‘pet boundary’ by keeping ferrets, rabbits or pigeons as pets. But chickens are a relatively new introduction to the Northside landscape.
Liz Ravio-Lynch and her family had thought about getting chickens for the past three years, and just got four Rhode Island Red-mix chickens last month. The aim is to educate her two children and of course, to get the fresh eggs. She says the chickens should each lay about five eggs per week. She also says the poop is good fertilizer for her garden.
The chickens will also be shared with the Kids Cook garden program at Loring School—she’ll be bringing the chickens to the school on a regular basis so the city kids can learn all about them, feed them and help collect the eggs.
The permit process for getting chickens in Minneapolis isn’t difficult, but you do need permission from 80 percent of your neighbors within 100 feet of where the chickens will live. You must have a permit to keep chickens, ducks or pigeons on your property in Minneapolis. Last year Minneapolis issued 35 small animal permits.
There are also many rules and regulations regarding keeping chickens in the cityâ€”cleanliness, proper diet, feeding and watering—water must be available at all times. Consideration of your neighbors is very important. Once you have a chicken, you are limited primarily by what your neighbors will tolerateâ€”especially regarding noise and cleanliness throughout the year. Ravio-Lynch says her chickens are very quiet, they only make small clucking noises—and they get along fine with the family border collie.
You’re sure to meet Ravio-Lynch’s chickens, Sola, Carmilta, Daisy and Sunflower, that were on the Victory Garden Tour last summer. They are four of the new chicken neighbors who recently found a new home in the Camden Neighborhood community.
For more information on the legal basics of raising chickens read “Raising Urban Chickens.”