Elgin making chickens permanent residents

 
 
Updated 2/11/2016 4:32 PM
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  • Todd Martin of Elgin is among residents who have permits for backyard chickens. The city is making the program permanent for up to 25 single-family homes.

      Todd Martin of Elgin is among residents who have permits for backyard chickens. The city is making the program permanent for up to 25 single-family homes. Laura stoecker | Staff Photographer

Elgin is permanently allowing backyard chickens, setting a maximum of 25 single-family homes permits.

City council members voted 7-2 to make the ordinance change at their committee of the whole meeting Wednesday. The pilot program in 2015 allowed up to 15 backyard chicken permits; there are nine coops in town.

The endeavor is all about sustainability and growing local food sources, Councilwomen Tish Powell and Carol Rauschenberger said.

Councilman John Prigge said he objected to a provision allowing baby chickens to be kept indoors until they are fully feathered, or about six to eight weeks. Councilman Terry Gavin said he doesn't object to the program itself, but to the amount of staff time devoted to it.

The average startup cost is $940, including the coop, permits and supplies, city officials said.

Garfield Farm Museum hosts a backyard chicken workshop at 1 p.m. Saturday at 3N016 Garfield Road, Campton Hills. Attendees will learn about chicken care, breed selection, incubation choices and more. Registration is $6. Call (630) 584-8485 or email info@garfieldfarm.org.

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