Keeping a chicken coop is an urban farming trend that many communities are egging on, and the Golden Valley City Council passed an ordinance by a 3-2 vote on Tuesday night to allow residential roosts.
Both Minneapolis and St. Paul allow homeowners to house their own poultry, and the urban farmers who spoke with FOX 9 News say it's fun to have feathered friends around.
"I thought it sounded fun and they are much more fun than I even imagined," said Stephanie King.
When King first began to consider keeping a coop a couple of years ago, almost everything she read said it would be easy to raise her own chickens. Now, she has three that literally eat out of the palm of her hand in the back yard of her Richfield home.
"They fertilize everywhere. They eat weeds. They till everything whether you want them to or not," she said. "They are better pets than they get credit for."
Golden Valley may soon be the latest community to join the chicken-friendly flock. Over the past few years, more than half a dozen cities across the metro have passed laws legalizing urban poultry -- and the movement appears to be growing in popularity.
"I see it among young people I teach at the University of Minnesota," said City Councilwoman Paula Pentel. "They want to know where their food comes from. They are very interested in producing it themselves."
The Golden Valley proposal would allow residents to have up to four hens -- but no roosters -- as long as they have their chicken coop inspected and pay a permit fee. Although the plan ruffled some feathers in the past because some residents believe the birds could bring down property values, supporters on the City Council believe it will pass this time around.
"I think it's a great idea," Pentel said. "I really am in favor of local food and growing vegetables, and here's another facet of that. Next will be goats."
The Golden Valley ordinance will receive a second hearing at the end of June. If it passes there, it could go into effect by this fall.
WJBK-TV | Fox 2
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