Iowa City group continues push for urban chickens - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City group continues push for urban chickens


IOWA CITY (KWWL)-  Last April the group Iowa City Friends of Urban Chickens formed in effort to persuade city leaders to allow raising hens within city limits

The group gained some momentum, but after changes in the city council, the issue was dropped from the agenda

Less than a year later, it's a cause they're pushing for again.

John Thomas was surprised to learn backyard chickens were unlawful in Iowa City after his move from the west coast.

"It was puzzling why San Francisco would permit urban chickens and Iowa City, in the midst of one of the greatest agricultural regions in the world, would not allow urban chickens," Thomas said.

Supporters of modifying the city's ordinance say egg laying hens can be educational, entertaining, and a reliable source of high-quality protein.

"It's kind of an off-shoot, or an aspect of local food production, people are interested as with vegetable gardens of growing their own food, this is kind of an extension of that," Thomas said.

Those opposed argue chickens are noisy, produce a fowl odor, and attract rodents.  Some city leaders worry allowing chickens within Iowa City would create many problems, while only benefiting a select few.

Stacey Driscoll, organizer of Iowa City Friends of Urban Chickens, wants to see the issue back on the council's agenda

She hopes to educate people and address various misconceptions.

"A lot of people have more personal reasons for not wanting chickens, rather than educated-solid evidence that chickens would be hazardous or dangerous," Driscoll said.

Hundreds of people have flocked to support the cause, and many believe backyard chickens in Iowa city will be allowed in the near future

"It is part of this local food production movement which is taking place all over the country so I think it's just a matter of time," Thomas said.

The group says it will attend future city council meetings and continue to educate people, in hopes of getting the issue back on the city council agenda.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

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