Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ruffled Feathers Followup

It appears that Urban Chicken Farmers in Coeur d'Alene may have a feathered friend in City Councilman, Mike Kennedy. 

While I was unable to attend the City Council's General Services committee meeting on Monday, I was contacted by Mr. Kennedy to share my thoughts on the three chicken limit.  I believe 6 to 8 hens is a fair limit; but I have read that others in our community have been raising up to 25 birds, for many years, with no complaints from anyone.  I suspect that the City Council will amend this ruling and we will see a limit somewhere between 6 and 12 allowed. 

They will be revisiting this at the July 12th General Services meeting.

Kennedy made some valid points in an email he sent to those who attended the meeting on Monday with a reminder to be careful what you crow about (my words, not his).  Below is his email along with his contact information - should you want to join in the dust up.

One final note, The Second Street Chicken Ranch did invite Mr. Kennedy to visit our coop and we are waiting to hear what works for his schedule.    

"Hello, all!

This afternoon the General Services committee asked staff (Deputy City Attorney Warren Wilson, in particular) to review the issue of the limits on the numbers of chickens in the city limits and bring the matter back to us at our July 12th General Services Committee meeting.

The information presented by residents today was very helpful, particularly the FAQ “Myths and Facts” that Chris White handed out. Thanks to those of you who were there to help educate us.

Bottom line is that no one intended (certainly I didn’t) to alarm or upset any existing practices that have been working well. In the absence of any comments from any residents at all during the long redrafting process – including two televised hearings and a few newspaper stories about the animal ordinance – I assumed that things were pretty accepted. In fact I made the motion to change the staff recommendation from zero permissible domestic chickens to three, because I had known and read about sustainable urban farming but I knew nothing about the limits or average number in a city setting.

So please forgive me (us) for perhaps not getting this quite right to your interests on the front end. I’m looking forward to getting a better resolution the second time around and if you all can help me with good facts and local information that will go a long way.

I’m also interested in touring a site in the city limits if someone is willing to have me there to see things on site – the more unique the better.

One last note – in the category of “be careful what we wish for” – there is a likelihood that raising the profile of this issue will bring out detractors and also people who will want to challenge whether these are commercial operations in residentially zoned areas within the city and thus should be disallowed all together. While I may not necessarily agree with that argument, please know that it’s likely that additional questions will be raised relative to those and other issues (i.e. what to do about roosters, other fowl that someone may want to domesticate, etc). The more clear, calm, and fact-based any and all discussions on this matter both with the council and in the media the better. I’ve already gotten a few calls and emails from opponents of any chickens today.

In closing, rest assured that I am a supporter of sustainable urban farming and want to find the best outcome to this situation. I’ll work with you as best I can and look forward to doing so.

Thanks for your feedback, call me or email me if you have any questions or thoughts.


Mike Kennedy
PS – please feel free to forward this to anyone you may feel is interested in the information. You can reach me at:,, or I’m on Facebook at: and you can reach me and educate me (and other citizens who pay attention to city matters) there, too."


  1. Hello, we are starting a Coeur d' Alene chicken club! Hopefully we will get a group of people together that love chickens, as well as do outreach with boy scouts/girl scouts/schools etc.

    We'd love to have you join! Our club is starting out on Facebook at CDA Chicken.!/group.php?gid=106525329396467&ref=ts

    Oh, and I'm one of those people that has had over 25 chickens downtown ;-)

    Best Wishes,
    marybeans at gmail dot com

  2. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for the invite - I'll check out the FB page!

    Was wondering if Mike Kennedy visited your chicken coop? I haven't heard from him since I extended the invite to see ours.

    Hopefully he did visit a few to get an idea of what this is all about.


Thanks for reading and sharing your comments! Candace

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