Some Tecumseh residents believe that legalizing backyard chickens will lead to bad things happening in the city, such as chickens attracting vermin and increasing the number of animal complaints.
These fears are largely unfounded. If residents have a dog or cat that gets fed outdoors, a feeder for wild songbirds, a garden or even a compost bin, they already run the risk of urban scavengers being attracted to the yard. Furthermore, any argument that can be made against pet poultry can also be made against pet dogs and cats. Dogs and cats surely cause problems and complaints, yet laws are in place to regulate these pets, ensure they’re cared for properly, and provide legal recourse against irresponsible owners. A well-thought-out chicken ordinance will do the same; it will protect the interests of all residents while also assuring the rights of chicken owners.
The proposed chicken ordinance will regulate the number and sex of pet chickens (no more than six hens; no roosters allowed); their living conditions, including minimum square footage of their coop; the distance of coop and pen from lot lines, and more. Also, let’s not forget that all existing noise and nuisance ordinances will also apply to pet poultry.
It’s an open secret that there are already urban chickens in Tecumseh, living undercover in garages, sheds, and coops — yet there have been no widespread problems or reported complaints. In fact, most neighbors don’t even realize the birds are there.
The proposed backyard chickens ordinance will help ensure that chicken owners are responsible pet owners. I encourage residents to vote yes on November 3.