No Chickens Allowed in Town


The Town of Cortland recently posted the following announcement on their official website:

“The Town has been receiving complaints about chickens (hens and roosters).  The Town’s Municipal Code states that farm animals, including chickens, are not allowed in residential zoned areas. After receiving a complaint staff will review the specifics of the complaint. Should it be determined that the complaint is valid then the property owner will be notified that they are in violation and will be given an opportunity to correct the situation. Those who fail to comply may be assessed fines.”

Meanwhile in DeKalb, there is an effort by residents to amend the municipal code to allow backyard chickens (hens only). This isn’t the first such attempt. Back in 2012, DeKalb resident Hannah Dwyer gathered 400 signatures on a petition and brought a proposal to the DeKalb City Council, who ultimately voted it down.

There are currently two Facebook pages dedicated to promoting backyard chickens in DeKalb, IL, and there have been at least two community meetings to address the issue. Furthermore, on February 8, 2019, Clare Kron made a presentation to the The Citizens’ Environmental Commission of DeKalb about backyard chickens (i.e. “sustainable urban food system”).

There is now an online petition on trying to get 200 signatures to deliver to the DeKalb City Council.

From the petition –

“We support the right of DeKalb, IL residents to responsibly own backyard chickens


“Many suburbs surrounding DeKalb allow residents to raise a small number of chickens for a healthy source of eggs (including Naperville, St. Charles, and Batavia). Everyone should have the right to know that their eggs come from healthy and cared for chickens that are free from hormones and antibiotics if they choose.

“DeKalb citizens should have the right to responsibly own backyard chickens on their own property as pets or as a healthy source of eggs. The City of DeKalb should not have control over what we do on our property as long as it does not cause a nuisance to neighbors.”

To sign the petition, CLICK HERE



  1. Not to be a buzz kill, chickens are wonderful, but some folks may not realize that other things come with them after time like rats its crazy but also then all your towns wildlife (raccoons, skunks, opossums) would at least have something other than trash to eat LOL good luck city folks who want chickens

  2. A few years back Genoa did not allow backyard chickens while cities like Evanston did. My husband went to our city board meetings with information of how the bigger cities had implemented the chickens and proposed a plan. The city voted unanimously and now allow chickens, with restrictions of course. A new ordinance was put in place and we’ve had chickens ever since.

  3. With all of the geese populations being mismanaged and pushed to the Malta side of Dekalb County, chicken shit and contamination should not be the argument for why we cannot have chicks. Yes his law needs to be changed. Limit to under 3 chicks per parcel.

  4. 50 years ago the City Officials would have been laughed at if they were to try to impose these concerns. People raised chickens for eggs and food, and they even had a small back yard garden, some people planted fruit trees for additional family food … there was no food desert in those days …. OMG, some even made their own wine.

    • DeKalb County Online although I agree that people should attempt to become self sufficient and that people should be able to have chickens if they want, the only reason there were no food deserts 50 years ago is because the term wasn’t coined yet.

      50 years ago is only 1969. There certainly were areas of this country where a family couldn’t find affordable food that wasn’t junk.

    • David Storey … thank you … as a young lad growing up there were NO stores close to where I lived .. closest was five (5) miles away … we went to the store once a week to get what we needed for the week or longer, also had chickens, a gardens, berry patch and fruit trees. We found everything that was affordable, as we lived with in our means. Sometimes our neighbors would stop by and drop off items they had raised and didn’t need or want to waste. Other times neighbors would stop by and say we are going to town, do yo need anything’ … thanks Michael Embrey

  5. Homeowners shouldn’t have to ask permission to raise chickens on their own property as long as they keep them contained to their property. Chickens, a few deer, fish, side of beef straight from a farmer, and a good size garden. Sure helps people from being completely dependent on grocery chains and unnecessary government involvement

  6. I think that this is wonderful. Property owners should be allowed to have chickens. They should also be free to have bees. Obviously, there should be some regulation and oversight. Homeowners should also be encouraged to have gardens and native areas in their yards, especially areas of landscaping to encourage natural habitats for pollinators and such. These areas should be well maintained though and not allowed to spread wild or overgrow/intrude other properties.

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