South Bend City Council to decide on chicken ordinance in Januar - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend City Council to decide on chicken ordinance in January

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The South Bend City Council has been talking about possibly allowing backyard chickens for a while.  Wednesday night they heard from both sides in a public hearing on the matter.  Those for the ordinances said that it's good to have a closer connection to nature and it's economical to have eggs right in your backyard instead of buying them at the store.  But those against the ordinances said they don't want their neighbors to be allowed to have chickens because of the noise and odor.  The council did not make a decision Wednesday night but said they would decide on January 14th.

Councilman Henry Davis Jr. is the sponsor for the first ordinance that got all of this started.  He said they've been working on this issue for the better part of two years.  And this long discussion about backyard chickens got us thinking, what's it really like to have chickens in your yard?  Why do people do it.  And Does it save money?  We went to a local couple in Walkerton for answers.  They've raised chickens for about a decade (it's legal where they live) so we got their take.

Sara Stewart and Mitch Yaciw have nine chickens in their yard.  Stewart said she first got started because, "it was about connecting my kids with nature."  She and Yaciw said now there's many more reasons to do it, especially when it comes to the benefits of the eggs.   "I always think about how fresh they are.  When they go from the farm to the store and they're transported there's certainly weeks and what not that go by," said Stewart.  And Yaciw said, "we do eat the eggs.  They're much better than store bought eggs.  And it's nice just to be able to come out and get fresh eggs in the morning."

It's nice but they do caution it is not a no brainer.  "It's all hard work and it does take some measure of knowledge and consistency," said Stewart.

And then there's the cost involved.  Yaciw said to get a coop and to get started it'll run you less than $200, but you also have to feed the chickens.  Stewart said a 50 pound bag of corn is about $12.  For nine chickens they go through one 50 pound bag a month.  Not a terribly expensive endeavor but is it really cheaper than store bought eggs?  Depends on which you buy.  Stewart said, "eggs are pretty cheap."  But Yaciw said, "when you put it up against organic eggs, which are really expensive there's definitely some cost savings there."

Either way they said you can't beat the quality.  "The eggs are fresh and it connects you to your food," said Stewart.

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