Chickens will soon be clucking in some suburban backyards

CREATED Feb 6, 2013

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WAUWATOSA - The idea ruffled a few feathers along the way, but supporters kept pecking away and the Wauwatosa common council made the call. You will be able to have chickens in your yard. But there are rules to make sure backyards don't become barnyards.

Cornelia Bialke is a big fan of having a little bit of the farm at home. She spearheaded the effort to bring chickens to more than just the kitchen table in Wauwatosa.

"I thought one day we could have a few chickens here, and then I found out that it's not allowed," said Bialke.

For Alderman Bobby Pantuso, the idea left a foul taste at first.

"I wanted to make sure there was some permitting that went along with it and I wanted to make sure the people that were doing this were going to be responsible chicken owners," je said.

So, he and the council hatched a plan. You can have no more than four chickens, fenced in with at least 16 square feet of space per bird. They need to be licensed, and no roosters are allowed. You also have to get written permission from any neighbor whose land touches yours.

So anyone who squawks about it shouldn't have to worry. For others, it's just another nugget to draw people to town.

"We have a lot of development going on in ‘Tosa, a lot of great reasons to be here and it's just one more thing," Pantuso added.

This is a trial ordinance of sorts. It expires in a year, so if people don't like it, they can get rid of it.