Amend City Code to Allow a Limited Number of Responsibly Kept Hens within City of Roundup

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The city of Roundup currently prohibits residents from keeping chickens within city limits. Please sign this petition asking the city to update the ordinance so that Roundup residents may keep a limited number of responsibly-kept hens (approx. 4--NO roosters!).

Hens are fun and educational for children—a valuable tool for teaching them that food does not grow on grocery store shelves. Chickens can help build garden soil, consume weeds and kitchen scraps, and their eggs are a healthy source of high-quality protein.

Permits for hens within city limits would be required, and it would be mandatory for coops to be a specified distance from property boundaries. Because roosters will be prohibited, noise would be a non-issue. Hens are not loud, and additionally, they roost in their closed coops all night. Free-roaming chickens would not be allowed. A small flock of chickens (4-5 hens) produce only about the same waste as an average dog, so, as long as the coop is cared for, odors would be negligible (especially given the buffer zone around property boundaries. Given these enforceable parameters, chickens should never become a nuisance to neighbors. And if neighbors did feel something was amiss, they would have methods of recourse.  

Many other cities have made the decision to allow chickens within city limits. Within Montana, Billings, Miles City, Three Forks, Helena, East Helena, and Missoula, are just a few that have made the leap, along with numerous municipalities nation-wide. Happily, in these locations, problems have been minimal. For example, about chickens in town, Kelly Smith, Three Forks, MT’s Deputy City Clerk stated that: “There have been no major issues.” Kathy Middleton, Bozeman’s animal control officer, said “So far it’s been great.”  Aaron McSpadden, a Denver, CO animal control officer, stated in the Denver Post that “There was this big perception we were in for it, but it’s been very minimal. It’s a non-issue, really.” And Larimer County (Fort Collins), CO’s director of animal protection and control, Bill Porter, stated that “Chicken cases have been a non-issue for Larimer Humane Society’s Animal Protection and Control department.”  

Even if you are not interested in owning chickens yourself, please still consider signing this petition--You can benefit from having neighbors who do! One hen can lay hundreds of eggs a year. It’s likely your chicken-owning neighbor will have extras and be willing to trade fresh eggs for your garden veggies or a helpful service.

Thank you for your consideration of this important issue. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions. And, City of Roundup residents, please add your name to this petition and join us in asking the city to update the ordinance so we may enjoy the many benefits of keeping backyard chickens! Thank you!



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