Support Backyard Chickens in Lakemoor, IL

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Please sign this petition asking the Village of Lakemoor to update the municipal code to provide provisions for residents to keep backyard hens. As a nature and animal loving, eco-friendly, family-oriented community it only makes sense that Lakemoor should embrace the practice of suburban backyard hens!

Over the last several years, the popularity of raising hens as family pets has been gaining popularity exponentially and for good reason. They are quiet, easy to care for and truly fun to watch and interact with. Their antics will provide years of enjoyment for adults and children alike, even after their egg-laying years are over. Most of the varieties kept as backyard pets are easily contained with a 4’ high fence.   

Raising chickens is a wonderful family activity and an excellent opportunity to teach children that their food doesn't grow on a grocery store shelf. It’s important that kids have a connection to their food (preferably healthy food) and understand the farm to table cycle. You’ll be able to raise your own chickens organically, free of hormones and antibiotics, and let them enjoy a grassy backyard instead of the terrible conditions so common in factory farm chickens.

Not interested in owning chickens? You can benefit from having neighbors who do! Barter with your neighbors for their fresh eggs with something from your garden or a helpful service.

Chickens will improve your garden. They are natural foragers, so when allowed in your garden, chickens will scratch the soil looking for yummy bugs like grubs, earwigs, and the same bugs that eat your summer fruits and veggies. Plus, as they turn the soil, it’ll aerate, breakup vegetation, and accelerate the decomposition process. Not to mention, chickens are great for your compost. Chicken poop is high in nitrogen which is great for your compost bin and you can even compost the used egg shells.  Most of us rely on well water in Lakemoor. These natural tendencies help reduce the need for pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that end up in our water supply.

A common concern is based on the misconception that chickens are noisy. Hens are very quiet animals. It is roosters that can be loud; you don’t need a rooster to keep backyard chickens. They lay eggs just fine without them; eggs that won’t ever hatch into chickens. This petition is only to allow docile, quiet hens into our families.

Need more convincing?  In some ways, hens may even make better pets than cats or dogs. For example, hens do not bark, bite or attack people like some dogs can. Unlike roaming cats, hens will not kill wild songbirds. When nighttime falls, chickens naturally return to their coops on their own and sleep quietly through the night. For the majority of the day, hens won’t be heard at all. They do usually make a brief egg-laying song or cluck about once a day during daylight hours. The decibel level of this cluck is the same level as human conversation and much quieter than a barking dog or even backyard birds like wrens!

It’s a bonding family-experience: you get a new outdoor pet, without the hassle of house training and children can learn responsibility by pitching in! Whether it’s gathering the eggs, feeding, watering, or cleaning out the hen house, there’s productive work to do every day with chickens.

In addition to their ability to provide companionship, hens can produce nutritious fresh eggs, control insects, assist with weeding, and provide us with a nitrogen rich fertilizer for our gardens.  They can help with many yard and garden chores, and definitely make them more fun to do. If you need a little motivation to get out and do yard work, you just might find the lure of hanging out with hens is all the persuasion you need.

Some people worry that chickens may spread disease. In fact, avian and human metabolisms are quite different, so there are few things that affect both humans and.  With proper common sense hygiene, such as hand-washing, there is very little risk of hens spreading disease to humans. The truth is that data shows small scale farming actually helps protect us and our food supply. Making sure that we have the right to small flocks of backyard chickens is a way to protect ourselves and our communities from the diseases that proliferate in large scale commercial operations where tens of thousands of birds are concentrated together in a very small space.

With nothing on the books regarding backyard chickens, some residents already have hens in their backyards, thinking they are permitted. With how quiet and unobtrusive they are, most people don't even know they are there. However, if you call the village office to inquire, you will be told they are viewed as farm animals and not permitted.

Lakemoor strives to promote environmentally friendly and sustainable practices throughout the community. The comprehensive plan adopted in 2013 has prioritized local food and protecting our water supply as essential aspects for the long term sustainability of the community. Providing provisions for the keeping of backyard hens is a great place to start making good on these commitments!

Lakemoor residents, join me in asking the village to update the ordinance with provisions that allow us all to enjoy the many benefits of backyard chickens!



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