October 13, 2009 6 comments

Please check out:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/185937923592/

 (all typos belong to COJchickens)

This post is edited regularly, as needed, despite old post date.



October 26, 2015

It’s official! (Finally.) After giving it another official go in 2015, and bouncing from committee to committee, catering to every dang suggestion and demand, only to be shot down again ANYWAY… It has been decided. Janesville allows 4 hens!!! CLICK HERE FOR ORDINANCE

From the city: “The newly adopted chicken ordinance states that in order to obtain a permit, the applicant must provide documentation of the proposed address being registered with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection pursuant to Wis. Stats. 95.51 and ATCP 17, Wis. Adm. Code. Further information and applications can be found here:
One you receive that documentation, please feel free to call our office at 755-3060 for more information about the chicken coop permitting process.”


Questions that have arisen: Make sure you follow your brochure and application in a very careful and literal fashion. The list that asks “Is there anything I need to do before obtaining chickens, a coop and run?” should be followed quite literally. YOU need to check your deed. End of story on that one. It does not say to provide documentation, as it does in the other bullet points. If you don’t care what your deed says, you assume that risk, and would lose your coop and hens if the neighbors pitch a fit, provided your deed says you shouldn’t have them. Just make sure you check the box on your application that says you looked into it. They are going to give you your permit, regardless. Just know the risks. .Building and Development Services (3rd floor) have been asking for photos of the coop’s actual design. If you have one, by all means, take it. They want an image to attach to your file. However, if you don’t know yet, just tell them it will be similar to the brochure. Only historical districts (as expected) need to provide the actual planned appearance.

Be sure to follow the rules and regulations. Check with 18 N. Jackson Street, Janesville WI if you have any additional questions!



Check out this great Southern Wisconsin blog!



Way to get your hens!!!


GOOD LUCK OSHKOSH, WI!  GO PEEPS!  With all of the recent egg recalls, you would think this would be easy! and… if you have ever WONDERED where those 99 cents a dozen eggs at the convenience store actually come from — look up factory farms, and battery cages on the Internet. California to Ban Caged Hens by 2015


Lately On Facebook:

Thanks Stoughton! Glad my 300 hours of time, professional contacts made, 20-some books read, 30 pages of report, was well spent for SOMEONE! ; ) I have just sent a message to a council member in Oshkosh — inviting THEM to use it, too! If EVERYONE around Janesville uses the FACTS, and allows urban hen keeping, eventually, (perhaps) Janesville will follow in their footstep?

Chickens in Stoughton

Chickens in Stoughton also wants to thank City of Janesville Chickens? for providing 100s of hours of research, which we took advantage of in passing our local chicken ordinance.

August 20 at 3:18pm


Cojchicken’s interesting FACTS:

Cockroaches, turtles and lizards carry salmonella.

A chicken’s water supply is not likely to attract extra rodents.

Does your potted plant on the deck or your birdbath attract rodents?

A chicken’s food dish is not likely to attract extra rodents.

Do your wild bird feeders, dog/cat bowls, trash cans attract rodents?

According to a 2008 Newsweek article, urban agriculture expert Jennifer Blecha’s research showed  that 65 percent of major cities allowed urban chickens, and 40 percent permitted roosters. The Newsweek piece, called “The New Coop de Ville: the craze for urban poultry farming,” attributes the prevalence of these city birds at least partly to the local food movement.




Apparently, there seems to be confusion as to how the urban hen keeping issue came to be, in Janesville.

For anyone that does care:

It has been brought up via e-mail, phone calls, and media by various Janesville residents over the course of many years.  I had nothing to do with that.

Spring/Summer 2009: Mr. David Innis brought copies of Madison WI’s current ordinance to Janesville City ‘s Council, in the hopes of seeing it on the agenda.

I had nothing to do with that, either.  I did not know David Innis.

In the middle of October, 2009:  It occurred to me that that keeping  a few hens in my family’s backyard might be a relatively easy, cost-effective and fun way to support my personal interest in increasing self-reliance.   I started to look into Urban hen keeping, how to do it, Janesville’s ordinances regarding keeping hens in town, and other cities’ ordinances regarding keeping hens.  I looked for a group in Janesville that might already be working on the ordinance.  Seeing none, I started COJchickens, merely with the intention of finding people with the interest to pursue taking an ordinance change to the Council.  I knew there would b a lot of work to do, to be ready to go to the Council with this issue.

November, 16th, 2009:  an article in the Janesville Gazette informed me that David Innis had 2 Council Members as sponsors to look into changing the ordinance for Janesville.  I had nothing to do with that.   (I still did not know David Innis.  I did not meet David Innis until the Plan Commission’s public hearing on February 15, 2010.)

So, I spent the next 3 months, really cranking up my original efforts to get as many of the things done that I could, that I felt would be necessary for this to be on the agenda.  For skeptics out there, I was very thorough with my research, and my efforts.   My “Citizen Report” is essentially a summary, for the benefit of the Council,  of more than 20 books and documentaries, (yes, I read them completely), countless hours on the internet, plenty of conversation with hen owners all over the world, and local State of Wisconsin experts — from 4-H leaders to Department of Animal Sciences, Extension Poultry Specialist / Poultry Science Department.  The “Citizen Report,” as well as all of my other documents were distributed to the City — more than 20 copies, plus e-mail links.

I would have done more, if I had not run out of time.  I essentially worked on this for hundreds of hours, hoping that everyone would learn something new.  However, many people that were on the decision-making end of things had already made up their mind on this issue before they had ever even heard of me, my reports, or the citizens of Janesville that make up or support  COJchickens.

Our proposed ordinances contained various restrictions to cover concerns.  (Madison’s, or the long draft I did, which includes variance permits.)

The City chose to create an ordinance of their own to use.  This ordinance became the ordinance on the Council’s agenda.  The City’s ordinance did not have many guidelines or restrictions, and this led to many of the concerns that Janesville’s Council expressed when they rejected the ordinance.

Whatever the personal opinions were on the Council, the motion that was voted on was against the City’s ordinance proposal, not OUR ordinance ideas, and not the keeping of hens in town.

We have a lot of work to do to be ready and able to take this issue forward.

It will take time, as we obviously need support from City Council for this effort.

Feb. 22, 2010

ROUND ONE: CITY – One.  PEEPS – Chopping block.
(Anyone know the name of a good privacy fence contractor??? Ha ha… ha…)


You all ROCKED.  Egg-cellent!

Feb. 13, 2010
“COJchickens”@ Mounds Pet Food store here in Janesville, WI on February 13, 2010 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in conjunction with Rock-Valley 4-H Team Leader Cindy, and TWO GUEST HENS!!!!! HUGE success!!  Thanks to Mounds for letting us use their pet hen product lines for our display, and letting us hang out!!  We were out there until almost 3:30.  MANY people stopped to ask questions, sign the petition, and hug the hens!  Nearly every person that walked past us was positive about the proposed ordinance change — there were NOT very many “Negative Nancies” on Saturday.  What a positive, fun-filled day!!  Janesville, you rock!  I would like to point out that the hens were there from 11 until past 2:00.  They barely made ANY noises at all, let alone LOUD ones.  The birds did not poop on the floor, or on any person handling them.  (How undignified! ; )  –Also, they certainly weren’t smelly!  Not even the few droppings that were on the bottom of their carrier!  However, a customer’s dog waiting to go through the checkout line DID have an accident, that managed to span an entire aisle.  Sorry, the dog’s name shall remain anonymous for privacy reasons.  ; )  And may I mention that TWO separate people thought one of the chickens was actually a monkey?  Perhaps we need more education on chickens for the people…

Special thanks to WCLO’s Mike Austin for repeatedly allowing  people to cackle over the air waves about chickens!!


h2010 Schedule:
Location: Municipal Building, 18 N. Jackson Street, Janesville WI 53546.  Council Chambers (Room #417) – 4th Floor
January 25th (City Council 7:00 PM) – Intro and schedule Public Hearing
February 1st (Plan Commission 6:30 pm) –   Intro and schedule Public Hearing
February 15th (Plan Commission 6:30 pm) – Public Hearing
February 22nd (City Council 7:00 PM) – Public Hearing and Action

Short list of cities that allow urban chickens in their ordinances:

Fort Atkinson, WI. Green Bay WI.  Jefferson, WI.  Madison, WI. Neenah, WI. Oshkosh, WI. . Stoughton, WI.  River Hills, WI. Milwaukee, WI.  Beloit WI. Edgerton, WI. Delevan, WI. Manasha WI.  Racine WI. Clintonville WI. Baraboo WI.  Plymouth WI. Friendship WI. Whitewater WI. LaCrosse WI. Wauwatosa WI. Concord, NH. New Haven CT. San Francisco CA.  Portage, MI. Minneapolis MN. Boston MA. Phoenix AZ. Chicago IL. New York City. Syracuse NY. Anaheim CA. Mobile AL. New Orleans LA. Buffalo NY. Hartford CT. Baltimore MD. Portland OR. Houston TX. Miami FL. San Jose CA. Las Vegas NV. Suisun City, CA-   3 hens, no roosters. Fairfield, CA- 3 hens   no roosters. Vallejo, CA-  25  birds  roosters/hens combined. Vacaville-      No limit!  Subject to noise/bothering neighbors. Topeka KS. Santa Rosa CA. Santa Fe NM. Little Rock AK. Burlington VT. Richmond VA. San Antonio TX. Albuquerque NM. Bakersfield CA. Des Moines IA. Winston-Salem NC. Greensboro NC.  Williamston SC. Lafayette CA. Seattle WA. Oakland CA. Denver CO. Dallas TX. Laredo TX. Salt Lake City UT. St. Louis MO. Berkeley CA. Spokane WA. Indianapolis IN. Lexington KY. Louisville KY. Califon NJ.

Does YOUR town/city in the U.S. allow urban hen keeping?  Let me know!