October 13, 2009 7 comments


CityOfJanesvilleChickens@gmail.com  (all typos belong to COJchickens)



Check out this great Southern Wisconsin blog!



Backyard Chickens 101
Register Here: https://activenet021.active.com/delavanparkrec/servlet/registrationmain.sdi?pubnav_index=1
Meeting Dates Thursday, January 31, 2013 from 6pm to 7pm
Location Community Centre, 826 E. Geneva St., Delavan
Price Standard charge: Free
Status ?? openings remaining
Ages At least 18 but less than 110
Gender Coed
Hide Details
Type Activity
Activity Primary Category Adult Programs
Activity # 468
Session 1
Season Winter/Spring 2013
Are you interested in raising chickens in your backyard? If so Twain Lockhart has a presentation for you! He will go over how to get started with backyard chickens. Reasons you may want to get back-yard chickens, things you need to start, and how to get started. The presentation will include a time line for you to get started and what to expect.


11/25/2011  Happy Thanksgiving (yesterday.)  There is still work being done in Janesville, though things are a bit up in the air with what would be a split Council.  So, we chicks are just kind of  laying low at this point!  No point in attracting the hawk’s attention JUST yet… :)



Way to get your hens!!


Waiting and wondering what changes (if any) there will be on Janesville City council in the April elections… and how any new council members will feel about learning a bit about urban hen keeping!


I would value your opinion and suggestions concerning the creation of “safe food” ideas for Janesville, WI. For those of you that are not local to Janesville, please send suggestions and information concerning what is being done in your communities!

We are looking for the people that are concerned in some way, and would like to try to do something about FOOD. (Somewhat in the sense of “real foods” vs. “fake or toxic foods.”)
Some examples:

marketing and/or eating local,
soil health, composting
reduction in vitamin content
home food processing/storage
food pantry shortages,
“food sheds”
urban gardening,
“food, not lawns”
community gardening,
park gardens
children’s nutrition,
school nutrition,
food education,
preparation/recipes education
national food security,
treatment of animals raised for food purposes,
natural grazing,
bee keeping,
urban hen keeping,
…and the list goes on and on.

How ready are we for an idea such as Milwaukee’s ‘Growing Power’ or ‘Sweet Water Organics?’
click movie to play or watch it on youtube
“Milwaukee’s Growing Power, a community-based urban food center, is using plants as natural water filters for raising yellow perch. Fred Binkowski, an aquaculture specialist with the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, provides technical advice on the experimental effort.”


Or, perhaps a bit more simply, converting underutilized park lawns to community food gardens, complete with volunteer rows for the underprivileged?

Or, perhaps it is about the freedom to keep a few hens in the backyard of your property!

What can the Janesville area do to improve it’s:
1. quality of food,
2. sources of food,
3. and availability of food?

Any advice that you have, and any passion and/or time that you already devote or would be willing to devote, is welcome!


Does your town/city have an ordinance allowing chickens within the urban area?  Send me an e-mail with the details!  I would like to compile a comprehensive list of who allows what, how many, where at, etc.  Are you working on an ordinance change to allow chickens in your town? Let me know how it goes!



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 convienience store actually come from — look up factory farms, and battery cages on the Internet. California to Ban Caged Hens by 2015


Lately On Facebook:

Allison Rollette

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 rodents.

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

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


It has become “normal” in Janesville to have the very thing that sustains your life come in a commercialized, industrialized box, carton or can.  This  “required distance” between food and self… I am told I have to travel, probably in a car, to buy a well-rounded food source for me and my family.  Why?  I have space and time to devote to doing it myself.  It’s akin to saying that breastfeeding a child is “unnatural.”  It should be against the law to restrict reasonable citizens the right to be responsibly keeping or growing food on their properties.   It should have been a matter of how, for Janesville…  not yes or no.

Lack of food, money and reliable vehicles for the people with no jobs in this town are  “not the City’s problem…” I would have thought that with all of us about to run out of unemployment in this town, that allowing us to feed ourselves by doing things like relaxing backyard flock rules, etc. — something that wouldn’t cost the city squat and could EARN the city a little something — would be GOOD policies to work with for us “little people” out here in the real world…

http://bit.ly/byZMR3 “Why Bother To Attend Public Hearings and Meetings? Pt. 2 02/23/2010




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’s current ordinance to Janesville City ‘s Council, in the hopes of seeing it on the agenda.  (Note that vi. and vii. have proven to be unenforceable, and as a result, the City of Madison is planning a change that will only involve notification of joint land owners or landlords.)

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, (examples — YES, I read them, cover to cover) countless hours on the internet, (examples) 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. (examples) 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.

Rally the Peeps to Get the Cheeps!

Peeps march onward.

Continue educating people regarding the common misconceptions that they have about urban hens.

Please direct people that are interested in this effort to this website.




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!!



Live in the City of Janesville, WI?  Want to allow chickens in town?  Send your full name and Janesville address to the email address below to sign the pro-chicken petition!  Want to help with the petitioning?  Direct people to this page, or collect the information from any adult with a City of Janesville residence that would like chickens to be allowed in Janesville.

Contact: CityOfJanesvilleChickens@gmail.com




2010 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 (ordinance to include urban chickens put in over 10 years ago.) Jefferson, WI.  Madison, WI. Neenah, WI. Oshkosh, WI. . Stoughton, WI.  River Hills, W. Milwaukee, WI is working on an ordinance change. 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   ino 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. – 10 hens, no roosters, kept in coops, 25 feet from a property line, 40 feet from a residence. 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!


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