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A city in Indiana is debating whether or not to allow backyard hens



Noblesville, Indiana – A petition that was begun in Noblesville three years ago to legalize backyard hens has received renewed attention, according to an organizer, and she plans to submit the signatures to city leaders once they have sufficient support once they have enough signatures.

She claims that the ordinances in question are already in place in the cities that are nearby. Carmel permits a maximum of six hens per home, while Indianapolis permits a maximum of 12 hens and one rooster.

Shannon Letro, a Noblesville organizer of the backyard chicken movement, said, “For the people who think chickens are messy, they actually make natural fertilizer. Chickens are noisy. They actually make, per square yard, they make less noise than a lawn mower and a barking dog.”

According to Letro, this might help save her family of five money at the grocery store, and it would also help teach her children responsibility when caring for the animals. The price of eggs has been on the rise in recent years.

“My oldest is 7 and he’s learning a lot more chores and collecting eggs and cleaning out the coop and the run would be great for a kid his age,” Letro said.

Letro said she plans to speak to the people in charge of regulating animals. When the petition has more signatures she will present it to the city.

Robert Herrington, the communications manager for the mayor’s office, said in a statement: “The city has not received a petition or a formal request from residents about this topic. Once we do, the appropriate department(s) would review the request. Other communities are taking varying approaches to this issue and there are several factors that need to be considered in a growing area like Noblesville.”

In the Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis, where the Agrarian chicken store is located, the manager, Megan Sharp, discussed the fees incurred up front. At their shop, the cheapest coops start at $500, and a single chicken will set you back $9.

“Five or six chickens, you will probably go through about a bag of feed a month. Our 50 pound bags of feed start at around $30, and, if you’re feeding organic, that can go up to around $50-$60. You can spend probably $20-$30 a month on bedding,” Sharp said.

According to Sharp, taking care of hens does not require a lot of effort. They can self-regulate and handle a few days’ worth of food at a time, but they must have access to food and clean water at all times during the day.

“Every couple of weeks you might do a complete deep clean and add new bedding. That might be a monthly chore,” Sharp said.


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