Homewood Chicken Movement Gains Momentum

Residents will gather for a chicken ordinance discussion this weekend at the Homewood Library

Less than a week after this Patch post opened up a community discussion on Homewood’s chicken-raising ban, pro-chicken residents are already beginning to mobilize.

Just a few days ago, the Facebook page “Hens for Homewood” sprang into existence. Homewood’s Jason Baldauf is the man behind the group.

“There is a growing movement in Homewood of people (myself included) who want to live more sustainably and know where their food is coming from,” Baldauf said. “I think that the idea of raising chickens is a manifestation of that.”

Historically, Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld has expressed opposition to the idea of allowing residents to raise chickens, but Hens for Homewood is hoping to change that. To start, Baldauf is inviting all residents to a chicken ordinance discussion this upcoming Saturday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Homewood Public Library.

“If they are interested in environmental stewardship or just want to know where their eggs come from, we look forward to seeing them there,” he said.

ParShooter January 22, 2014 at 08:01 AM
Please come to your senses! This is Homewood-Flossmoor NOT Yazoo City! Just about the time I believe I have seen and heard it all I get yet another glimpse of human lunacy.
Stephen January 22, 2014 at 08:26 AM
This is one of the stupidest things I have heard in a while. You want chickens - go live on a farm. I prefer to live in a community like this - not one with farm animals. If we go rural will my taxes get lowered? After all we will lose our charm and just become one of those low rent communities.
Tom January 22, 2014 at 08:35 AM
Years ago when I lived in in the city in Lakewood, some people behind my building across the alley kept chickens (illegally). Their primary manifestation was the rooster that crowed about a half hour before dawn every, single day, whether that's when you wanted to wake up or not. Eventually I called the police and the crowing ended. So if you don't need an alarm clock and like waking up nice and early, by all means support this chicken ordinance.
Jennifer January 22, 2014 at 08:56 AM
You don't need a rooster for eggs. Generally the chickens don't make noise or smell. Not much difference from having a dog really, and you get wonderfully fresh eggs!
Marcus Bernath January 22, 2014 at 09:37 AM
When I saw this article the other day I thought it was a joke. I don't want to live by chickens!! If I wanted to live in a rural town I would,but I choose to live in Homewood. If you want fresh eggs go to a farm or Whole foods, this isn't Little house on the prairie!!
Tobias Cichon January 22, 2014 at 09:51 AM
You know, I don't want to live by a bunch of dogs that don't lay eggs. I'd like to go out on the path in Patriot's park at 6:45 am without a pit bull charging me from out of the fog. I'd like to not walk through a park without having to dodge dog-shit. I'd like to not be awakened by dogs barking at each other. Now what exactly is the problem with chickens? You'll suddenly start wearing overalls and a straw hat because your neighbor has a few?
Joan Werner January 22, 2014 at 10:05 AM
Chickens .... Really??? Get a farm.
Tom January 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM
No worse than dogs, you say? Now, in civilized Homewood, we have a family with at least two dogs that are kept outside quite often, and they howl for hours on end even in this weather. Yes, the police have been called. So I don't think the chickens equals dogs comparison is all that useful, either.
ridgeroadmike January 22, 2014 at 11:51 AM
You people really crack me up. Like having a couple of birds is going to turn Homewood into Mayberry. Hilarious!
Derrick G January 22, 2014 at 12:07 PM
Chickens will attract coyotes to the backyards. I don't think people will like the idea of their small child being attacked or their pet being eaten when a coyote appears in a neighbor's yard and can't get at the chickens in the coup. No to chickens! If you're so picky about where your eggs come from, go buy organic. Keep the chickens on the farm where they belong.
Genvieve LaChappele January 22, 2014 at 01:00 PM
Maybe we could tax the homeowners per chicken. Better yet per egg! Cook County needs more revenue.
Kate Duff January 22, 2014 at 03:01 PM
Most of the concerns on this thread have been addressed on the original thread (http://homewood-flossmoor.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/what-the-cluck-should-homewood-allow-chickens), so I won't recap. But I do want to come back to this assertion that frustrated chicken-deprived coyotes will turn around and attack small children, because frankly that is an irresponsible statement. There are fewer than 200 documented coyote attacks on humans in the US (some put the number at less than 100) -- on ALL humans, adult and child, in both rural and urban environments, over 30+ years. In contrast, hundreds of thousands of dog bite injuries are treated EVERY YEAR. The risk to your children from your neighbor's legally owned dog is millions of times higher than from a coyote. The reason coyotes are more prevalent in general is because of increasing populations of their natural prey (rabbits, other small rodents, birds) and less stress on coyote populations from hunting. The reason coyotes are more prevalent in urban environments is because people have made it easier for them to find food. Remember coyotes are scavengers as well as predators. Unsecured garbage; open, uncleaned grills; pet food left outside -- that's why we're seeing coyotes in urban environments, not because of chickens. Chickens do not attract coyotes more than any other small animal - like your cat, or small dog, or pet rabbit - and a secured chicken is not going to provoke a coyote into attacking a small child. And since chickens are secured in their coop AT NIGHT, where's the coyote going to find a suitable toddler, anyway? As far as I know, Homewood residents are not in the habit of letting their 2 years olds wander around the neighborhood unsupervised at night. Residents have plenty of legitimate concerns about having backyard chickens legalized in Homewood; surely we can leave the scare tactics off the table in this discussion.
Deb January 22, 2014 at 03:24 PM
I was going to write a long post myself, but I think Ms. Duff has addressed the issues concerning urban chickens quite well. I would, however, like to argue with the idea that Homewood would become a "low-rent" neighborhood by allowing chickens. Personally, as a Homewood resident, I find the fact that anyone would think that the community would allow itself to become "low-rent" absurd, and to be honest, a bit offensive. I truly believe that the village residents hold their community in high enough regard to not allow that to happen. And certainly chickens have nothing to do with the value people place on their homes. There are folks with more money than God that allow their homes to fall into disrepair. Also, I think we can look to communities like St Charles, Naperville, Downers Grove and Oak Park to rest assured that by allowing chickens, Homewood would not go to the dogs. All of these communities allow hens, and I doubt anyone reading this would consider any of those communities "low-rent." It's fine to tell me to go to Whole Foods or buy organic, but please do your research before you do. I'll take my hens, you can take your factory-farmed eggs wherever you like.
Ernie Souchak January 22, 2014 at 09:29 PM
Once you have your fresh eggs, you are going to need your fresh bacon and ham, so you will need to have some pigs, too. And what would that organic breakfast be without fresh milk, so you will need a cow or two also. To keep that cow happy and full of milk you are going to need a bull. So why don't all you Green Acres Wannabees get your ars out of Home Sweet Homewood, and go live in the country where you and the rest of the animals were made to live. How many of you chicken nutcases have ever even held a chicken? You people are clueless.
James Madison January 22, 2014 at 09:42 PM
For those of you who do not want Hens in Homewood, a new group is up. "No Hens in Homewood" https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-Hens-in-Homewood/264503437042025
Super Chicken January 23, 2014 at 09:21 AM
What the cluck is the problem? Everyone should stop brooding. It could be worse. It could be alligators. They taste like chicken. Chickens are really an eggceptional idea. Kids can have egg stands instead of lemonade stands on the sunny side of the street. Which reminds me of the time I was in Morocco and .... sorry, I digest from the point. I wish I wasn’t so scrambled. Will food be served at the chicken discussion on Saturday? Who’s bringing the KFC?
Brian Murphy January 23, 2014 at 01:41 PM
Chickens are the clucking problem. If the trustees really want chickens in this village they must realize there are going to be a lot of people who are going to leave. I am not gong to live in a stink town of rednecks. I already wrote letters to the trustees and I'm telling all my friends at the village hall to not let this happen. If this happens I am leaving. You can watch your property values depreciate. Jim's son made the Facebook and the Tweeter. Yes you guys are viral now. https://twitter.com/NoHensHomewood.
Kate Duff January 23, 2014 at 02:46 PM
Perhaps somebody could point us all in the direction of statistics showing property values decline when backyard chickens are allowed. I've looked; I can't find a thing. I did find an interesting factoid from Patricia Foreman, author of the book City Chicks: "7 out of 10 cities on Forbes Magazine’s “Most Desirable Cities” list for 2010 allow backyard chickens." Earlier in these comments, Deb posted a number of Illinois communities that allow residents to keep backyard chickens as pets. I can add to her list: Evanston, Hinsdale, Western Springs, Brookfield, Elgin, Palos Park, and Worth. I'm curious which of those municipalities would be best characterized as "a stink town of rednecks"?
carolyn bury January 23, 2014 at 03:52 PM
Chicago also allows backyard hens. Allowing hens in cities and towns is considered to be progressive. Of course any ordinance that Homewood would pass would likely limit the number of hens, not allow roosters, and have other rules to follow. Could be hard to get used to the idea, but my guess is that people will eventually see backyard hens as quite ordinary.
Dawn January 24, 2014 at 11:55 AM
If I was looking for somewhere to live, I'd be attracted to a town where residents have nothing more serious to debate than whether to allow chickens. It's not like every Homewood resident is going to convert their yard into a farm. A few people might get a chicken. Everyone else will hardly notice and find something new to fret about. Here is a link to a study done by someone in Glencoe when they were having this discussion, which addresses noise, odor, predatory animals and waste issues: http://www.slideshare.net/kqharvey/backyard-chickens-in-glencoe
John May January 24, 2014 at 02:05 PM
Some statements speak about things in the world... some speak only about the speaker. The vitriol here against raising chickens is both sad and very funny. Sad, because you people might actually prevent the statute from being changed. Funny, because of the extreme irony. You people who think chickens being raised in Homewood would somehow indicate we're backsliding... you're actually so backwards you have no idea where the world is headed. The great mass of people - average people - equate wealth and luxury with the latest electronics, nice cars, edged lawns, big McMansions. The forward thinking people, the smart ones, the leaders - already recognize that the electronics, cars, etc, etc, are distractions, and that what really makes one wealthy is freedom. You're so concerned about appearances, status... painting a picture that makes it look like you're well-off. You work 8 hours a day, then give your money away in trade for an even prettier picture, more pixels, a visit from Chemlawn, faster internet. Wouldn't real wealth be finding a way out of the machine? Come on. Think like you're alive, and not scared of what the neighbors say.
Buster McHugh January 25, 2014 at 09:30 AM
Although I doubt I will actually own chickens, don't get me wrong, I love my fresh veggie garden and hebs, I really don't see how all the doom and gloomers equate chickens with Homewood becoming some "redneck backwards Mayberry". I really doubt I would go through the headache, anxiety and aggrevation of putting my home up for sale, locating a new "chicken free" community, going through the whole mortgage process again and running because my neighbors might want to enjoy fresh eggs. Realistically, how many people would truly be raising chickens? I know chicken raising hasn't been top conversation in our area, so what would there be....a handful? Hardly enough to see a mass exous of the community.
Tobias Cichon January 29, 2014 at 11:23 AM
Hah, these people are saying they're going to be chased out of town by chickens. Yellow humor.
Robert Mattison March 28, 2014 at 08:40 AM
I love the comments by John May He was My next door neighbor for 8 years. During that time He could never mow His lawn, clean a gutter and the best is never cleaned up after His dog. The stench from His uncovered garbage cans made Me never able to open a window. Now He wants chickens ! I SAY NO !


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