More chickens could find roost in Ramsey

There could be more chickens taking roost in Ramsey.

The Ramsey City Council unanimously introduced an ordinance amendment May 22 that would allow more chickens on properties under three acres.

Councilmember Colin McGlone was absent from the meeting.

If approved June 12, residents on less than three acres will be allowed to have chickens but not roosters.

The number of chickens that residents will be allowed to have will vary depending on their lot size, said City Planner Tim Gladhill.

According to the proposed amendment to the non-domestic animals ordinance, residents with 0.24 acres and less will be allowed to have four chickens.

As the acreage increases, so do the number of chickens allowed. For residents with 2.75 to 2.99 acres, the proposed maximum of chickens will be 48.

If the council approves the amendment, it would open up opportunities for residents that want to do sustainability farming, mainly for the eggs, and for children doing 4-H projects, Gladhill said.

Prior to the proposed amendment, chickens were only allowed on properties three acres or larger.

The interest in having chickens seems to be growing, Gladhill said.

So far this year, the city has received approximately 25 calls about how many chickens are allowed, some people with more than three acres, Gladhill said.

Usually the city gets five to 10 calls a year, he said.

Resident Randy Kleinman is among those that want to have chickens.

There are a lot of reasons people want chickens, he said.

For his family, who live on a one-acre lot, it is about giving the children pets that will help them understand where their food comes from and a fresh source of eggs, said Kleinman, who has been leading the efforts to allow chickens on smaller lots.

Some chicken breeds can produce up to 300 eggs a year per chicken, he said.

Having chickens will also benefit their vegetable garden.

Chickens provide the best manure. They also help weed the garden and eat the bugs, Kleinman said.

If the amendment passes in June, Kleinman and other residents could have chickens July 15.



The proposed amendment also includes provisions to allow residents to have beehives on their properties with a conditional use permit.

According to the proposal, hives may only be located on lots with an existing use, be limited to six or less hives and be located no closer than three feet from the property line and/or 10 feet of any neighboring, inhabited structure.

The proposal also includes a flyway barrier requirements and a stipulation that the colonies must remain moveable to allow for space management.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]