Schenectady residents push for backyard chickens

August 30, 2019 06:25 PM

SCHENECTADY - Chad Putman has a pretty impressive chicken coop in his backyard. All it's missing is the chickens.

"Currently, we're like the last urban center in the Capital Region that has not embraced a chicken friendly, or a hen friendly ordinance," said Putman.

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Under current rules, chickens and other barnyard animals are not allowed in residential backyards in Schenectady city limits. Putman actually fosters nine hens under a special permit issued by the city but is only allowed to keep them at his home in the winter months. In the summer, they must go to the Vale Urban Farm where their nutritional and educational value can be shared with the public.

"We want to take what is a limited permitting process currently through the city of Schenectady and make sure all residents have an opportunity if they so choose to house chickens," said Putman.

Putman and other supporters drafted legislation to change the ordinance and brought it to the City Council for review last week. If approved, residents will be allowed up to eight hens on their property but no roosters. Coops would have to be clean and follow certain guidelines when it comes to location and proximity to neighboring houses.

"We'd like to do it similar to a dog license where you go to the city clerk's office, you pay a fee to have the permit," said Putman.

The City Council will discuss the legislation at a regularly scheduled meeting in September. If they decide to move forward, a public hearing will be held ahead of any vote.


Jacquie Slater

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