Talk Amongst Yourselves: Should more northeast Johnson County cities allow for backyard chickens?

A happy hen in a coop at Deleware Street Commons in Lawrence, Kan.
A happy hen in a coop at Deleware Street Commons in Lawrence, Kan.

Maybe it was the encounters with so many eggs this past weekend, but we got to wondering what public sentiment in the area is toward the idea of “city hens,” chickens kept in the backyard. It’s a trend that’s becoming increasingly popular as people look for affordable ways to get natural food that isn’t produced via conventional methods.

In February 2011, Roeland Park approved an ordinance that allows homeowners to keep up to six hens (no roosters) in their backyard if they first obtain a $100 permit. (The permit costs $75 a year to renew).

But no other northeast Johnson County municipalities have jumped on the wagon. Sarah Snodgrass has a nice summary of the chicken regulations for many of the municipalities on both sides of the state line — a piece that makes it abundantly clear that local Missouri cities are more accepting of the idea than those in Kansas.

Would you like to see other cities in northeast Johnson County, like Prairie Village, allow for backyard chickens? Would you keep any hens yourself if it were legal? Why or why not? What concerns would you have about living next to someone with hens?

Talk Amongst Yourselves is’s daily conversation starter for northeast Johnson County. Have a topic you’d like to suggest?

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