Backyard chickens may be coming to Davenport

(Photo: Flikr - Andrew)
(Photo: Flikr - Andrew)

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Davenport residents are closer to being able to keep some feathery new pets and having fresh eggs every morning.

The City of Davenport has drafted a new ordinance regarding urban chickens. Interest in keeping backyard chickens has risen in Iowa, and according to the proposal, cities like Des Moines, Iowa City, Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, and Ames have already passed measures allowing urban chickens.

(Photo: Flikr - Scott Sayre)
(Photo: Flikr – Scott Sayre)

Some important highlights of the ordinance include:

  • Up to six hens allowed
  • The chickens will only be allowed in residential zoned areas
  • A permit and a fee will be required
  • Applicants must take a class on the proper care of chickens and show documentation showing completion
  • Chickens are not allowed in front yards and must be kept in hen houses with a minimum of 4 square feet per bird during non-daylight hours

The ordinance draft compared the proposed details against the ordinances from Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, and Rock Island, Ill. Cedar Rapids reports that approximately 80-100 households keep chickens, but Dubuque reported its number is unknown. Both cities say that while there are reported complaints in regards to chickens, they are infrequent. Rock Island did not provide any data for either question.

The ordinance could be adopted as early as January. If the ordinance is adopted, city staff would prepare guides to assist applicants.

For more information, visit the City of Davenport webpage.

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