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Bridgeport Mayor Proposes Allowing Residents To Keep Chickens On Property

A woman feeds her chickens. (file/credit: CBS 2)

A woman feeds her chickens. (file/credit: CBS 2)

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Chickens may soon be coming home to roost in Bridgeport.

Mayor Bill Finch has proposed a new policy that would set standards for city residents who want to keep chickens on their property.

“Anyone in Bridgeport can have up to six laying hens, no roosters. And this is so that you can wake up in the morning, go out and get your breakfast from your own food production out in the backyard,” Finch told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau. “We’re gonna give people good, healthy food in their own backyards, allow them to raise their own food, healthy food and also will be helping the environment because we won’t be shipping food long distances.”

Finch and other city officials announced the proposal Tuesday at the Beardsley Zoo. It would allow households to keep up to six chickens, set minimum coop sizes and restrict coop locations.

The new policy comes after a dispute between city health officials and local resident Christopher Toole. Toole had more than a dozen chickens on his property and health officials told him he couldn’t keep all of them.

The proposed ordinance must be approved by the City Council. It also would require residents to not slaughter their chickens, to harvest eggs only for personal use, to keep coops sanitized and to have a feces disposal plan.

Residents would be required to take a course on the care and feeding of hens before being allowed to keep them on their property.

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