By Sandra McNeill

FERNDALE (WWJ) – Ferndale residents will be allowed to keep up to three hens in their backyard under an ordinance approved by the City Council.

Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter, who now supports it, said he originally wasn’t too keen on the idea.

“My initial reaction was that perhaps chickens in an urban community like Ferndale might not be compatible, and I think there are still some questions about how it will work. But I felt better having talked with some communities in Southeast Michigan that allow it already,” Coulter told WWJ Newsradio 950.

Both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti allow residents to keep chickens, and Coulter said they haven’t had any problems.

“We have people coming to council all the time pleading with us to allow them to do this and, frankly, helping to educate me on what it meant,” Coulter said. “I at first thought they were really noisy, but it turns out only the roosters are noisy. The hens are not.”

Coulter said it’s all a part of a growing movement to eat food produced close to home.

“We have a lot of people in Ferndale that are concerned about that and want to know that their food is local and what is in it and, so, there’s no greater comfort I guess for them to know that it came right out of your backyard and there were no pesticides or other preservatives put in it,” Coulter said.

However, he has no plans to keep chickens himself.

Ferndale’s ordinances states that the hens must be kept in sealed coups, away from other pets. Roosters will not be allowed.


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