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New Baltimore Chicken Ordinance Flies the Coop

City Council ruled Monday night against chicken-keeping in the city.

Don't expect to see chicken coops in New Baltimore.

Citing potential for sickness, rats, noise and declining property values, City Council unanimously ruled against chicken-keeping in the community.

"If something were to happen with food-borne illness, the city could be culpable," Councilman Jeffrey Christie said.

When speaking about what constitutes pets under the city ordinance, Councilman Karl Rutledge added, "I don't believe that chickens producing eggs every day are pets."

The decision came after resident Michelle Brejnak requested permission to have her own coop in the city with four to six chickens.

"Backyard chicken keeping has been proven to be successful in many urban settings," she told the council.

Brejnak disagreed with council's assessment that fowl can attract pests. She countered that they actually eat pests and says they're no louder than many dogs.

"Our own neighbors in Chesterfield Township allow them," she said. "I ask you to vote on facts, not opinions."

Longtime resident and former Councilman John Dupray, who raised and slaughtered chickens as a teen, urged the council to vote against chicken-keeping in New Baltimore.

"If you have chickens, you have chicken feed. If you have chicken feed, you have rats. If you have rats, you have diseases. That's a fact," Dupray said.

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PlanetCaravan January 31, 2013 at 06:19 PM
The Michigan Right to Farm act supersedes any city or township ordinance.
Wewill Havechickens May 06, 2013 at 03:17 PM
John Dupray... is a real piece of work! People would not be slaughtering chickens in there backyards that what attracts rats!! Chicken food is kept indoors right next to my dogs food..hmmmm..no rats!! What a narrow minded city! They must not think to highly of the residents.... That city council need some fresh thinking! If the people were smart they would vote those clowns out of there!

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