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Chicken Ban Proceeding without a Squawk

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If you’re a pet chicken owner in Chicago, you might have a tough choice to make soon—hide it, send it to a farm, or make it dinner.

If there’s a pro-chicken lobby in Chicago, it dropped the ball on this one. Without any opposition, the city council’s health committee passed a residential chicken ban. For each day you’d keep a chicken at home, you’d face fines up to a thousand dollars, and maybe six months in jail. One resident testified, and that was ban proponent Edie Cavanaugh.

CAVANAUGH: I feel part of the rat problem is people being permitted to have chickens and roosters as pets. And rats eat the chicken and rooster droppings and chicken feed. This is a health issue because rats spread diseases.

Chicago has an aggressive rat eradication program, but a streets and san spokesperson said the city has not targeted chicken coops as a source of rats.

The full city council could take up the ban on pet chickens next month.

I’m Shawn Allee, Chicago Public Radio.

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