Chickens

Melodie Edwards

It's not just in big cities that people are buying up kale and bison jerky. Rural Wyomingites are trolling farmer's markets for purple tomatoes and emu oil, too. The state now has 49 farmer’s markets that have done over two million dollars in revenue just this year. But some farmers and food advocates who want to expand the availability of artisan foods say Wyoming is struggling with some deep challenges. 

In his pumpkin patch, eleven-year-old Michael Shaw pokes around under broad, drooping leaves. He’s not sure of any of the names because he lost his seed map.

A group in Cheyenne hopes to reverse a city ordinance that bans backyard chickens in the city limits. The group calls itself CLUCK, which stands for Cheyenne Local Urban Chicken Keepers. They have scheduled meetings with Cheyenne city council to write a new ordinance to allow as many as four hens to be kept.  Laramie County horticulturalist Catherine Wissner is working with the group. She says the fresh eggs and garden compost that chickens provide is great.  But they also make wonderful pets.

The city of Gillette is reviewing its animal ordinance and may make changes to allow people to raise chickens inside the city limits.
Right now, people who live in Gillette may keep up to 12 pigeons as pets. But they're not allowed to have chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys or other domestic fowl.
The City Council might take up a revised ordinance this spring.
Proponents of allowing chickens include hardware store manager Forest Rothleutner. He says allowing chickens would allow people to raise their own protein instead of relying solely on stores.