West Hartford is looking at the possibility of allowing residents to have chickens in their backyards in residential areas of town.
Currently, chickens are only allowed to be kept in farming zones.
According to Mayor Scott Slifka, residents interested in having a small number of hens at their homes for locally grown organic eggs have recently brought this idea to town officials.
"The residents who have requested it have said it's really for modest amounts, something akin to a pet that wouldn't be noticeable in the best of circumstances," Slifka said. "And that's what we want to look at."
Slifka put the issue simply. More people want locally grown produce and animal products, but West Hartford has very small lot sizes.
As of Monday, there was no proposed ordinance and it could take up to six months before a formal proposal is presented to the Town Council.
However, the idea is being researched by the Town Council study group and the members are seeing what other communities in the surrounding area are doing and the effect it has in their towns.
However, West Hartford residents are divided on the issue.
"If you have a lot of them, they are kind of smelly and messy," said Erin Matino of West Hartford. "But hey, if they want to take care of it, get a couple of them. They're quiet, I think its OK."
"It sounds like an oxymoron to me," said Joy Shea of West Hartford. "Chickens and West Hartford don't seem to go together."
At the Kilem and Bassette Farmstead in Glastonbury, the owners receive requests from people who want to own chickens in their backyards.
"You know, there's a huge reward in going out and working with the animals and getting to reap the benefits of it," said Chris Bassette of Kilem and Bassette Farmstead.
The next meeting of the West Hartford Town Council is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at town hall. However, a decision on the ordinance is not expected.
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