Bringing chickens to town

Jon Vrieze at Plymouth City Hall

PLYMOUTH, Iowa –  It’s an issue being faced in cities all over the area and nation right now.

This is an issue in several communities as people want more control over their food.

In this case, Plymouth’s city council room was packed Thursday night not only with people, but opinions.

Jon Vrieze is looking a little different for Thursday’s city council meeting.

The past two days, Vrieze has been wearing a chicken suit right outside this building in hopes of raising awareness.

He wants to be able to have chickens within city limits.

And from the looks of the room at the meeting, people sure saw it.

“Me being in a chicken suit I don’t know if either way it had anything to do with it or not but I’m very passionate about it and I guess if that’s what it takes to get people involved,” said Vrieze.

Now, he and other residents of Plymouth are hoping to change the minds of city council members.

Tony Halsted from Hoover’s Hatchery spoke up to talk about why having chickens is becoming such a trend and how he could help develop an ordinance to make sure people was responsible.

“We naturally promote it because we are in the hatching business with baby chickens and it helps us with business but more importantly it helps us to promote chickens are a great protein for people,” said Halsted.

And Plymouth isn’t the only town where people fighting for the same right.

You may remember this past November, when we told you about Leo Hendrick trying to do the same thing in Northwood.

For him, having another community address the issue is awesome to see.

“It’s great, I’m hoping that city council looks at what happened up here,” said Hendrick.

In Hendrick’s case he hasn’t gotten anywhere with the issue.

He says his fight isn’t over.

“I haven’t given up its just kid of in the stall out a little bit but summer is coming,” said Hendrick.

And that’s the common attitude among those passionate about bringing their feathered friends to their homes.

They say they’re not giving up.

“Just keep pushing the issue and two weeks, a month from now if I need to get that chicken outfit again I’ll just suit back up and I’ll be out in the street corner,” said Vrieze.

Halsted told me that usually the biggest concern with having chickens in town is the fear of developing histoplasmosis.

It’s a disease that comes from breathing in fungus caused by bird or bat droppings.

Halsted says no matter what his main concern is that the chickens are properly being cared for whether they’re in town or in the country.

Council members decided to send out a survey along with the monthly newsletter for so folks can tell officials where they stand on the issue.

It’ll be back on next month’s agenda.

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