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Chicken chat at council

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Chickens are on the menu – er, agenda – for Monday’s Keizer City Council meeting.

Here’s the pertinent info on Keizer’s chicken proposal:

• No roosters, and three hens maximum allowed.

•  No-fee permit required.

•  Chickens allowed on property with single family or duplex residence on it.

• Personal and non-commercial use only.

•  Coop required, and it must be in side or rear yard at least 10 feet from property line.

• Three-year sunset clause to determine whether it’s working.

And if you want to see what a backyard chicken coop looks like before Monday’s hearing – or want to learn if chicken raising is for you – this weekend is your chance.

Just down the road in Salem, 15 backyard coops are on display for just $7 per car as part of the Capital City Chicken Coop and Garden Tour. Hosted by Chickens in the Yard (C.I.T.Y.) and Friends of Salem Saturday Market, two events June 18 and 19 aim to shed light on the trend.

First is a free class at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 18, at the Salem Saturday Market. It’s taught by Gretchen Anderson, who penned Backyard Chicken Fight. The book chronicles battles between local governments and residents who wanted backyard poultry, including the feathers that flew during the Salem chicken fight.

Anderson is hosting a book-signing to kick off the Coop Tour at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 19. Showcased yards will be open from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., showing off a variety of coop and garden styles. Included are “chicken tractors” along with a beekeeping operation, greenhouses and composters.

“It’s a great way to learn about chicken-raising, see a variety of breeds, and meet other urban farmers,” said Barbara Palermo, who founded C.I.T.Y.

Kids are welcome, but please leave pets at home. Tickets can be purchased in Keizer at Copper Creek Mercantile, or at the FSSM booth at the Saturday Market, 13th Street Nursery, Pet Etc. and Champion Feed in Salem. More information available at salemchickens.com.