West Hartford Considers Allowing Hens

By Todd Piro
|  Monday, Nov 12, 2012  |  Updated 1:23 PM EDT
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West Hartford Considers Allowing Hens

NBC 4 New York

A West Hartford woman wants residents to be able to keep hens at their homes to lay eggs.

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Imagine if man’s best friend could provide the eggs to make an omelet? 

Your dog can’t do it.  Neither can your cat, but a pet chicken could and so Heidi Green is on a crusade to bring chickens to West Hartford.

Green wants to see chickens as pets and is proposing flocks of six or fewer hens in homes, screened off by a fence or shrubs to keep them out of view of neighbors. 

Currently, West Hartford bans chickens that aren’t in farms, but hens can lay up to 300 eggs per year and Green is hoping the movement toward locally produced food changes local rules. 

In September, Green asked about amending zoning ordinances to allow hens.

“It’s important to eat food that’s grown locally to reduce the transportation costs,” Green said. 
Green said West Hartford is still deciding whether to allow the hens in homes, evaluating things like noise and filth. 

“Hens are not noisy. Actually, cats and dogs smell worse than chickens do, if they’re properly taken care of,” Green said.

The dirt dwellers can actually have an added health benefit, she said. 

“You’re in there with some bugs, so your immune system has something real to react against,” said Green.

But, she said, don’t try to keep roosters as pets – they’re the ones that “fowl” up the neighborhood. 

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