Bridgeport is considering an ordinance that would allow city residents to raise small flocks of chickens in their backyards.
Mayor Bill Finch announced the proposal Tuesday. If it’s passed, residents would be allowed to raise up to six chickens in backyard coops. No roosters would be permitted.
City Councilman Richard Paoletto said there are already unsanctioned backyard coops in Bridgeport. The ordinance is meant to enforce regulations and ensure that residents raising chickens do so in a “responsible and safe way,” according to a release from the mayor’s office.
Interested residents would need to submit a plan for their chicken coops to the Department of Health to receive a permit. Renters would need written consent from their landlords and other tenants.
Permit applicants would also need to complete a free city-sponsored educational seminar to learn how to properly tend to the animals. The first training session will take place April 10 at the Beardsley Zoo and will be taught by Dr. Michael Darre of the University of Connecticut School of Agriculture.
The chickens would be personal pets and could not be used commercially.
“We talk about the importance of providing residents with fresh and healthy food options through our farmer’s markets and community gardens,” said Finch, in a statement. “This idea fits perfectly into that concept of working towards a green community that is self sustainable.”
The City Council Ordinance Committee will hear the proposal tonight. If it’s approved, the city will hold a public hearing before the ordinance goes to final vote.