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Published August 01, 2012, 09:54 PM

Moorhead woman vies for backyard chickens

MOORHEAD, Minn. (WDAY TV) - What started as one woman's idea to help feed her family has quickly gained attention throughout the city of Moorhead.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (WDAY TV) - What started as one woman's idea to help feed her family has quickly gained attention throughout the city of Moorhead.

How would you feel about your neighbor having chickens in their backyard?

Currently Moorhead has a code forbidding domestic chickens, turkeys, ducks, cows, horses; basically any kind of animal not your typical pet.

But for Tammie Yak of Moorhead, it's an outdated policy that needs to change.

Tammie Yak, Moorhead resident: "We're looking at eating more whole foods, things that are healthier for us, things that are closer to where we live so that we are eating better and know where our food comes from."

What started as an idea turned into a Moorhead for Urban Chickens Facebook page and now, may soon become a reality.

Yak: “Other people started liking my comment on Facebook and it started going viral and went everywhere and people were connecting to me that I had never even met.”

Opponents say the chickens are too dirty and cause disease but Yak says that simply isn't true.

Yak: “If you are a responsible owner of animals, you are not going to have those issues. The reason we have diseases within our chickens is because they are overcrowded, they are living on top of each other in small spaces, they don't have access to outside and natural surroundings.”

Yak says she doesn't know where she would put the coup in her backyard but wants to respect her neighbors.

With the help of supporter and council-member Luther Stueland, there is a very preliminary draft of what the new ordinance might look like on the Facebook page.

Instead of making it illegal to own chickens, it would be illegal for those chickens to run at large. Any dwellings for those chickens would need to be a certain distance from the neighboring property.

Yak: “Having chickens in your yard means you know where your eggs are coming from, you know how the chickens have been treated, you know what they eat, you know where they've been.”

According to an Urban Chicken website, some cities that already have backyard chickens include New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, St. Louis and Madison, although many with very different laws.

Stueland said earlier, he has already received inquiries from 4-to-5 other people in Moorhead about allowing backyard chickens.

He would need one more supporting council member before he could bring it in front of the entire council.

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