Try as we might, we can’t find a valid reason to ban backyard chickens in Ogden, so long as the practice is well-regulated and rules are properly followed. The Ogden City Council should reconsider its vote to ban chickens and pass an ordinance allowing families to have chickens in their backyards.
It’s not as if Ogden would be setting some kind of precedent by allowing chickens to be raised here. Backyard chickens are allowed in Utah cities larger than Ogden. Both Salt Lake City and Provo allow the practice, for example. Also, raising chickens in a responsible manner is an act of self-sufficiency that should be commended, not outlawed.
The idea that raising chickens in Ogden would lead to everyone doing it and a mass failure to register the practice, as some fret, is just laziness disguised as caution. We believe if Junction City prepares itself to allow chickens in its backyards, decides to set firm rules, and enforces those rules, we can have chickens in Ogden without chaos.
David Frame, a poultry specialist with Utah State University Extension, agrees that an urban setting is not a barrier to backyard chicken raising. “It can be done in cities, and it can be done responsibly. Obviously, it’s up to the individual, but it’s really not that hard to raise backyard chickens in a safe and responsible way,” he said.
As mentioned, the idea of successfully raising chickens is admirable, particularly in these tough economic times. It promotes self-sufficiency, care for the birds, and the ability to work hard for a good purpose. It’s a shame a majority of the Ogden council can’t see that.