Chickens could soon live in Goshen


Goshen could soon join the growing list of local communities to allow people to raise chicken within city limits.

However, there are still rules to work out.

For the better part of a year, a local group has been working to see if it might be possible to legally raise chickens in Goshen.

Known as 'Hens for Goshen,' the group has more than 150 people who have signed its Facebook page.

"Mainly, we are interested in having our own chickens here in Goshen," said group organizer John Nafziger. "Some people want eggs. Some people want them in their garden. Some people like the idea of having chickens."

Part of it has to do with a growing movement to know where we get our locally grown food.

"If you have your own chickens, you know exactly where they are coming from and where their eggs are coming from, and you know the chickens are being treated humanely," added Nafziger.

The Goshen City Council is working with him and other members of the group to draft an ordinance that would make it legal to raise chickens within the Goshen city limits.

Council member Dixie Robinson is co-sponsoring the ordinance.

"There will be rules," Robinson promised. "They can't have more than six hens. They can't have roosters. Each hen has to have so much space within their pen."

Another provision - where the hens could be located.

"They will have to stay away from property lines so far," said Robinson. "I don't want to see it adversely affect people's property values."

"I have talked to all council members over the past year and other members of 'Hens for Goshen' have talked to them, and we think it's got a pretty good chance," noted Nafziger.

The proposed ordinance comes before Goshen's city council for the first time on March 4.