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Twin Cities Hatching With Hope For Backyard Chickens

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(credit: CBS) Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield
Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield never imagined she'd be in the Tw...
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HUDSON, Wis. (WCCO) – These days it doesn’t seem to matter. Just because you live in a city doesn’t mean you can’t have the perks of a farm life.

People all over the Twin Cities metro are are getting eggs from their own backyards. But one local town has landed on the fence over it all.

As if there’s not enough going on in the Heriot family’s backyard in Hudson, Wis., there’s about to be more.

“Sounds crazy, right?” Jen Heriot, a mother of three, said.

She’s got a vision for her outdoor space and it involves 5 chickens. But as of now it’s not allowed, so those plans are up in the air.

At first Hudson council member Mary Yacoub voted against it, now she’s warming up to the idea of inner-city chickens after seeing how popular it is. But she says they’re trying to draw up a cautious plan.

“We want to make sure we’re not being overpopulated by chickens,” she said. “It’s kind of an interesting concept when you think about it, to start raising chickens in such a small city.”

If things pass in Hudson, you will only be allowed five chickens each, the same as in neighboring Stillwater. But that’s not the way it works in other towns.

In St. Paul, they are allowed if neighbors give permission, the coups can’t be made of scraps and need to look orderly and roosters are not allowed.

Minneapolis requires neighbor consent too, hens and roosters allowed and in both cities you can have as many chickens as you want if you disclose the number. (Click here for information on Minneapolis. Click here for St. Paul’s regulations.)

“I’m really excited to have almost an endless supply of eggs,” Heriot said.

One more vote still has to go through in Hudson, something Heriot is counting on. Recipe-wise, she’s already counting her chickens before they’re hatched.

“I would say the best thing is German pancakes, which takes a dozen just for that. It takes a lot,” she said.

The next step there is likely a public hearing. If it’s a go, it is expected to go into effect right away.

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