Backyard chicken coup. File photo.
Backyard chicken coup. File photo.
Backyard chicken coup. File photo.

KAUKAUNA — Members of the Kaukauna Health and Recreation Committee on Monday directed city staff see how other municipalities are handling backyard chicken ordinances.

At its meeting May 15, 2017, the committee moved to direct the mayor to get copies of ordinances from municipalities that allow chickens and compare ordinances with staff to come up with a fee structure and an ordinance to allow chickens within the city, according to Alderman Tony Penterman.

A proposal will then come back to the committee for discussion and possible recommendations to the council to adopt the ordinance.

Ordinances restricting animals in the city go back to at least 1916, according to Penterman.

The current city ordinance, Section 11.12, or the Kaukauna municipal code, prohibits chickens in the city. It reads in part:

“No person shall keep or harbor any reptiles, pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, horses, chickens, ducks, geese, bees, or hives of bees within the corporate limits of the city. ”


There appears to be considerable support to change the ordinance.

Residents were asked to post their comments on the city’s Facebook page HERE. More than 30 comments have been posted so far, and most are supportive of some type of ordinance.

In April 2017, the Appleton City Council adopted a set of rules and passed the ordinance by an 8-6 vote.

According to a post on the city of Appleton website:

Residents may keep up to four hens. A plan showing the size and location of the chicken coop and chicken run must be submitted to the Health Department along with a $145 pre-inspection fee. Each year the permit needs to be renewed at a cost of $24. Three square feet of space is required for each chicken. The chicken run can be no greater than 24 square feet.

Coop and chicken run placement shall be at a minimum of, but not limited to, a 3-foot setback from side and rear yard lot lines. If not attached to accessory structure such as detached garage or shed, coop placement must be a minimum of 10 feet from any structure on the parcel. In addition, coops shall not be closer than twenty-five feet to a residential dwelling, church, school or business on an abutting lot.

Once an application is received by the Appleton Health Department, residents living adjacent to the applicant will be notified and can object within 14 business days. If any neighbor objects to the application, the application is automatically denied. Though the applicant can appeal the decision to the Safety & Licensing Committee.

In March, a post March 7, 2017 on the city of Kaukauna website said the Health and Recreation Committee was reviewing a request from a few interested residents who had asked the committee to consider allowing raising chickens within the city limits.


City of Kaukauna
Council Chambers
Municipal Services Building
144 W. Second Street, Kaukauna
Monday, May 15, 2017, at 6:15 P.M.
1. Correspondence.
2. Solicitor’s License to Davinder Singh, Menasha, to sell ice cream products.
3. Allowing chickens in the City.
4. General Matters.

Notice is hereby given that a majority of the City Council will be present at the meeting of the Health and Recreation Committee scheduled for Monday, May 15, 2017,at 6:15 P.M. to gather information about a subject over which they have decision-making responsibility.
This constitutes a meeting of the City Council pursuant to State ex rel. Badke v. Greendale Village Bd., 173 Wis.2d 553, 494 N.W.2d 408 (1993), and must be noticed as such, although the Council will not take any formal action at this meeting.Notice is hereby given that a negative quorum of the Kaukauna UtilityCommission may be present at this meeting. No formal commission action will betaken.

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.