Riverside and Berwyn, IL, working towards backyard chickens

The town of Riverside, IL, is currently discussing legalizing chickens, as is Berwyn, IL. If you’re interested in connecting with the chicken movers and shakers in either town, post a comment below, and I’ll connect you.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Carrie Hirsch on March 4, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Are backyard chicken legal in Evanston to your knowledge?


  2. Posted by bradley rio on March 21, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    I am surprised to hear that a community like Riverside was not ahead of the curve on an issue like this. I was looking into literature on raising chickens responsibly and building quality coops when I realized my town still has outlawed this now widely accepted practice. Given that most opponent’s concerns seem to be neutralized by well substantiated facts which correct many negative misconceptions about the practice and the success so many other towns have had in implementing laws regarding hens, it seems like a change to the ordinance should be a foregone conclusion. I would love to be a part of making this change happen.


  3. Posted by Josie on April 18, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    I live in Berwyn, IL and have given the idea of raising chickens some thought but not sure if I can handle it on my own, especially winter needs for the birds. Not sure if I would be able to handle the final event of preparing them for cooking either. I heard that Berwyn was discussing this but Riverside I had not heard about.

    Also concern is allowing chickens to be raised in Berwyn is a huge concern as many residents have cats and dogs and while they love their animals many haven’t a clue to proper care especially cleaning after their animals – which is a huge issues. I have a neighbor that picks up after his dog maybe every two weeks and then never a full job of pick up. Will these people clean up after their chickens which could be really smelly if they don’t.


    • Hi, and thanks for your questions.
      I’m going to put you in touch with the folks in Berwyn who are interested in chickens.
      To respond to your questions 1) re: winter, it’s not terribly difficult. You should get cold-hardy breeds and have good circulation in the coop. No need for a heat lamp. Check out my winter care class at the Chicago Botanic Garden. 2) I strongly recommend taking your birds to a licensed slaughter facility – there are halal/kosher places that will do it. It’s very fast and very cheap. The chicken-keeping community in Chicago discourages people from doing it yourself. 3) Chicken poop does not produce the same odor as dog and cat poop, and chickens will be confined to the owners’ yard, most likely in a coop. You will not have chicken droppings showing up in your yard! A well-maintained coop will not smell.


  4. has there been any movement on the Berwyn ordinance?


  5. Posted by ariel guzman on December 4, 2017 at 2:39 am

    Hello I just moved to Berwyn from Chicago and I’m interested on having a few back yard chickens as well as honey bees. I have been doing some research regarding the ordinances for Berwyn but can’s seem to find a straight answer. Please let me know if you could help me.


    • Hello, Ariel! Chickens are legal in Berwyn! You can check out Municode or Sterling Codifiers for the exact language. Please let me know if you need some contacts among Berwyn chicken folks.


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