Blacksburg considers allowing chicken keeping in residential neighborhoods

Published: Jan. 16, 2019 at 4:59 PM EST
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Several of our hometowns allow families to keep chickens on their property in residential urban neighborhoods. Now Blacksburg is considering the same.

In Jen Friend's backyard, three chickens are keeping each other warm in the cold.

"My husband was the one who wanted the chickens," Friend said. "As soon as we saw that Christiansburg was allowing chickens, he immediately started researching and got the permit and we got the chickens."

Since 2016, Christiansburg has allowed families to raise chickens in residential neighborhoods. Now a proposal is on the table to allow people in Blacksburg to do the same.

Currently, residents in rural Blacksburg communities are already allowed to keep chickens.

"What we're contemplating now that would be a change is to allow that in single family neighborhoods," Blacksburg Mayor, Leslie Hager-Smith, said.

During the January 8th town council meeting, Blacksburg passed the chicken keeping resolution to the planning commission for further review.

"It is clear cut that a significant minority of people would like to keep hens so we're willing to consider it," Hager-Smith said.

Some regulations in the initial proposal include limiting the number of hens to four per household and not allowing roosters.

"Poor guys," the mayor laughed. "They're trouble."

The proposed ordinance change is just in its initial steps, but Mayor Hager-Smith said the proposal could work its way through by the spring.