Appleton community learn about raising chickens during coop tour

APPLETON, Wis. The Appleton city council legalized urban chickens in May after years of debate. Now the organization leading the movement called "City Peeps" is holding their first community coop tour Saturday to educate the Appleton community about pet chickens.

Co-founder of City Peeps, Shannon Kenevan, says before chickens became legal the community's concerns included noise, smell and disease from owning chickens.

"A lot of cities around the country have legalized chickens and had very little problems with having chickens so we wanted to help educate our city council and our community that they can make wonderful pets and not have all the problems that people think," said Kenevan.

Appleton Alderperson Joe Martin voted for the legalization of chickens in the city. Martin attended the coop tour and says he's happy with his decision.

The city does not allow any roosters and each household is only allowed up to four hens.

"Of course it was the right thing to do and it's neat to see that people are supporting it all around the city,” said Alderperson Martin.

"Now that we've our organization has helped legalize chickens in Appleton now we just look to just kind of make it better for people in the community and add more people to the mix," Kenevan adds.

The community got a chance to check out five different styles of coops, meet more than a dozen chicken breeds and ask any questions about how to raise chickens.

"I think they are primarily pets but there are also a whole lot of benefits that come with them, primarily eggs. We have one that's already old enough to lay eggs who was laying about four or five a week until the weather got colder, and next year all of them should be laying about three to five eggs a week," added Kenevan.

Kenevan says chickens also eat table scraps and their waste make nutrient rich compost for gardening.

"I've noticed some really good build and bought coops, I also see that the areas that these chickens are in are very healthy areas," said Alderperson Martin.

Kenevan hopes to make the coop tour an annual event for the community. Those wishing to learn more about Appleton's chicken ordinance can visit the "City Peeps" Facebook page for resources.