Effort seeks to change law and allow backyard chickens in Lyndonville, other villages in Orleans

Photo by Tom Rivers: There was a float in the Lyndonville Fourt of July parade with inflatable chickens, and people walking and trying to raise awareness of a petition to allow backyard chickens in Orleans County.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 July 2024 at 9:55 am

Provided photo: Kate Hardner is leader of the push to change the backyard chicken ordinance.

LYNDONVILLE – Kate Hardner seeks the public’s input as she tries to convince Lyndonville village officials to change a local law and allow for backyard chickens.

Hardner was joined by friends and supporters of the effort during Lyndonville’s Fourth of July parade. They walked with inflatable chickens in the parade and advertised a Change.org petition – “For Cluck’s Sake! Stop the Backyard Chicken Ban.” Hardner and supporters seek to amend local laws to allow backyard chickens within the villages in Orleans County.

Hardner said the petition touts the environmental advantages of raising backyard chickens by reducing landfill mass and costs in addition to the nutritional benefits of fresh laid eggs, increasing the family’s sense of food security, and improving mental and physical health, teaching children the responsibility of taking care of animals and learning where their food comes from.

“At this time in our lives, it is easier to own chickens in the suburbs and in the city then it is out here in rural America,” Hardner said. “My first exposure to chickens was hatching chicks in 1st grade at Lyndonville Central School and the tradition continues at LCS today, 45 years later.

“Orleans County, with its strong agricultural history, is woefully behind the times in its viewpoint of backyard chicken keeping,” she said. “Furthermore, why is it accepted that local laws are denying youth access to state and federally funded poultry science experiences in 4-H and FFA? It’s time for law makers to review our local practices. Backyard chicken keeping is an easy way for anyone to shorten their food chain from backyard to table.”

Hardner has approached the Lyndonville Village Board, which asked the Village Planning Board to review a proposed Harboring of Animals amendment.

Upon request, Hardner provided examples to the Planning Board of exceptions to allow for chicken hens from the City of Buffalo, Town of Brighton, Town of Hamlin, and Village of Brockport. The next Lyndonville Planning Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 15, at 4 p.m.