Brode Lydick loves animals.
“I just like being around them,” Lydick said.
So, when he made a trip out to Dave and Jody Bunting’s farm and was able to get up close and personal with their animals he found a connection. Lydick, a fifth grader, said during visits to Runnings in Redwood Falls in the spring he would see the chicks in the tanks, wishing there was a way he could take one home.
“I was told I couldn’t have them in town,” said Lydick.
So, he got his animal fix by visiting the Buntings and helping with whatever he could. Yet, in the back of his mind, Lydick kept thinking about the idea of having those animals at his house in town.
“I love the cows the most,” said Lydick, “but I was pretty sure they wouldn’t let me have a cow in town.”
So, he settled on a smaller animal – chickens – and began his quest to find a way to raise them in his backyard.
That led Lydick to a Redwood Falls city council meeting where he made his pitch.
“I was nervous the first couple of times I went to the meetings,” said Lydick, adding he had gotten used to it by the last meetings he attended.
He made a request to raise chickens within city limits, and after that initial request made repeat appearances at city council meetings to talk more about his idea and to go over the ordinance with the council.
Lydick’s idea came to fruition March 7 when the council officially adopted Ordinance No. 56, which amended city code to allow for the keeping of chickens in Redwood Falls.
“At first when I had the idea I didn’t think they would allow it,” admitted Lydick, “but when they stated talking more about it and then passed it I felt relieved.”
Lydick is now in the middle of the planning stages for his own plan. He is researching plans for a coop, adding he is not sure if he will just buy one or if he and his dad will build one. When it comes to the chickens, Lydick said he might by some from a store, but he is also thinking about the idea of hatching some locally.
He wants to raise different varieties to get different colors of eggs, and Lydick said he plans to eat most of the eggs (scrambled is “probably” his favorite).
“The rest we will try to sell,” Lydick added.
While Lydick said he is not really interested in being a farmer when he gets older, as he wants to become a veterinarian, he is hoping to live in an area where he can raise his own animals. Yes, said Lydick, it was a lot of hard work, but he agreed when that first egg is eaten from his own flock it definitely will all be worth it.
For those like Lydick who are considering the addition of chickens to their residential area, there are a few rules that must be followed based on the approved ordinance, including:
• All who live in the city limits and plan to raise chickens must obtain a permit. That permit is good for three years. The permit fee for three years is $50, which includes a $10 per year permit fee and a $20 charge for inspections.
• Only chickens can be raised – no other types of poultry (i.e. ducks, geese or turkeys) are permitted.
• All of the chickens must be hens – no roosters. When it is discovered that a rooster is part of a flock, the holder of the permit has 24 hours to remove it.
• No more than six hens can be kept at any one time.
• All chickens must be confined within a coop or fenced in run at all times. Chickens are not allowed to range freely.
• All adjacent property owners (everything within 50 feet of the proposed location) must approve of the application.
Keith Muetzel, city administrator, added those who live in what are defined as rural residential zones are not required to obtain a permit, as those zoned areas already allow for the raising of certain animals.
Lydick expressed his excitement and appreciation as it relates to the outcome, but he knows the real work has just begun.