Chicken or no chicken: an East Peoria debate - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Chicken or no chicken: an East Peoria debate

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EAST PEORIA, Ill (HOI) -- -

One central Illinois city is trying to decide whether or not to allow the residents to own chickens.

Scrambled or hard-boiled is not the question here as a few dozen people turned out to show their love for chickens, as East Peoria considers allowing them within city limits.

Eggs and companionship were just some of the reasons residents say the critters should be allowed within the city.

The matter was at the center of Monday night's zoning board meeting where officials took public comment on potentially allowing residents to have up to five hens.

If it gets approved, the animals would have to be penned, and roosters would not be allowed.

That's no problem for chicken owners like Robert Brinker.

"It's an Easter egg hunt every day," said Brinker. "People are getting more aware that there's different alternatives to a dog, and they're quieter." 

Brinker said him and his chickens go for walks, adding that "they have chicken harnesses, and diapers and stuff like that you can put on your chicken," also adding "they leave breakfast behind; a little added feature."

Brinker has been trying to get the city on board for months.

Like many in attendance, Brinker cited no concerns over the aggressiveness of hens, and is willing to pay a special use permit fee.

No one who spoke at the meeting was against the idea.

The board agreed to pass along their approval to the city council who will have the ultimate decision.

Decisions like this are not that uncommon.

Pekin for example allows residents to own chickens with regulations.

As for East Peoria, there isn't a timeline yet on when the issue could be discussed among council members.

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