The city of Bismarck won't let you raise your own eggs during a time of inflation

These egg producing chickens are found in the suburbs of a city in Washington. They produce many eggs for the owner.

The opportunity to have chickens within city limits was obliterated by the Bismarck City Commission because...muh dogs.

The cost for animal control, and the possibility of dog owners having run-ins with chicken owners was enough for the city to put the kabosh on the ability for people to own chickens and raise their own food in a time when food prices keep going up. I think I found an earlier article, once I was aware this was a topic of discussion, where one city official postulated that once you open the door to chickens, what was next, cows?

This is the thought process of our civic leaders.

Here is the email I sent to every commissioner. Not that it matters. There's only one on there who actually seems to listen or think outside the box when it comes to allowing people freedom and opportunity to thrive. During the mask mandate, they were all about listening to the experts, but here we have people from NDSU and other experts and...meh. Cost to the city! Inconvenience! I got emails saying some people didn't want them even though all those emails didn't matter so much during the mask mandate fiasco! Muh dogs!

Frankly, if you want chickens in the city, just build a great privacy fence and do it. 

Most people won't know you have them, I was told in the past the city ordinances were a "complaint based system," and you should be able to raise your own food on your property that the city taxes to high heaven and just increased last fall. If they can profit off of your property, why shouldn't you be allowed to raise chickens for eggs to save on increasing food costs for your family? If 2020 taught me anything, it's that compliance is optional. I mean, it is for so many dog owners who let their dogs run all over, crap on everything, and bark all night.

Here is the letter I sent to the commission. 


A friend sent me a link to this article.

"It would be a hassle for animal control."

"I have hunting dogs trained to go after birds and that would be inconvenient."

"All the dog owners would be calling in complaints about the chickens."

You know what would solve that problem? The language in the ordinances. Dog owners are to keep their animals on a leash or in a fence. Write the ordinance for the chickens in a way defining reasonable fencing structures and privacy fences. I'm not sure what you think about how urban chickens go, but it's not as if people just turn them out to wander the sidewalks. There are small chicken coops that can be moved about the yard. It works in huge cities but Bismarck, North Dakota can't make it happen?

Guess what periodically walks down the street where I live? A flock of about 25+ wild turkeys. I'm surrounded by dog owners and that still happens.

Do you know why people want chickens? I guess since you didn't allow the public to comment, you really won't know why. But here's why cities much much larger than Bismarck allow people to have them: food prices are going up. 

Why is it we can't even keep up with Mandan on so many things, including this? Why wouldn't you allow people the chance to raise their own eggs for their family? You literally just forced some people to get chickens illegally. I know of at least one house that's quietly had chickens hidden in their backyard, no problems, for several years. I know no end to dog owners breaking ordinances left and right, but those chicken owners? Most people probably wouldn't realize they even had them.

Your decision based on concerns over inconvenience and enforcement just denied people the right to try to produce their own food during times of increasing inflation and commodity prices. People want to be able to sustain themselves, including through gardens and chickens. This is the new model of how people want to live in urban areas, one of the draws for younger generations, and you killed the opportunity because of inconvenience and dogs. Wow.

All I could say was my disappointment in my civic leaders continues to grow. Only one of you even advocated for a public hearing? It's not as if Bismarck would have been filled with millions of chickens. But, you know, my dogs and everything. People want to raise their own food...but my dogs.