Political Eggcitement–Hens Only, No Gamecocks, Finch Feathers Chicken Ordinance (What About Capons?)

chickens at roost
Fresh eggs in the city.

Mayor Bill Finch on Tuesday released details of a proposed ordinance allowing residents to raise as many as six chickens in backyard coops. A chicken in every pot? How about chickens in every yard? No roosters allowed. Sleep well! No capons? A link to the proposed chicken ordinance is here.

The City Council’s Ordinance Committee debated the proposal Tuesday night before tabling it.

A few members tossed some eggs of their own at Finch’s proposal.

“I think we’re asking for more trouble,” said Councilwoman AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia, D-134, after Blunt admitted to the group that he has limited staff. “We have all these other ordinances we can’t enforce.”

CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart has more here.

News release from the mayor:

“We talk about the importance of providing residents with fresh and healthy food options through our farmer’s markets and community gardens,” said Mayor Finch. “This idea fits perfectly into that concept of working towards a green community that is self sustainable.”

The proposed law will be heard tonight by the City Council Ordinance Committee. If approved, a public hearing will be held before it goes to final vote before the full Council.

The ordinance amendment was proposed by the Health Department to create more structure and clearer regulations than provided by the current ordinance.

Here are the highlights:
· People seeking to raise a small poultry flock would be required to secure a permit from the Department of Health after submitting a plot plan for the coop.
· A maximum of six chickens would be permitted. No roosters will be allowed.
· In a rental property, the person seeking to raise chickens would need written consent from the landlord and any other tenants.
· The chickens can only be raised as pets and for eggs for personal use and not for any commercial purposes.
· Anyone seeking a permit must complete a free city-sponsored seminar about how to properly and safely raise a small flock of chickens.

According to Warren Blunt, of the Health Department, the idea behind the ordinance is to ensure people raising chickens do it in a responsible and safe way. The Health Department researched regulations in other cities, such as New Haven and New York City, and decided that a maximum of six chickens was the appropriate number for a manageable flock.

The reality, said Councilman Richard Paoletto, is there already are unsanctioned backyard coops in the city. The ordinance is meant to ensure any current and future coops are well kept and cleaned regularly and not create quality-of-life concerns for neighbors.

“People need to act responsibly,” Mayor Finch said. “At the same time, I can’t imagine anything better than people walking out their back door at the crack of dawn and bringing in a half dozen fresh eggs to feed their family breakfast.

The first training session will be held on April 10, 2014, at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.

The instructor will be Dr. Michael Darre, probably the preeminent chicken expert in Connecticut who works at the University of Connecticut’s College of Agriculture.



  1. Are we planning properly for this expansion of opportunities in the Park City? Do we have a census of how many unsupervised coops exist in the city? Do we have a force of supervisors in place? Do they get overtime? Have benefits? Do we have a mass innoculation plan in place? Are there emergency evacuation routes in place? Does every child have a bottle of Purell in their backpacks? How do we protect them from roving bands of foxes? What does the fox say?

    1. BTW, what happens to the roosters? Are they orphans? Do we send them to the suburbs? And if there are no roosters allowed, like ever, how do we go out the back door and gather eggs? Oh, this subject is beyond deep. So much to consider.

      1. Baffled, lots of thoughtful foresight and considerations as usual. Thanks! Have you considered running for mayor?

        Now, as for “what happens to the roosters?” … Do you suppose … for some, it’ll be cockfighting**; for others free-range coq au vin?

        Check out this thread from a person in Oakland, “Trapping a feral rooster … and finding it a home.”
        www .backyardchickens.com/t/559067/trapping-a-feral-rooster-and-finding-it-a-home

        I think we might do a video on this … once the feral roosters have stopped traffic between exits 24 and 30.

        **Note: This form of barbarism may have to do … while B’port’s political strategists work to overcome State Senate leader’s, Donald Williams’, resistance to allowing professional mixed martial arts (MMA) events without adequate insurance for the competitors. See CT Post article on this:
        www .ctpost.com/local/article/Insurance-headlock-on-mixed-martial-arts-5342643.php

  2. I give up, shut off the lights these fruitcakes are out of control. Who will be the first person arrested for stealing eggs? Finch if you are reading this shame on you, move to a commune you asshole.

  3. It may be a wild-a__ guess but the “birds in the backyard” flutter had to come from somewhere other than the Ordinance last year that authorized a Nutrition Council. Now hunger is a critical issue for some here in the City. And there are food bank programs, food pantry options, plus Federal programs but the City Council created a new body last year. I have not seen a report from the CT Post on their meetings, but just possibly the first question on their first meeting agenda was:
    WHAT CAME FIRST, THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG? And the answer has stumped them so far …
    Now life is not so fair if you happen to be a rooster, for sure. And I am waiting for the DTC to take some action, perhaps Affirmative Action for the poor rooster population who may have to separate from their hens and chicks and leave … perhaps for the suburbs? Time will tell.

  4. Without the roosters, you can’t develop the city’s cockfight gambling industry. Yet another economic development initiative thwarted by this administration!

  5. The council and the ordinance committee along with former council person Warren Blunt did an exhaustive study on this chicken ordinance and the first thing they found out last night was they did not have the inspectors to enforce the chicken ordinance.
    1. You did know about the manpower problems early on?
    2. What’s the real reason for this stupid ordinance?
    3. You have six chickens, they lay 5 eggs a week, that’s 30 eggs. Who is going to eat 30 eggs?
    4. By the time you build the coop , buy hay, buy feed and such how much are these freaking eggs going to cost.
    5. Now we eat the chicken when it gets old, we have to buy a new chicken. Who monitors the health of these freaking chickens?
    6. Rich Paoletto, there is no freaking way you wife is going to have chickens in the rear yard.
    Find something meaningful that will make people living in Bridgeport lives’ easier.

  6. Research shows that each chicken will lay approx 6 eggs per week You have 6 chickens so using Math I learned at Harding that means my coop will produce 36 eggs or 3 dozen. Thats a lot oif freaking eggs. Now lets go to a 6 family dwelling on Pembroke street everyone is growing chickens at this address that means in this 6 family house there will be 216 eggs produced. Who the freak is going to eat all these F’N eggs.
    Holly shit I just though of this Bridgeport can become the chicken and egg capital of America. We have the land to build the coops (large) each coop will have about 30,000-50,000 chickens. Now if they are layers thats 300,000 eggs per chicken house. Think about it. Lower taxes the fresh smell of chicken shit we will be in heaven.

    1. I believe Harding math would equal 34 eggs a week. Seriously though, you are right. Whenever BPT does something, it seems as if they do not think about the big picture and the future.

  7. Gee Andy, instead of raising cranberry sauce in the old Remington works on the East Side, we can be growing chicken eggs instead. Sounds like the city has excavated another winner. This ought to keep everyone’s mind off taxes and the budget.

  8. Jim, my sister-in-law had two chicken laying houses on her property and she made a lot of money with these chickens. By rough estimate the city has over 400 properties it owns. Let’s just use half the properties and we can raise 10,000,000 chickens, each chicken lays six eggs per week and lo and behold we have 60,000,000 eggs per week. You talk about redevelopment achievements. Then Finch, Timpanelli and Wood could tour the country as our chicken representatives. Out-freakin’-standing

  9. Lyrics to song we all can sing at the next CC meeting:
    Well, I had a little chicken And she wouldn’t lay an egg So I poured hot water all around her leg And the little chicken hollered and the little chicken begged And the gosh darn chicken laid a hard-boiled egg!
    Well, I had a little chicken And she wouldn’t lay an egg So I poured hot chocolate all around her leg And the little chicken hollered and the little chicken begged And the gosh darn chicken laid an Easter egg!
    Well, I had a little chicken And she wouldn’t lay an egg So I poured gunpowder all around her leg And the little chicken hollered and the little chicken begged And the gosh darn chicken laid a hand grenade!

  10. You know I along with everyone else is ridiculing mayor Finch and his chicken initiative but think of this and it’s really sad: This is all he is capable of bringing to Bridgeport, freakin’ chickens. Let me say this, I disagree 150% with Bill Finch and his green bullshit but I do like him as a civilian person.
    Bill really, you need to step back and look what you are doing to yourself and the city. You need to move on so 140,000-plus people can move on also.

  11. Bill is off the hook. Just in time, the Connecticut Supreme Court declared horses to be vicious animals.

    I don’t want to hear no stories about a galloping headless horsemen throwing burning chickens at people at Harral and Pequonnock streets and claiming it is Mayor Finch!

  12. Jim C. Don’t forget we have The Cranberry expert from Fairfield in Bridgeport, Sal DiNardo whom we can depend on for consultation and valuable advice.

  13. What about the rats?
    By the time you finish building the coop, buying feed and rodent control, it would be cheaper to buy the eggs. BTW–that rat poison is also poisonous to dogs, cats, squirrels, people, ETC. It is also a water soluble, water polluting ground contaminate that plants, like the ones in urban gardens, absorb and anything that eats the plants or drinks the water also absorbs the poison. Great, more brownfields.
    I know the people of BPT will be responsible chicken raisers. You never read stories of people being irresponsible dog owners.

  14. *** Can’t have good organic chicken eggs without a rooster in the hen house! *** And besides, this city already has enough birdbrains in its city government who lay mucho eggs on a continual basis from day to day to keep things crowing on the political scene, no? ***

  15. I may be a little late to this conversation, but I’ll chime in nonetheless to provide some insights from a chicken owner.

    By way of background information, my wife and I have owned chickens for the past three years. We live in Black Rock in a farmhouse that was built in 1836, so we knew the land was no stranger to chickens.

    When we first starting considering this over four years ago, I reviewed the city ordinance to determine if chickens were allowed. The ordinance is clear–they are not allowed without permission from the Board of Health. Since no such Board existed, we approached then Director of Health, William Quinn.

    I came to learn he had previously served in this capacity in New Haven, a city that had adopted ordinances allowing for chicken ownership. I also learned he had grown up with chickens so he understood the attraction. But he wasn’t going to provide permission without very specific requirements being met–including size of coop, number of birds, setback, etc. It took over a year, and a review of our property by representatives of Environmental Health, but we were finally granted permission.

    We have enjoyed our chickens since they first arrived. Beyond producing eggs, they’re very personable and fun. We tell our kids (both of whom have pretty much flown the coop) the girls help fill the void they left behind. My wife makes sure to bring them a dish of leftover vegetables, pasta, rice every morning. Our girls are truly spoiled.

    I have no interest in engaging in the politics of this matter, I just thought it might be helpful to this discussion to bring a different perspective. And “Baffled” you need to go back to Biology 101 and learn the difference between a non-fertilized and a fertilized egg. The outcome is very different.

  16. *** I said, I say, what we seem to have here “BOY,” is a failure to communicate! Now it’s not so much about what was said but rather what was “not” said that leads us towards mass confusion of the worst kind! The kind that has plagued the Finch Admin. for quite some time now and continues ’til this day to get in the way of productive economical city government thinking. Its chilling mass hysteria and political mind-altering effects have also infected resident voters on both sides of the state’s political parties, etc. So remember these here words of wisdom, as you continue to stumble through life as you know it. It’s not what you know, but what you don’t know that counts in the long, cool runnings of life! *** RESPECT, MAN! ***


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