By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — After more than an hour of debate on both sides of the issue, city leaders approved backyard chicken farming in Wausau by a 6-5 margin.

Pat Peckham, Romey Wagner, Dave Nutting, Tom Neal, Lisa Rasmussen and Joe Gehin voted in favor of the proposal. Gary Gisselman, Becky McElhaney, Karen Kellbach, Sherry Abitz and Dennis Smith were opposed.

The new rule means homeowners are allowed up to four hens in homes zoned as single family residences or two-family residence districts. Permits, which cost $35, will be granted only to homeowners and will be valid for one year.

The proposal left residents sharply divided, many of whom were worried about the possibility of Salmonella infection.

But Jeff Hinueber, a retired veterinarian who lives in Wausau, said poultry owners can take certain precautions that can greatly reduce the chance of infection.

Chickens should never be allowed indoors and should not be cuddled or kissed, Hinueber said. The number one way to prevent disease, he said, is to wash hands thoroughly after having contact with chickens.

Under the new rules, chicken coops are required to be placed in the back yard area of a home at least 10 feet from the property line and at least 25 feet from the home itself. Between sunrise and sunset, chickens can to roam in a run that provides at least three feet of space per chicken up to a maximum of 24 feet.

Sales of eggs are prohibited, and owners are not be permitted to slaughter chickens on the premises. The city’s humane officer will inspect homes before permits are issued.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also published a set of recommendations for handling of backyard chickens.

26 replies on “Backyard chickens approved in Wausau”

  1. Bird brains voting for birds. What did you expect. What’s next? Maybe goats or how about miniature donkeys. Wausau can change is logo to say, “Welcome to Wausau… The World’s Largest Petting Zoo.

    What’s even worse, as after they finished doping this they voted to increase Wausau’s debt load by over 16 million dollars.

    Kudos to those alderpersons who listened to their constituents and voted NO on the chicken proposal.

  2. Actually, I will not because none of the Alderpersons who voted for the measure indicated that they had actually sought the opinions of their residents. In fact one of the yes votes had indicated earlier thst he had received more calls from his residents who opposed the measure than those who supported it. But he is smarter than his residents so he wanted chickens so he voted yes.

    We will see how that works out for him come election time.

      1. LOL! YOU want to talk facts? Right here on this very website (I’ll find the exact quote if you’re in need), Peckham stated (I’ll paraphrase): “I’ve received more phone calls from constituents who oppose than in favor”.
        Be *very* careful when stating “factually correct” things.

  3. And which alderman might that be Dino?

    I know that there was a Facebook poll done by someone in the first district, but that poll was not conducted by the alderman.

    So I’ll wait far a name Dine.

  4. Call1911….Stan stated, “Actually, I will not because none of the Alderpersons who voted for the measure indicated that they had actually sought the opinions of their residents.” I know one that did seek the input of the residents in his district. Blanket statements that lack support are easy to disagree with. Can he say with any actual certainty that Tom Neal, or Pat Peckham or any of the other yes votes did not do something? I do not think he can.

  5. Apology accepted Dino.

    I would suggest that if you want to know if alderman Neal actually polled any of his constituents on their opinion you should call him and all of the other alderpeople who voted for the issue. That way you will have direct information as their actions.

    I was at the meeting and the only two alperpeople who indicated that they had spoken directly with their constituents and both voted against the measure. In fact, one of these two alperpersons indicated that he had spoken with a total of 86 of his constituents and of that total 74 opposed the measure and 12 supported it. I guess that is why he voted against the measure.

    The question you have ask yourself is if any of those whose voted for the measure had conducted any such research before they cast their votes.

    1. Respectfully Stan, the same could be said to you. You made a claim, “Actually, I will not because none of the Alderpersons who voted for the measure indicated that they had actually sought the opinions of their residents.” I would ask you to support your claim. How do you know that none of those individuals did not seek input? You suggested that I ask, but I did not make a claim that a group of individuals did or did not do something. You did. So, respectfully, how do you know that they did not seek input?

      1. Dino, this isn’t exactly rocket science. Here’s a DIRECT QUOTE from a story on this website:
        “District 1 Alderman Pat Peckham said that despite receiving more calls against chickens than for them, he is “quite comfortable supporting the proposal.”

        “I think it’s the usual situation where those opposed are more motivated to speak up,” Peckham wrote, in a June 13 email to Wausau Pilot & Review.”

        But hey, why believe me? You can factually read for yourself:

        I would think that a former (or is it still current?) contributor to that fine, non-partisan (HA) fish wrapper called City Pages, you’d take a few seconds to do some research. Then again, why start now?

      2. Call, the statement “Actually, I will not because none of the Alderpersons who voted for the measure indicated that they had actually sought the opinions of their residents.” Is a statement of absolute knowledge that none (zero) people who voted for the measure had any input. This is a claim of fact from Stan.

        What you put there is in fact a quote. Sure enough. But, it is not in support of the claim that NONE had any contact. In fact, it indicates that one of the people who voted for did in fact have input.

        The issue is not whether or not they listened, or voted, but the issue I am highlighting is Stans claim that NONE zero NONE not one, absolutely none, none had any input.

        The quote that you used does not support that NONE of the alderperson who voted for chickens had any or no contact. It merely says that Pat had some contact.

        I do not have to do any research. Again, Stan made a claim of fact, “Actually, I will not because none of the Alderpersons who voted for the measure indicated that they had actually sought the opinions of their residents.”

        Your comment does not support Stan’s claim of fact.

  6. Well, since you’re the grand freaking Swami of knowledge here Dino, is it safe to assume that your sources (anonymous, I’m sure) tell you that Peckham (another stellar City Pages contributor) received more calls against than in favor of coop-de-ville, but did NOT solicit those calls/opinions? Honestly, as Canklesaurus Rex famously stated “what difference does it make”?

    I’m sure (not) that residents who start constructing their chicken hotels will all be getting city building permits to do so, right? Since they must be a certain required footage from both house and property line, maybe the city will just trust everyone’s tape rule.
    Who’s going to inspect them and how often? Maybe since they’re dealing in food, they should be regulated and under the same microscope as young Mr. Ruffi……right? Don’t want no tainted eggs being consumed.

    1. I do not have any sources. Stan introduced a claim of fact. NONE of the ye votes got any input. I am simply asking, over and over again, that he support that claim, I do not believe that claim of fact to be true.

  7. Dino, your reluctance to contact those who voted for the issue makes me feel thst you will not like the results of your research. I don’t blame you.

    Here is a deal. I will contact those who voted against to see if they polled any of their constituents and report my findings if you will do the same for those who voted for the issue. Make sure to question if they actively polled their district, broached the issue at neighborhood meetings, and did the inidivduals who expressed an opinion were in support or opposition to the measure.


    1. Again, I do not have to do anything to support your claim. You do. You introduced a fact, I did not. I questioned the claim, and asked you to support it. You have not done this. I have no rhetorical responsibility here at all. I am only disputing your claim based on lack of supported knowledge. And based on the word NONE. None is an absolute, so if one person who voted yes, at any point asked anyone in their districts, your claim is proven false. So, to make it plain, if Patrick Peckham, Romey Wagner, David Nutting, Tom Neal, Lisa Rasmussen or Joe Gehin asked any of their residents about chickens, then your claim is false.

      Your claim is not, as written, that they listened, or voted for or against, but simply SOUGHT. You have claimed that NONE SOUGHT the opinions.

      Your claim is as follows, “Actually, I will not because none of the Alderpersons who voted for the measure indicated that they had actually sought the opinions of their residents.”

      How do you know this? That is my only question to you. All of the surrounding conflation is just that. So, How do you know?

  8. So you are not up to the challenge. I am giving you an opportunity to prove me wrong and you are not taking it. But you chose to hide behind some lame made up logic. Who knows, msybe I am correct and none of those who voted in support of the measure did not seek any opinion but their own.

    Dino, if you can’t run with the big dogs, you had best stay on the porch.

    1. I do not think it is a race. I feel fine with this outcome. I do not think logic is made up. If something I said is incorrect, let me know. I have proven I am more than willing to apologize for mistakes I make.

      But no, I will not endeavor to research your claim of fact. It is your claim of fact.

  9. It is always breathtaking when an elected official chooses to intentionally ignore the will of the majority of his constituents who took time to voice their opinion to him regarding this issue, ss has been done by Mr. Peckham.

    One has no alternative but to question if there was a bias.

    1. Well Max, you should know that the esteemed Mr. Peckham certainly feels that his abundance of cranial matter far exceeds that of his lowly constituents. Afterall, it’s the liberal/socialist mantra. What the serfs desire is inconsequential compared to what the king of the ward deems fit.

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