No, keeping of chickens and other livestock (cattle, goats, horses, swine, poultry, etc.) is not allowed in the Village of Skokie. Periodically the Mayor and Board of Trustees have Staff review code requirements and policies pertaining to their departments. The keeping of chickens within Skokie Code Section 18-7 “Keeping livestock” was reviewed and evaluated in early 2020 by the Health Department.
The practice associated with keeping chickens has a great potential to attract rats. The Village of Skokie has an aggressive rat control program that includes inspections for rats, treatment of burrows, and ensuring that preventive measures are in place. Residents are encouraged to report rat sightings to the Health Department or by using our: Online Rat Reporting Form
Keeping chickens also has a high potential to create odors, feces, food spillage, noise and attract other predators, many of which already present a problem for homeowners in Skokie, such as: Skunks, Coyotes, Raccoons, Foxes, Feral and domestic cats and Neighborhood dogs.
In communities where backyard chicken farming is allowed a common problem of “poultry abandonment” has been documented. When chickens get to be 2 to 3 years of age, their best egg-producing days are behind them. Unfortunately, many local chicken farmers decide to simply dump aging hens in local parks or forest preserve areas. The problem of abandoned chickens is further burdening local animal shelters, and chicken rescue groups have seen a rise in calls about discarded poultry.
Lastly, the Health risks associated with keeping Chicken is an enormous concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recent outbreaks of Salmonella Infections Linked to Backyard Poultry was documented in 2019. The outbreaks in 2019 represent the largest recorded number of people to become sick with Salmonella after contact with backyard poultry.
1,134 people were infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella and were reported from 49 states and the District of Columbia.