Markle family pushes for chicken ordinance

Jeremy and Brandy Dornseif love their pets. They have cats, cockatiels, and perhaps the largest member, their dog, Bentley. They said something is missing, though.

Posted: Oct 24, 2017 9:24 PM
Updated: Oct 24, 2017 9:24 PM

MARKLE, Ind. (WFFT)- Jeremy and Brandy Dornseif love their pets. They have cats, cockatiels, and perhaps the largest member, their dog, Bentley. They said something is missing, though. 

"They're our pets, actually. They've never laid an egg yet, so we can't say that we're using them for eggs or anything like that," Brandy Dornseif said of their other pets. 

Pete, Repete, and six other feathered family members aren't allowed on their property in Markle city limits. The chickens have been at Brandy's mom's house since September 8th. 

"We made the mistake of not checking to see if we were allowed to have chickens, but we thought since it was a farm town, it didn't even occur to us to even think about going and seeing if we needed to have a license or anything for the town to have them," Brandy Dornseif said. 

Their daughter, Savanah, wants to show Pete in 4-H, giving her six weeks with him, but she said it's not enough time with her beloved bird. 

"They're my family companionship. They are very close to me, and they mean a lot to me," Savanah said. 

The Dornseifs have been to city council with the issue before, and have even come with signatures from community members supporting the ordinance. 

"We really figured a lot of work behind it, did a lot of research, talked to animal care and control [and the] DNR," Jeremy Dornseif said. 

Markle isn't the only place with a rule against chickens. Only nine towns in Indiana allow them in city limits. 

The Dornseifs said city council believes coyotes might come into the town if the chickens are there. 

"There's not really anything they can stand behind to prove that until everything is actually put forth," Jeremy Dornseif said. 

Indiana cities, such as Southbend, have been successful in allowing chickens in city limits with certain regulations. The Dornseifs said the only way to know is to test it. 

"It's just like a test run. You see what your outcomes are and fix the problems as you go," Jeremy Dornseif said. 

Markle city officials were unavailable for comment, but the Dornseif family will find out if an ordinance passes on November 15th. They said if it doesn't, they'll keep trying. 

 

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