It's strange sometimes the conversations that can start during dinner. This past weekend, we had a dinner I'm sure many of you grew up with and still have to this day. It has many names, but we simply call it 'Breakfast for Dinner.' We have traditional breakfast foods for dinner at night. Pretty simple. On this occasion it was eggs, hash browns, bacon, and orange juice. During dinner conversation, one of my daughters said that it would be cool if we had our own eggs and didn't have to buy them from the store. It would be cool, wouldn't it?

That got me thinking about chickens. I grew up on a farm in rural Jones County and we did have chickens a couple times if my memory serves me correctly. But for the most part it was cattle and corn on the Brainard farm. The real question that my daughters had was could we have chickens since we now live in town? Well, the answer according to the city of Marion is 'yes.' According to chapter 55A of the Marion Municipal Code, city residents are allowed to have hens or ducks. There are, of course, more rules involved.

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Before you run out and get a hen or a duck, you first have to submit an application with the city of Marion. Before you submit the application you are required to take an urban chicken training workshop. They are offered through the Indian Creek Nature Center, or other approved sources. There is also a limit on the number of birds you can own. Marion allows for six hens or ducks per parcel of land. Each bird must have their wings clipped so they can't fly, and have a numbered band on their leg.

And then there is the issue of the enclosure for your birds. There are size requirements, but you can't go too big or you'll need another permit. The complete rules are listed again, in chapter 55A of Marion City Code.

The bottom line is, hens and ducks are allowed within Marion City limits if you follow the rules. And there are a lot of them. Needless to say, the Brainard's aren't adding a henhouse any time soon!


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