SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Sioux Falls officials are studying possible changes in an ordinance that allows farm animals in the city limits, sparked by complaints that included one resident wanting to keep two goats and one family looking to raise more than 25 chickens.

The 60-year-old ordinance allows residents to keep animals as long as they aren't for commercial use and don't bother neighbors, Shawna Goldammer, the city's zoning enforcement manager, told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

There isn't a specific limit on the number of chickens a person can keep, but residents cannot have more than four dogs or cats. Goldammer said she generally applies the four-animal rule to chickens and small farm animals to resolve complaints.

One resident, Wyatt Urlacher, said he has kept six chickens in his yard. He said raising chickens allows his family to be more self-sustaining, and he uses them to teach his 1-year-old son where food comes from.

"We believe it would be best to not only allow residents to keep chickens, but to allow them to decide how many are appropriate," Urlacher said. "It's a decision best left to citizens and their neighbors."

Sioux Falls resident Sarah Langenfeld agrees with Urlacher, saying it's not feasible for her to live on a farm.

"What works for us is keeping a small flock in the backyard," she said. "Their manure is valuable to a gardener, and chickens are good pest control, too."

Some residents believe they should be allowed to keep as many chickens that are appropriate to their lot size, as long as it's acceptable to neighbors. Dean Karsky, a city councilor, said that could cause hard feelings among residents.

"It's shouldn't be put on the neighbors to call and object," Karsky said.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported that the study panel will include representatives from city departments and residents on both sides of the issue. A recommendation is expected by next summer.


(5) comments

Golly Gee
Golly Gee

Does no one else find it odd that guy in Sioux Falls is using his six chickens to teach his one-year-old son where food comes from? Get real buddy. At age one, kids are more concerned with just getting food in their mouths than in where it comes from.


Perhaps people wouldn't object as much if they knew their neighbors would make sure their animal isn't a nuisance. Unfortunately, many dog owners have already proven that they aren't concerned about their neighbor and making sure their animal isn't a nuisance by letting their dogs nuisance bark (amazing how THEIR dog doen't bark). Animal control doesn't do much to abate these nuisances' either.
If so many animal owners are deaf to nuisance barking, I would imagine they would be just as deaf to the nuisance noises other animals make. I sure don't want to be woke up every morning by a rooster crowing any more than I want to be woke up by barking dogs. Some people have jobs where they don't work the same shifts as most people such as nurse's and police. They should be entitled to peace and not be wakened by other's animals.


Years and years ago,, Grandpa and Grandma and almost everyone else had a couple horses, a milk cow, it's calf and a few chickens in their back yard and it didn't bother anyone..

I guess we made progress when they had to sell the horses, the cow, eat the calf and the chickens and go to the store for the eggs.


At least Sioux Falls is much more progressive and with the times than Rapid City, who narrow-mindedly shot down a backyard chicken ordinance. The editorial written in the Journal about backyard chicken keeping at the time was so full of gross generalizations and stereotypes it was embarrassing and painful to read. Too bad Rapid City has to cling to its own stereotype of backwards hicks. Most progressive cities in the US allow backyard chickens . . .


Organize a club of ciyfolksraisingfarmanimals. As it gets organized it oversees the people whom have animals and decide if the area is sufficient to raise the amount of animals wanted. If it is a nuisance to neighbors ,And, Also if the caretakers are able to care properly for the animals. If the team does not approve, for whatever reason. then the city or animal control takes over. This also applies to cats and dogs. People let there cats go anywhere and kill song birds that annoys some neighbors.

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