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Family fighting Waukesha County over pet ducks, chickens

Posted at 7:14 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 12:48:24-04

Six chickens and two ducks are causing issues for some neighbors in the town of Ottawa.  

Samantha Ribbens and Scott Newkirk say they bought the birds for their children. The non-traditional pets are giving them an in-depth learning experience and has been a positive experience overall, says Newkirk. 

But back in February an anonymous complaint was sent to Waukesha County about the birds. This sparked an investigation, which led to letters from the Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use being sent to the family home.

Ribbens and Newkirk were told they had to give up the birds.

The department's director Dale Shaver says current zoning codes only allow residents with at least three acres of land to keep chickens.

Although they are looking into updating the zoning code to accommodate more urban farming and farm situations, in the future; but, for now Ribbens and Newkirk have to move the birds off their land.  

The couple says they're not looking to move the birds and plan to fight to keep them. Newkirk created the Facebook Group Supporting Backyard Chickens In Waukesha County to come up with ideas. County officials say the family has until the end of the May to find a new place for their chickens and ducks. 

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