Ruffled feathers in East Peoria calm as deadline to remove chickens draws near

Local News

It’s been a rocky ride for chicken owners inside East Peoria’s city limits and now, after a decision from the city council, it’s time to close the gate for good.

This issue has been ongoing since 2012.

For families like Shannon and  Robert Brinker, they say for them, this is a sentencing for their chickens and the fight isn’t over. 

Shannon Brinker: “I don’t know what to say” 

We first introduced you to husband and wife, Shannon and Robert Brinker, “I can’t I’m sorry” but this time, there’s a different tone. 

“It’s leaving a vacant time of our lives in our hearts,” says Robert Brinker.  

First, chicken owners say East Peoria City Council ruffled feathers at the beginning of June, when they didn’t vote on the backyard chicken ordinance.

They brought it back before council just last week, only to shoot it down again.

This time though, it’s final leaving the Brinkers with no choice. 

“They’re gonna go out to Washington for a short period of time until we can get property elsewhere,” says Brinker. “We’ll still own this property. We’ll end up being the landlords and it’ll be rented so we can stay active in the city government.” 

So for others like the Brinkers, they’ll be saying good-bye to their feathered friends beginning July 7th and East Peoria Code Enforcement will continue running calls like any other day, to keep residents within compliance of city codes. 

“I’ve talked to several people already and everybody’s been great about it,” says  Joe Boyer, EP Residential Building Inspector. “They’ve relocated [chickens] to more rural areas, which is what we want and so I don’t really think this is going to be much of a problem.”

The 4 to 1 decision to remove the chickens left owners 30-days to figure out a place for them, other than inside city limits. 

Those against the chickens say, they could have attracted foxes, raccoons and other nuisance animals into their neighborhoods. 

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