The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
Local History

1918 Chicken Ordinances

 Warns chicken owners to keep fowls in yards.

From the Springfield Leader, February 18, 1918.

"As a measure of cooperation with the food administration in the regulations necessary to conserve national resources, the Springfield police department will institute a campaign against chicken owners who allow their fowls to run at large.

"This announcement was made by Chief of Police B. F. Rathbone at headquarters this morning. 'Chickens that are not confined to yards properly fenced are a menace to the vegetable gardens that will this year more than ever be a feature in the back lots of our householders.' said the chief [Note: Due to WWI]. Chicken owners should take the necessary measures to aid in conserving this source of the nations food supply. If they don't, prosecution will result under our city ordinances.'

"The ordinances provide that chickens must not be allowed to run at liberty in the city limits, except in yards surrounded by [proper?] fencing. Fines of $3 to $5 with jail terms ranging from three to twenty days are provided as punishment on conviction for the offense."

Read the new Springfield ordinance regarding chickens and then check out one of our poultry books.

Find this article at