Connie Johns of Black Hawk acknowledges that raising chickens is a lot of work, and somewhat expensive, and that the birds can be noisy and messy.
But for Johns, nothing beats the fresh eggs they lay and the enjoyment she and her children get from keeping the birds.
Johns has about 60 chickens on her rural property near Black Hawk, and she admits the birds do have their fair share of issues that make her wonder if it's a good idea to allow them to be raised within the limits of a municipality like Rapid City. Residents and the Rapid City Council are debating whether the city should begin allowing laying hens to be kept within city limits, though no formal ordinance has been proposed.
Johns said her rural 3-acre spread is a great place to raise chickens, but she worries if the noise and odors will fly in an urban area. Still, she advocates for keeping chickens if it is legal.
“I don’t have a bug or a grasshopper on my property, and we used to have a snake problem, but they will kill snakes,” Johns said. “It’s a good hobby to have for the kids. They love them, and they go out and gather the eggs.”