Duck bill flies straight through Aurora council committee hearing

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Pet chickens and ducks in a California backyard. Aurora currently allows backyard chickens. It appears it may soon, also, allow for backyard ducks. (AP file photo/Ric Francis)

AURORA | Ducks waddled closer to Aurora backyards last week, as a proposal to expand where the birds are allowed earned the unanimous support of a City Council committee.

Along with pot-bellied pigs, ducks are currently only allowed in the few hundred acres across the city zoned rural-residential. The suggestion to allow ducks on other single-family residential properties was initially made at the same time the city’s Housing, Neighborhood Services & Redevelopment Policy Committee rejected a similar proposal for pigs.

Council members Juan Marcano, Ruben Medina and Crystal Murillo all said they supported welcoming the water fowl onto more properties

“I am curious if anybody on council will be owning a duck,” Murillo said. “If I had a yard, I would totally consider it.”

As it’s written, the proposal would allow the keeping of two to four ducks, plus chickens, for a total of no more than eight birds. On lots smaller than 20,000 square feet, residents would only be able to keep a pair of ducks.

The birds would have to be kept in a sanitary coop whose size and distance from neighboring properties would be regulated. Duck owners would also be expected to provide the birds with a container holding at least 30 gallons of fresh water to allow them to “carry out their natural water-related behaviors.”

Augusta Allen, the city’s field supervisor of animal services, said the requirement that residents own at least two ducks reflects the fact that the birds are “highly sociable animals” that do best with companions.

She said the proposal could come before the council at its next study session, which is scheduled for Aug. 15.

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Joe Felice
Joe Felice
1 month ago

I LOVE ducks! They are so adorable and sociable. But. . .

OMG! There are so-many problems with this. I wonder if anyone has considered all of them. Will people provide and properly maintain the ponds needed for ducks? How will people keep the ducks out of other-people’s yards? (Ducks fly.) What will be done about noise complaints? (Ducks are noisy. They talk a lot.) Has anyone ever smelled the defecation of fowl? (Chickens and ducks poop a lot.) What happens when our gun lovers start shooting the birds? How will “ownership” be determined? Will licensing be required? Does anyone see where this is all leading?

Keep the limitations as they are currently. Fowl belong in places other than back yards. If the city code is amended, I’ll be saying “I told you so.”

DAve
DAve
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Felice

Relax. Aurora is just aligning its code with Denver and the surrounding communities.
And, no, domestic ducks do not fly.

Dave R
Dave R
1 month ago
Reply to  Doug King

No sir. Domestic ducks do not fly. According to the article you referenced a startled bird can leap up to 6 feet. And that’s Mallards. Most breeds have gone through centuries of selective breading and can no longer fly.

Doug King
1 month ago

Why?

Publius
Publius
1 month ago

I thought the City was encouraging conserving water. Now they are allowing a water intensive use.

Also, in addition to noise complaints be prepared for sanitary problems. They molt and defecate in copious amounts. Wait for the fights amoung neighbors when molted feathers blow over a fence and into the neighbors cake at their BBQ. Wait for the complaints when fox, coyotes, and other animals move in to prey upon them.

Bad idea.

Dave R
Dave R
1 month ago
Reply to  Publius

I agree with your comment about water conservation. That’s why duck pond water is recycled into the gardens and decorative landscaping.

To keep the smell down manure control must be done daily. If not then I would complain too.

A proper coop should be predator proof. Aurora’s local wildlife can be easily deterred with simple measures.

DICK MOORE
1 month ago

Duck This….

Makes me so proud to be an Aurora citizen and to know my City Council is studying such important urban issues as Ducks, Pigs and Chickens. Keep up the good work.

Or maybe, it might be, that this might not be what government is really meant to do, especially in a non rural city.

I can imagine the socialist, child legislature from Ward I, owning and carrying for a couple of Ducks but alas, she doesn’t own her own property. Too sad. But a great project for her to assume for real property owners.

Jim F
Jim F
1 month ago

This policy is Daffy.

Imagine the resumes of our council members:

Were you able to reduce the number of car thefts in Aurora? No.
Did you support our local public prosecutor in the sentencing of criminals? No.
Did you actively work to restore the trust and faith of local citizens and police? No.

Did you permit ducks in residential back yards? Yes, of course.

An embarrassing accomplishment and a fowl idea.