A decision about letting village homeowners keep miniature goats has spun into a broader conversation about how many total farm animals Cambridge households should be allowed.
The Cambridge Village Board on May 12 voted to amend an ordinance that regulates farm animals on residential lots, to allow homeowners to have up two miniature goats. Board member Kathy Cunningham dissented in the vote.
The question came up after a village resident asked if she could have goats.
The board went on, after significant discussion, to say it will come back at a later date to talk about and possibly further amend its rules to limit the total number of farm animals allowed per household.
Every person who lives in the village is now allowed two rabbits, two miniature goats and two fowl such as chickens or ducks.
Miniature pigs are also allowed, with no per-person limit. Up to three dogs and three cats are also allowed per household.
“Holy cow, that’s a lot of animals,” Cunningham said, noting that a family of six could own up to a dozen rabbits, a dozen miniature goats and a dozen chickens, as well as miniature pigs, dogs and cats.
Cattle, horses, ponies, sheep and full-sized goats and swine are not allowed in the village. Neither are roosters allowed under a noise ordinance, and animals are not allowed to roam at large, Village Administrator Lisa Moen said.
Village Board member Ted Kumbier said revising the farm animal ordinance sounds like “a really good idea.”
“I agree with that,” Village President Mark McNally said.
“If people want to have ducks and chickens and geese, things like that, they should go buy some farmland,” Kumbier said. “Then they can raise as many as they want.”
Village Board member Wyatt Rose said he recognizes that some village residents keep chickens for their own “farm to table,” consumption.
“They like to have eggs. Most of these people are not breeding chickens or trying to get the eggs for the purpose of selling to other people,” he said.
Moen said would reach out to other similar-sized communities to find out what their rules are.