Brainerd allows more chickens, adds ducks

The Brainerd City Council approved a measure allowing four chickens or ducks to be kept as pets within city limits.

A flock of chickens in a coop
A flock of backyard chickens congregates in a coop.
Brainerd Dispatch file photo

BRAINERD — Chicken and duck restrictions are officially loosening in Brainerd.

Residents are now allowed to keep four chickens or four ducks as pets in addition to their cats and dogs within city limits.

Brainerd City Council members approved the final reading of a change to the city’s pet ordinance Feb. 21. Previously, residents were allowed any combination of four cats, dogs or chickens. But after residents asked about being able to keep more chickens for egg-laying purposes, council members agreed to the change. They also added ducks as an acceptable pet in the city, as city staffer said there had also been desires to raise ducks for eggs.

Brainerd City Council - Feb. 21, 2023
Brainerd City Council members discuss matters during their meeting Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023.
Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch

Permits are required for both types of birds, and no roosters are allowed. The $40 permit will require coops and runs to be at least 25 feet away from adjacent property, and chickens and ducks must be confined on the property at all times in a coop or run. Any coop or run must be screened with a solid fence or landscaped buffer with a minimum height of 4 feet.

No one spoke during a public hearing on the issue last week, and council members unanimously approved the measure without any further discussion.


The ordinance officially goes into effect Saturday, March 4.

In other business Feb. 21, the council:

Accepted the resignation of Community Service Officer Masen Barton and authorized staff to hire one new officer.

More Brainerd City Council coverage

Accepted the retirement of Police Chief Mike Bestul, effective June 16. Bestul’s last working day will be June 2. Staff will post the job internally.

Ratified the hiring of Owen Carlson as a warming house attendant at a rate of $15 per hour.

Approved an event application for the St. Patrick’s Day parade and festivities from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 11. South Seventh, Front, South Ninth and Laurel streets will be closed for the parade.

Authorized staff to apply for the Laura Jane Musser Environment Initiative Fund grant to construct a multiuse trail at Jaycees Park.

Approved a budget of $18,000 for downtown landscaping services in 2023, which is an increase from the 2022 cost of $13,085. Outside of labor, staff said costs for landscaping increased over 22% since last year. Downtown landscaping costs are assessed as part of the downtown special services district.


Accepted the resignation of Marlee Larson from the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board.

Appointed Kevin Yeager (re-appointment) and Allie Verchota to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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