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East Boston nonprofit launches petition to save the ‘Eastie chickens’

Three chickens have been living in this coop in Eagle Square in East Boston.
Three chickens have been living in this coop in Eagle Square in East Boston.Empower East Boston

Efforts are underway to keep three chickens from being kicked out of a coop in East Boston.

The chickens live in Eagle Square and are cared for by a local nonprofit called Empower East Boston. On March 31 the group launched a petition on Change.org to “Save The Eastie Chickens” after city officials discovered they lacked the proper permits to have a chicken coop there.

“Eagle Square in East Boston, MA is a very industrialized area. With new developments going up every day in addition to the already existing companies housed in the area, the Eastie Chickens ease this hectic environment. The Eastie Chickens are not used for any profit at all and the few eggs they lay go right back into the community for free,” the petition stated.

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“Although the Eastie Chickens are taken care of and cleaned every day and they do not make any noise, we are being forced to remove them. Why can’t we have this small fragment of agriculture in our neighborhood? Please help us keep the Eastie Chickens by signing this petition!”

As of Friday, 499 people had signed the petition. Empower East Boston is now working with the city to keep the chickens where they are.

On Friday Empower East Boston posted an update on the Change.org website and thanked everyone who signed the petition. “We are deeply grateful!” the statement said. “Due to the amount of support and attention the Eastie Chickens got, we are happy to say that we are now being guided by the Inspection Service Department through a process that will make sure the Eastie Chickens stay here in their home. Again thank you to everyone and ISD for their support!”

Lisa Timberlake, a spokeswoman for the city’s Inspectional Services Department, said the city has given them information on how to apply for the proper permits.

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“We’re going to help them through the process,” said Timberlake.

Deysi Gutierrez, community liaison for Empower East Boston, said the chickens have been in Eagle Square “for a few months” and she’s optimistic that they won’t be evicted after all.

“The city has been really helpful,” she said in a telephone interview. “They saw our petition.”

Gutierrez said the chickens have garnered a lot of community support.

“All of that combined, I have a good feeling that the chickens will be able to stay,” she said.



Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.