Chicken ordinance won't fly the coop

The Animal Control Board voted unanimously Tuesday to reject a proposition made to amend the current chicken ordinance.

"We've reviewed it several times," Animal Control Assistant Director Shannon Barlow stated. "It's just not a very viable option for our community at this time. And the Animal Control Board did vote unanimously to keep the ordinance as it is written."

Barlow said the issue has been brought before the board in prior years, but until evidence can be given proving the ordinance change would benefit the community the board will not agree to it.

"They've looked at several different options. They've looked at other ordinances from other cities. We've done a lot of research on this particular topic."

Several factors were taken into consideration when the board made its decision.

"The noise of course," Barlow pointed out. "The unsanitary conditions- if the coops are not kept properly then we have unsanitary conditions, which lead to smell, parasites, things like that. Then, the whole thing kind of turns into, well, are we going to allow them to butcher the animals in the city limits."

Keeping the birds grounded and housed, Barlow said, was another factor playing a part in the board's decision.

"Trying to keep those animals confined to the property- if the wings are not clipped and they're not, you know, confined properly and adequately, then you're going to have some confinement issues."

The current ordinance states no more than four chickens can be kept in the city limits as long as they are on property that has been zoned or are living on at least one-quarter acre of land. Roosters are illegal in all cases due to crowing disturbances.