Residents may soon be able to legally keep chickens on their property in the city of Adairville.
The city council held first reading of an ordinance at last week’s meeting, which would lift the ban on keeping poutry inside the city limits.
The ordinance will not become law until a second reading and vote, which will likely be held at the May 14 meeting of the city council.
Councilman Bill Steen, who already keeps chickens on his property, first brought up the change to the city’s animal ordinance at the January meeting, but it had little support then.
Adairville resident Dick Dickerson, along with Steen, spoke at the meeting last week about the benefits of keeping chickens as pets and livestock.
“I respectfully request we act on this and have first reading tonight,” Steen said.
The city council then agreed to have the first reading - voting 4-0 in favor of it. Council members Danny Finch and Art Violette were absent from the meeting.
Mayor Jim Wilkerson was not in favor of changing the ordinance, however.
He said that Lewisburg had a similar ordinance, but recently repealed it because of problems that city had with chickens kept legally in town.
Wilkerson also said he thinks having chickens in the city will draw more predators - like opossums or coyotes - into the city because they will see the chickens as food.
“I keep two animal traps in my back yard and I have caught 15 cats and 4 opossums in them,” Wilkerson said.
Wilkerson added that if the number of chickens in Adairville increases, so will the number of predators.
Dickerson said that he has kept chickens for years on his farm south of town and has “never lost a bird to a coyote or opossum.”
The ordinance originally called for poultry to be considered a domestic animal and would allow for chickens, ducks, quail or pheasants to be kept, “for the purpose of collecting eggs and/or feathers, but excluding meat.”
City council member Becky Tinch asked if ducks could be excluded because they quack and could become an nuisance.
Steen said he didn’t think that would be a problem.
The ordinance also limits poultry to be kept in back and side yards. No chickens are to be kept int he front yard of homes.
Renters are excluded from keeping chickens. Only property owners may do and a $10 permit must be purchased annually.
No crowing rooster can be kept, according to the ordinance. The ordinance also includes guidelines for the animal enclosures and food storage.
A review board is also formed and will perform annual inspections on the poultry enclosures.
Also at last week’s meeting:
- City water and sewer employee Vernon Law announced that he would be retiring at the end of the month.
- Wilkerson announced that the city fire department lost $8,250 in state aid funds because of clerical errors made by the department. “That was a human error and we’re sick of it,” Wilkerson said.
- The city found and repaired a water leak which has caused the water loss to go from 51 percent to about 30 percent.