Debate continues over Tampa's "urban chickens"

TAMPA - The comments made during Thursday's Tampa City Council meeting seemed to sum up the feeling of those irked by the feathered, egg-laying pets.

"They dig up my landscaping and they poop all over my red brick walkway and I spent hours cleaning it off. They stop in the middle of the road," one said.

"We have dogs and cats that run loose continuously, we have chickens that run loosely. I mean c'mon," said another.

They seemed to be all the rage lately for people in some parts of Tampa.

Already, feral chickens roam parts of Ybor City, but now chickens have popped up in backyards of people who want to raise them for their eggs, or to keep them as pets. Much to the chagrin of their neighbors.

"So my concern isn't whether or not people are allowed to have three, four, five chickens in their backyard, my question is how the heck are you going to enforce this? And the answer is you're not," Susan Long told council members.

But it's exactly what the council has been tackling with a proposed ordinance that's awaiting a vote.

Under the proposed measure, it would only allow 5 chickens per 5,000 square feet of land, owners would be required to own a coop to keep them in, and it would restrict on the ownership of loud, crowing roosters.

Council members are expected to eventually vote on the touchy issue, but until then, many chickens already live within city limits.

We'll keep you posted on any updates.

 

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