YBOR CITY, Fla. — The chickens and roosters will stay in Ybor City, as council members decided not to change the ordinance protecting them.
Ahead of the decision, a few dozen supporters came out to voice their opinion on why they should stay. One woman got up to explain why she wants something to be done about them.
“If a neighbor was playing drums at 4 a.m., we’d have some sort of recourse, so it feels like there should be recourse for this issue,” said Stephanie Harrison, who lives in Ybor city.
But, a steady line of supporters made sure the council was aware of why they should stay.
“I’m 75 years old, there have been chickens in Ybor city since I was born,” one woman said.
“The chickens are an economic boost,” another woman said.
“Please let the chickens stay,” said one little boy who came with his mother.
City council’s answer? "OK, they can stay."
Code enforcement says they have seen a significant drop in the population. Two months ago, they counted 89 roosters and last week they counted only 29.
Supporters say natural predators like hawks are are doing their job and controlling the population.
"Get rid of the roosters, and you’ll have something below in the food chain that will multiply,” said Renee Marsella, a local teacher who says the roosters are a vital part of the ecosystem.
She says the mess they make when they kick through dirt is good for your yard.
“That’s actually them digging up the leaves and compost sitting there and when you do that, you have aerated soil,” she said.
There were a few ideas on how to help population control but in the end city council chose to just leave the ordinance alone because they are part of Ybor city culture.