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Cary moves forward with proposal to allow backyard hens

Posted February 9, 2012
Updated February 11, 2012

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— The Cary Town Council voted 5-2 Thursday evening to move forward with a proposal that would allow residents to keep up to eight hens in their backyards.

Town staff will now take 60 days to research the issue and prepare a recommendation for a new ordinance. That proposed ordinance will go to a public hearing before the council votes on it.

Thursday marked the third time in four years that the council considered motions that would lift a longtime ban on backyard chickens.

Councilman Don Frantz, who was outspoken about his opposition to backyard hens in 2008, requested that the town revise its town code to allow backyard hens, as long as certain guidelines are followed: 

  • Single-family homes only;
  • no roosters;
  • no backyard slaughter;
  • a maximum of eight chickens per property;
  • an annual license fee of $10;
  • and no free-range hens.
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  • simplelogic Feb 10, 2012

    I'm guessing "free range" means you have to keep them confined in some kind of enclosure. How big that enclosure is would be subjective. So, if you have a fairly large pen or chicken tractor, they could still have a grassy area to scratch around in, and bugs to snack on.

  • jdkitzmi Feb 10, 2012

    Heavenly - the guy I'm talking about lives in rural NC and does have a lot of property. My parents have been to his place and those chickens are plenty fat and happy...they love the guy and its obvious.

    And they didn't stop producing because of their weight. One of the chickens was attacked by a coyote or feral dog IIRC and they have been shaken ever since. Plus, they slow production in the winter anyway.

    Obviously I don't think that chickens in Cary should be left with no food, but I don't like that they can't be free range. Though, what is the definition of free range in this context? That is key I think. Free range means different things to different people.

  • davidgnews Feb 10, 2012

    Chickens make lousy house pets !

  • OSX Feb 10, 2012

    HaHa... they should allow Roosters. My friend has chickens and he has a Rooster. Good Grief!!! That guy has no problem screaming his head off at 5am. I have to hand it to him though; no bugs in the yard.

  • Shamrock Feb 10, 2012

    "Seems to me that town ordinance would trump HOA rules..."
    Vietnam Vet

    You got that backwards. HOA are usually more restrictive than town ordinances.

  • Its the who what Feb 10, 2012

    Don Frantz must have gotten a new campaign donor!!! He will flip flop if you throw some money his way.

  • Vietnam Vet Feb 10, 2012

    "Most HOA'a will not allow it regardless of what Cary decides."

    Seems to me that town ordinance would trump HOA rules...

  • mep Feb 10, 2012

    he Cary Town Council voted 5-2 Thursday evening to move forward with a proposal that would allow residents to keep up to eight hens in their backyards. THE HORROR! What about home values? The noise? The diminished pride Cary folks will have? Now I might just move there... with some chickens.

  • Card Player Feb 10, 2012

    Why is there a $10 fee?

  • dontstopnow Feb 10, 2012

    The key work Ladyblue is FARM. We are not talking about a 3/4 acre lot with a house and very little area to supply the needs of a chicken, much less multiple chickens. If you look at my post, I said if you have 25 acres, etc etc.

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