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Cary to look at relaxing chicken ban

Posted July 9, 2008

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— Town leaders are expected next week to ask staff to study the benefits and disadvantages of allowing backyard chickens in Cary.

Alissa Manfre, a Cary resident, approached Cary leaders about relaxing the ban to allow residents to keep a limited number of hens. Roosters would not be allowed.

"We have a big vegetable garden, and the most reasonable thing to do on less than an acre of property is to keep a few chickens for eggs," Manfre said.

Other Triangle municipalities, like Raleigh, allow the birds with some restrictions. Raleigh, however, has few restrictions, including the number a resident has.

Durham also allows chickens but only in two generally rural districts. Chapel Hill caps the number allowed at 20 and requires them to be kept 30 feet from a neighbor's property.

Eggs are not the only benefit of chickens, said Bob Davis, who has birds at his Five Points home in Raleigh.

"It took me a lot of years to realize that a chicken doesn't lay an egg every day," he said. "But it poops every day. And that's the real gift from the chickens, as far as I'm concerned."

He said he uses the daily gift as a rich fertilizer; he hasn't used commercial fertilizer in seven years.

Cary residents have mixed reaction to adding chickens to the allowed pet list.

"As long as there were some type of restriction, so there's not a thousand in their yard," I guess it would be OK," resident Mike Cusimano said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • myrrh Jul 16, 2008

    The main question in choosing whether to legalize chicken keeping has little to do with the chickens themselves; they're smaller than most domestic dogs and often no noisier. Rather, the question is whether the existing municipal code addresses issues of noise, sanitation, rodent or pest infestation and the disallowal of roaming pets.

    If the city can enforce ordinances pertaining to these, there is no logical reason why a poultry ban should be necessary. Some towns include language prohibiting the raising of poultry for slaughter, some limit the number and sex of chickens that may be kept or what type of housing must be used. That type of management shouldn't really be necessary. Chicken keepers who keep small, clean flocks of city birds on their own property shouldn't have to jump through any more hoops than a keeper of dogs, cats, parrots or rabbits.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  • YeaOh Jul 11, 2008

    OUCH!!! That 30 foot rule is gona rule out about 90% of Cary.

  • alwayslovingu30 Jul 11, 2008

    Ihave had chickens 4 over A year the hens will stop laying in 2 months or so after the rooster is gone so I guess the dumb town of cary will have to supply A neutral place to keep roosters to make the hens start laying eggs again an we also eat our fertilized eggs taste the same nothing different an the chickens keep the bug an tick population down I have only had to spray my garden 2 times this year as apposed to no checkens I had to spray maybe twice A week depending on the rain if it rains U have to spray again if U have chickens no problem they will keep U pretty good on the bug population an ticks.I f cary had alot of cases of rocky mountain fever they would like chickens more

  • dwntwnboy Jul 11, 2008

    ..and they can tax them...call the fees Cluck Bucks!

  • IzzMad2016 Jul 11, 2008

    You Cary Bashers like to say anything derogatory about the community that you can. Do you not realize how petty and stupid the vast majority of your comments sound? Not to mention the fact that most of the things said are untrue. If you have to stoop to making it up as you go along all in the name of insulting everyone who lives here, is it really worth showing how ill-informed you actually are? Get a life and leave us be.

  • Cleanup on Aisle Cool Jul 11, 2008

    Is it possible to keep hens in the same backyard as 2 collie dogs?

  • rushbot Jul 11, 2008

    I guess this will be an opportunity for all those Caryers who don't have a bird bath or bird feeder to attract avian flu vectors to have an avian flu vector as a full time resident on their property!

  • chickenlittle Jul 11, 2008

    dejanupe, hens lay eggs without roosters. If a rooster is present, hens may actually produce fewer eggs due to stress. Also, fertilized eggs are generally not sold for consumption.

  • rushbot Jul 11, 2008

    Soon Stepford, I mean Cary will be known for something other than muted earthtone houses and creepy bronze statues of children. It will be know for muted earthtone houses, creepy bronze statues of children, and muted earthtone chickens.

  • likemenow Jul 11, 2008

    What will Cary do next? Allow their residents to fly the American Flag?