Local News

Cary to look at relaxing chicken ban

Posted July 9, 2008 7:24 p.m. EDT
Updated July 9, 2008 7:48 p.m. EDT

— 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.