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City Chickens to Get Closer Scrutiny

Old, often vague rules governing back yard chickens will get a second look by Tampa City Council.

Rules governing the ownership of chickens in the city will be reviewed by Tampa City Council on March 15. This article on TBO.com reports that as the trend toward eating more locally grown increases around the nation, the slowly burgeoning populations of urban livestock, particularly chickens, are bumping up against codes and ordinances that are often old and vague. 

The TBO.com story reports that in Tampa, chickens must be kept in an enclosed area at least 200 feet from neighboring homes, and they must be provided 5,000 square feet of land for every five birds. The rules are not rigorously enforced, the news site reported. 

Adding to the potential for confusion, TBO.com reported: "Chickens roaming wild in places like Ybor City are exempt from the rules governing farm animals, according to city Zoning Administrator Cathy Coyle. Instead, those birds are protected by the city's status as a bird sanctuary, she said."

"I think it's a really cool thing to have your own eggs," Rick Guagliardo, vice president of the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association, told TBO.com. "I have friends that have them. I can tell you it doesn't bother me at all."

What do you think about having chickens in your back yard, or your neighbor's? Do free, fresh eggs outweigh the potential nuisances? Tell us in the comments below. 

Leslie Inman March 06, 2012 at 02:36 AM
No chickens for me, but I would love to have just one rooster! That would make me feel like I'm in Key West, but I'm sure my neighbors would hate the regular early morning wake up call! Ha ha!
Shawn Hicks March 06, 2012 at 04:10 PM
There is a "free range" rooster on our street. It sometimes roosts up in a tree beneath my bedroom window. They crow at all hours of the day and night, even at 3am. They are quite loud. Thankfully, they are illegal within city limits. I'm just not sure I can get TPD to issue the rooster a ticket. By the way, chickens are very destructive to landscaping. When they don't shred, they eat. Your neighbors will love you for NOT having a rooster.

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