Town approves ordinance to allow chickens

CROTHERSVILLE — There soon may be more clucking going on within town limits in Crothersville.

During a meeting earlier this month, the Crothersville Town Council gave final approval of a change to the animal ordinance to allow residents to have chickens in town. That will go into effect Oct. 1.

Anyone wishing to have chickens must first pay a $20 annual fee at the town hall. The application for the permit must include a diagram of the location, size and building material along with a design or picture of the enclosure.

This fee will be connected to a resident’s name and address. If a resident has chickens but has not paid the annual fee, they will be fined. The penalty may range from $100 to $2,500 per day until the violation is remedied.

Four chickens will be allowed per address. Roosters are not allowed. No chickens will be permitted at multi-family homes, including apartments and duplexes.

Chickens must have proper confinement, including a chicken coop and a chicken pen constructed in such a manner as to keep them enclosed. The chickens also must remain in the pen and are not permitted to free-range, and the coops should be in the backyard of the property.

When a resident pays the annual fee, his or her pen will be checked to make sure it is adequate.

The ordinance also states chickens must be provided access to feed and clean water at all times, and their feed should be in containers to protect it from rodents or vermin. The coops also should be maintained in a sanitary condition and in compliance with all applicable health regulations of the state, county and town.

Any chickens within town limits are for noncommercial, personal use only and may not be slaughtered on the property.

The suggested change to the ordinance was brought before the council by resident Katie Masters during a meeting earlier this summer. She said she had looked at Seymour’s ordinance and some other communities that allow chickens.

She wanted to see the town’s animal ordinance amended to allow them as long as they receive proper care and housing and not permit roosters.

“With the way the world is going and times, you don’t know how much eggs are going to be in six months or chicken at the store is going up, and it would help everybody,” Masters said.

She also noted how Seymour’s ordinance requires annual permits and monitors those who have chickens.

Councilwoman Terry Richey said she didn’t have a problem with it and noted an amendment would need to be made to the ordinance, removing the word “chicken” from the list of animals not allowed within town limits.

Town attorney Matt Lorenzo helped with making that change and presented the amended ordinance to the council to consider, and that received approval.