Residents Allowed To Raise Chickens In El Dorado

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

A new law may ruffle a few feathers in El Dorado, as City Commissioners approved a new ordinance to allow people to raise chickens in the city.

"I think it's great," said Jane Boucher of Leon. "I keep chickens and have for many many years. And they're beneficial to your yard, and you get eggs and I just love chickens."

Under the new ordinance, people may have female chickens -- no other foul -- in their yards, said Public Works Superintendent Brad Meyer. He said there are a few other stipulations, as approved by the commission:

- The chickens must be contained in a coop or laying box.

- Owners may have up to six hens without a permit.

- For those who have large yards, they may have one hen for every 50-square-feet.

- Hens may not be within 50 feet of a neighbors yard.

The ordinance goes into effect immediately and resident Jimmie Breese there would be many benefits.

"Kids can learn a lot from it," Breese said. "It'd save you money. It'd be cheaper for people to get chickens and get their own eggs."

However, some residents like Seth Burhenn, said he could see a few problems arising.

"But we could have everything from noise complaints from people not taking care of their chickens properly," he said. "Chickens can be very dirty."

Burhenn said the new law is unfair to pit bull enthusiasts. The breed of dogs are banned in El Dorado.

"There's no breed of dog that acts a specific way," Burhenn said. "They're all raised as a product of their environment. A mean dog comes from mean owners."

"Chickens aren't going to bite you and not all pit bulls are going to bite you, but there's that possibility," echoed Boucher, "but I'm glad chickens are here."

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