Columbus to form policy on backyard chickens

Published 11:03pm Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fresh eggs in the morning, warm from the hens and cracked into a cast iron skillet, can make any breakfast better, and they keep well in the fridge until they slip into breads, cakes, pies, quiche or whatever dishes need them.

Columbus might have a few more fresh eggs once the town council determines its policy on backyard chickens.

On Nov. 21, the Columbus Town Council discussed issues such as coop cleanliness, the maximum number of chickens permitted at any one site, and prohibitions on roosters. They said they need to figure how close chickens can be kept to springs, creeks or buildings, and the best square footage of coop space and land space per bird.

“We may want to require permits, so the town knows who has them and can keep an eye on them,” said Councilwoman Ernie Kan. “They’ll need security fencing with the wild animals here, and we don’t want dogs running around with birds in their mouths.”

Some folks have seen the results of having no restrictions; chickens strut along beaches in Kauai and roost in trees in some towns in Florida.

“I think most of them in Florida have to have life jackets,” one councilman jested.

The clucking of roosters can puncture the dawn too, though. Town council members agreed they would need some restrictions, but not too many.

“If you get too strict, you might as well go get your eggs at the grocery store,” said councilman Richard Hall.

The council decided to continue discussion and get a proposal ready by January.

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