Buckeyes and Buttercups, Lakenfelders and Leghorns: So many breeds of chickens, so few yards in Cary in which to raise them.

But Cary’s great back yard chicken controversy could peak tonight as the Cary Town Council reconsiders an ordinance that would allow residents to raise hens in their back yards with some restrictions. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 316 N. Academy St.

With the exception of some rural areas in Cary, back yard chickens are prohibited within the town limits. But the tide may be turning for urban fowl: Even Councilman Don Frantz, a former opponent of back yard chickens, has reversed his position based on Cary residents’ private property rights.

If passed, the ordinance would allow residents to raise up to eight chickens per property.
Only hens would be allowed—no roosters cock-a-doodling at 5:30 in the morning;
There would be an annual license fee of $10 per household raising the chickens (not per chicken);
Back yard slaughter would be prohibited, as would the sale of chickens;
Chickens would be required to remain in the coop or fenced yard when unsupervised; they would be allowed in the front yard with supervision (a good idea for kids, too!)
There are more proposed restrictions as well, listed on Frantz’ blog.

Check out the Cary Chickens blog for more discussion on the issue.