Meeting for the second time in their new home, the Assembly Room of the county courthouse, the county commissioners needed the additional space as a result of the number of those in attendance Monday.
A number of those on hand came to voice their concerns regarding the proposed “Chicken Ordinance.” For a number of years, the issue of raising chickens in rural communities on property consisting of less than 10 acres has been a hot topic on both sides of the issue.
According to current Rush County zoning rules, poultry is viewed as livestock in the same manner of beef, sheep and horses, and in order to legally have livestock, they must be kept on rural zoned property consisting of at least 10 acres of land.
Those in favor of making changes to the current livestock ordinance, contend that chickens provide food for the family and that in a number of cases, the poultry is used for 4-H projects and entries at the county fair and should not be bound by the same restrictions as other livestock (swine, horses, sheep and cattle).
According to the ordinance presented to the county leaders for approval:
• Applicant must complete scorecard.
• Food shall be kept in airtight containers.
• Coops and bedding shall be kept clean.
• Soiled bedding and manure shall be disposed of in a timely manner.
• Birds shall be housed in appropriately sized housing.
• Notice of intent must be sent to all owners or residential structures within 500 feet of proposed coop.
• Only chickens would be allowed (waterfowl, peafowl, guinea fowl and other gamebirds are not permitted).
• Chickens may be kept for non-commercial use only (eggs cannot be sold).
• Chickens may be kept only on the lot where the applicant resides or an adjoining lot.
• Chickens may be kept in side or rear yards only (not in the front yard).