The Aledo CIty Council  postponed approval of the animal ordinance Sept. 8 after concerns from the community were presented. Citizen and local Pastor Kevin Pauley addressed the council about the proposed animal ordinance, specifically the proposed limits on chickens.

He said limiting the number of chickens to eight would be harmful to those who use them for eggs.

“Self sufficiency is a healthy lifestyle,” he said, citing cities like Chicago and New York as among several major cities he said allow people to have chickens in their backyard without
limitations. He said to do otherwise would be, “moving away from trend.”

In fact, according to Chicagochickens.org, raising chickens is legal in all of the cities neighborhoods, with no limits on the number of hens or roosters. According to an April 2015 article in the New York Post, roosters are banned in New York City, but hens are allowed in all five boroughs as pets under the New York Health Code, as long as they don't create a nuisance with their noise, mess or any other complaint a neighbor might file.

“They don’t all lay at the same time," Pauley said of hens.

He said hens lay for three years and new ones need to be brought in well in advance as they don’t lay until mature. He also said there was no need to write an ordinance
excluding roosters, as a nuisance ordinance is already in place to address noise concerns.

Council members asked about chickens attracting rodents from the fields.

“Chickens are really good at keeping pests down," Pauley said. "They kill bugs, mice, rodents.”

He added, “Whatever you do, I will obey the law. But frankly it’s important enough for me - and families in my congregation we would start looking for houses out in the county somewhere.”

Pauley asked if it was necessary to do something this drastic.

“Deal with the people who are causing you the problem. I think that’s heavy handed, and draconian and unnecessary (to limit everyone),” he said, adding he would ask for a minimum of 15 chickens if a limit is set.

Alderman Michael Chausse suggested the council postpone the vote until its next meeting to consider changing the minimum to 15, and allowing a special permit for those who wish to have a bigger flock. He said that would allow the city to consider complaints and deal with specific residents if an issue arose.

“I totally agree with Mr. Pauley," Alderman Barry Cooper said. "I think we have too many ordinances. I think just because it’s old, we don’t have to make it up to date. I think we made too much out of nothing here. I think we’re making laws that are unnecessary.”