Call the cops! Urban chickens flock in Perry yard Tuesday

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A flock of urban yardbirds was spotted Tuesday browsing amid the shrubbery in a quiet neighborhood in Perry. The sporadic crow of a lusty cock could be heard among the dozen or so less voluble hens, the whole lending a rustic charm to the “sweet especial rural scene.”

Perry honors its rural roots, but it also honors the rule of law, and according to chapter 55.15 of the Perry Code of Ordinances, “It is unlawful for a person to keep livestock within the city except by written consent of the council or except in compliance with the city’s zoning regulations.”

The recently approved chapter 56 of the Perry Code of Ordinances goes into considerable detail regarding the getting and keeping of urban chickens, including directions for obtaining a city-issued permit, specifications for lawful enclosures, required measures to minimize the impact of odors and noise and other rules and regulations.

For example, chapter 56.5 specifies the maximum number of chickens allowed is six per tract of land, and only female chickens, that is, hens, are allowed.

Chapter 56.8 declares chickens must be kept in an enclosure or fenced area at all times and shall be secured within a henhouse or chicken tractor during non-daylight hours.

Chapter 56.13 holds blameless any “dog or cat or other domesticated animal which kills a chicken off the permitted tract of land” and empowers the city of Perry “to seize, impound and dispose of any chicken found at large within the city limits. Such seizure, impoundment and disposal shall not require notice to any owner or keeper or any attempt to locate the owner thereof.”

Perry’s poultry lovers should apprise themselves of the rules for urban chickens and comply, a city spoeksperson said.

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