TARPON SPRINGS — If you live here, feel free to adopt some chickens.
Despite some resident squawking, city commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to allow up to four backyard hens per single-family detached home.
Among other restrictions, residents must buy a $50 permit and keep the chickens in a well-maintained coop out of view from neighbors. Owning roosters, slaughtering chickens or selling their eggs are all banned.
The issue stirred impassioned debate in recent months, with supporters arguing chickens are great pets that produce better eggs than can be bought in stores. Critics argued that chickens can be a smelly nuisance that attract coyotes and racoons.
Judy Fondrk, who said she grew up on a 240-acre farm, told commissioners that chickens are escape artists that could cause a nightmare for code enforcement.
And they can be aggressive, she said.
"There are a myriad of reasons why chickens should not be raised in residential areas ," she said, holding out her arms to show peck marks. "They are mean ."