An ordinance that would allow Cheyenne residents to keep chickens in their backyards is receiving overwhelming support.

The Cheyenne City Council's Committee of the Whole heard an hour's worth of public comment from roughly 20 residents Wednesday night, the majority of which were pro chicken.

"The three that were against it had valid arguments, you know property issues, smell, things like that, but the overwhelming people that have raised chickens had the argument against that also," said Councilman Scott Roybal, who is sponsoring the ordinance with Councilman Richard Johnson.

The ordinance would allow residents to keep up to five hens in a covered, predator-resistant coop. Roosters and other fowl, such as ducks, geese or turkeys, wouldn't be allowed.

Cheyenne Animal Control Supervisor Don Kremer says while his organization is neither for or against the ordinance, issues such as owner abandonment, birds at large and sick birds would impact their budget.

"There may be some enforcement issues where we would have to confiscate the birds and hold them for evidence, so the fact that we have to keep birds is going to be the issue," said Kremer. "Right now we charge $20 per animal and I suspect that that would probably be the running charge per bird."

Despite the overwhelming support, Johnson says there's a good chance the ordinance may not pass.

"The no's are going to come on third reading," said Johnson. "I'm going to have a ton of pros on the beginning, but when it comes to the end I'm going to have a lot of the no's in the crowd that are going to sway a lot of council members on the 25th of April."

The committee voted 5 to 1 to recommend approval of the ordinance, which will be on second reading when the City Council meets Monday night.


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