Chickens in Monroe a hot topic in town

Staff Writer

        Thursday night’s topic of conversation at the Monroe Town Council meeting?
        Yes, chickens in Monroe has become quite the topic among both residents and council members.
        Several Monroe residents have recently inquired to council members about possessing chickens in town or whether the egg-laying fowl and their cohorts, roosters, are banned within city limits. Council president, Debra Giessler, and members, Mike Geels and Jeff Johnson, are not particularly keen on the idea, but not for the fact there may soon be chickens roaming around town. They’re worried the fowl will cause issues with the neighbors of those who have them in their yards, and that the birds will be an eyesore. Chickens may be noisy, smelly and may end up in someone else’s yard.
        The question is, however, how much can disgruntled neighbors affect what types of animals residents of Monroe have? If chickens are not allowed, what about dogs? Cats? Snakes? That was a question Johnson brought up on more than one occasion during the lengthy conversation.
        Residents who have discussed the topic with council members have actually only asked for obtaining approximately a dozen or fewer laying hens, and have admitted roosters may be a nuisance. Chickens would be caged in a building and within the confines of a chicken run. Another plus, according to council members, is that chickens sleep during the night.
        Still, when it came to drafting an ordinance about this matter, the three Monroe council members said they wanted to know more about the issue. They want to find out whether or not Monroe residents are in favor
of having chickens. If not, why? How much yard space does one chicken need? Do chickens smell? The questions continued about everything chicken-related.
        Some Monroe residents are already talking of starting a petition in favor of an ordinance allowing chickens in town.
        When the ordinance is written, it could possibly say how many chickens may be kept at a time, can make residents purchase a cheap permit every year to keep chickens and may very well say no to any large livestock such as cows, pigs and goats within town limits.  
        Council members want to hear what Monroe has to say about this topic. Chickens or no chickens?