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Residential chickens proposal ruffling feathers in Hoisington
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HOISINGTON — The possibility of allowing laying chicken hens in the city limits of Hoisington is ruffling the feathers of some Hoisington residents.
Resident Stacy Rae Walker approached the Hoisington City Council  on Monday at its regular meeting to ask about allowing chickens in the city limits.
Currently, this is prohibited by city ordinance.
City Manager Jonathan Mitchell said the city ordinance prohibiting chickens was created in 1964.
In a letter to the council, Walker said that she would like to see the ordinance changed “to include hens kept as pets and for the purpose of laying and collecting fresh, healthy, sustainable, organic, antibiotic and hormone free eggs in a noncommercial capacity.”
Mitchell, who was not present at the meeting, said that other cities have allowed chickens including Manhattan, Kansas City, Lenexa and Garden City.
In Walker’s letter, she included information about commercially grown chickens that live in cages. Home chickens would be able to eliminate pesticides and herbicides from eggs and meat, and provide natural pest control by eating fleas, ticks, grasshoppers, spiders, slugs and mosquito larvae. Chicken excrement would be used to fertilize gardens.
Social media has erupted with people against the proposal, saying that chickens’ smell and some people wouldn’t keep cages clean, plus the fact that hen chickens cluck.
Mitchell said roosters would be disallowed, but chickens are hard to sex, and residents may inadvertently buy one. Residents would be limited to 3-5 chickens.  He also said the council did have some concerns about the proposals.
The City Council will have a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 5 at the Hoisington City Building to discuss the issue.
“It’s a great opportunity for those in favor and those opposed to come and express their thoughts,” said Mitchell.
Also on the agenda for the Monday meeting is appointment to the planning commission, appointment of the pharmacy negotiating committee, wages for the code enforcement officer, city manager updates and executive session.