Milton may soon allow residents to keep chickens within the city limits. The City Council is in the process of amending the current ordinance that bans certain domestic animals.

"There was a lady that called and said that she wanted to put chickens in the yard," said City Manager Brian Watkins. "She talked with the members of the administrative committee during a meeting."

The committee reviewed the current ordinance and suggested amendments to the policy. Changes to the ordinance stipulate there shall be no roosters allowed, no more than eight chickens and chickens must be housed at least 30 feet from adjacent property lines. Changes to the law were tailored after the Pensacola City Council ordinance on fowl within city limits. 

"I think those were some of the things that we pulled out from the Pensacola ordinance," Watkins said. "Separation from the neighbors is one issue. If they don't want chickens, they certainly don't want to see your or smell yours."

Watkins said the conditions were established to address any possible conflicts and concerns. Roosters will not be allowed within the city limits because of their vocal nature. Only hens will be allowed within City limits as part of the change.

"They cluck a little bit," Watkins said. "But they don't crow."

There are guidelines to follow concerning the housing of the hens, according to the legislation. The pens, coops or enclosure must be constructed and maintained to keep the chickens safe from predators. The bottom of the coops are also required to be at least 18 inches off the ground and built with a box to collect droppings. Chicken coops and pens must provide food and water outside, in order to prevent contamination.