James Island veterinarian promotes raising chickens

James Island veterinarian promotes raising chickens
August 22 12:03 2016 Print This Article

Most local government meetings deal with zoning ordinances, public safety issues issues and tax changes. On Thurs., Aug. 18, the key issue on the James Island Town Council was an ordinance to regulate backyard chicken coups.

James Island veterinarian Dr. Tom Sheridan, owner of Folly Road Animal Hospital, has raised chickens at his home for years. He attended the Town Council meeting to inform the members about chickens and advocate for the right of citizens to raise them on their property.

Sheridan noted that the town has a low average household income ($35,400 in 2013) and that raising chickens provides a low-cost source of protein. A local hardware store owner cited a surge in demand for chicken feed.

He even brought a prop to the packed meeting, as his elementary school daughters held up the family rooster “Snuggles”. Sheridan noted that roosters help guide and protect the hens. He also noted that a rooster crow has a lower decibel level than a barking dog, traffic noise and many household power tools.

Town Council wound up passing the ordinance regulating the size of a backyard chicken coup (limit of six hens) and prohibiting roosters. The second reading will be heard Thurs., Sept. 15 at 7 pm at Town Hall, 1238 Camp Road in the Camp Market Shopping Center. Sheridan is encouraging people to sign a petition to defeat the ordinance: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/748/002/027/. A Facebook group James Island, What the Cluck? has also emerged.