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Cockadoodle-Don’t – Oxford to Ban Roosters in city limits

There will soon be no roosters in the henhouse – that is, if the Oxford Board of Aldermen approves proposed changes to the city’s zoning code.

The modifications were first announced during this week’s Oxford Planning Commission meeting. City planner Judy Daniel said the decision to officially prohibit homeowners from owning roosters within city limits came after her office received multiple complaints from the west side of town. The rooster, as they’re prone to do, was crowing early in the morning, and residents were displeased, she said.

“We were just surprised, in the city, that you would have a rooster,” Daniel said. “We were not surprised by people keeping hens – that’s a thing these days. But you don’t need a rooster to get eggs.”

After speaking to the code enforcement officer, Daniel said she learned there are no ordinances prohibiting the ownership of a rooster outright. Homeowners can make a noise complaint, however, which may or may not result in the removal of the rooster.

Zoning enforcement officer Flint Ussery said he’s not surprised there are roosters in town. Should a rooster need to be removed, it’s his job to oversee the process.

“This is still Mississippi,” Ussery said. “People grew up with them on farms, and they moved to town.”

Daniel pointed out that existing roosters will not be harmed if the changes are passed, so long as the noise isn’t an issue.

Roosters aren’t the only farm animal mentioned in the proposed changes to the zoning code, however. Homeowners who aren’t fans of urban poultry can still channel their inner Old MacDonald by owning their very own sheep within city limits. Goats, on the other hand, are not invited.

“If it passes, you’re allowed to have one sheep. Some people with large lots have a sheep to mow the grass. It takes less gas,” she said. “We didn’t put in goats, because they can get a bit smelly. Actually, goats cut the grass a little too close to the ground, but sheep keep it at a reasonable level.”

A first reading of the proposed modifications to the zoning code will take place at the next board of aldermen meeting.