This was in a near by towns paper this morning !! Yay !! When you think of backyards in Springfield, you probably don't think of chickens, but that could change now that city leaders passed an ordinance allowing people to keep up to six hens within city limits. The move did not come without opposition from several council members. "We already have numerous complaints throughout the city involving bad neighbors, why are we going to add something else to that? We have a problem with stray dogs and feral cats and we have an insufficient staff with those already," said Councilman Jerry Compton. The final vote: 5 to 4. In the end, Mayor Jim O'Neal broke the tie in favor of chickens. "Some people are concerned that it makes us look awkward or backward but really it's the mark of a more progressive community to allow this to happen." There are a number of guidelines under the measure including a limit of six chickens per tract of land regardless of the number of houses or dwellings in the space, the animals have to be kept in a secured closure or fenced-in area, and owners have to keep the area sanitary. If there are complaints, the issue would be treated just like any other problem reported to the health department. The council will revisit the ordinance in a year. At that time they can determine whether changes need to be implemented or whether the measure needs to be stricken down altogether.