There's a backyard chicken boom in Collin County

Backyard chicken influx in Plano

COLLIN COUNTY -- Cathy Gleason and her family moved out to rural Collin County for a reason.

"Moved to Lucas to have more chickens," Gleason said.

The family lives on five acres surrounded by trees and vegetation. On their land you'll find chickens, turkeys, dogs, and an emu. They all have free range of the Gleason farm.

But for Cathy, the driving force was to have more land for the chickens to roam. She has hundreds scattered across her front yard.

"I think in the last five to six years, it has just absolutely exploded," she said.

She's talking about the recent surge in families wanting chickens. Coops are starting to pop up in backyards. It's the reason she's excited about a bill that just passed through the Texas Senate and is now headed to the House for debate.

Senate Bill 1620 means cities can't stop families from having backyard chickens.

"We just got a tremendous amount of support on this," said State Senator Van Taylor.

It passed on Wednesday with a vote of 31-0. Residents can have up to six chickens, according to the bill.

"There's a minimum amount the city has to allow to have. The city can cap it down to six and the city could have it unlimited," said Taylor.

"Six is a good number," said Gleason, who says chickens are a "flock animal."

She warns against people having just one chicken. Cathy has hundreds and it's why she moved to an area that allows it. She also has livestock dogs to protect them.

"Everyone can get a little piece of that sustainable farming that is hidden within them," Cathy said.

Cathy is part of a group that organized McKinney Tour De Coop. It is all about educating people over having a handful of chickens.

The group plans to organize tours on April 29 to check out other coops in and around the city. The group has seen interest in this tour explode as well. Organizers say close to 500 people have signed up for the tours

The bill does give cities discretion whether to allow roosters. 

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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