Chickens within the Columbus city limits could soon be forced to fly the coop if members of the Columbus City Council stand firm in a decision to prohibit farm animals from being kept as pets.

In a 5-2 vote on Tuesday, council members gave initial approval to an amendment to the city’s animal care ordinance that would designate chickens as farm animals. The amendment also would prevent residents living within city limits from keeping farm animals as pets.

The vote came after testimony from several people in the audience of the Cal Brand meeting room — where the council meeting was moved in anticipation of a large crowd gathered to discuss the animal care ordinance. Many said they have been keeping chickens on their properties within the city limits for years without any issues.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.