Berlin Woman Can Keep Chickens

An Eastern Shore town has allowed a woman to keep backyard chickens, but not ducks, ruling against neighbors who complained about noise and dirt. The Berlin Town Council voted to allow up to six female chickens on the properties of single-family homes. Elizabeth Fisher was originally told by city officials that her chickens and ducks were not allowed, but she argued town law only prohibits the “business of keeping poultry,” and she was keeping the ducks and chickens as pets. Under the law, other birds such as waterfowl are prohibited, chickens must be kept in a pen, and their odor controlled. Material that could attract rodents must also be removed and the chickens must be registered with the Maryland Department of Agriculture.