City commissioners in Pierre have defeated a proposal that would have allowed residents to keep up to six hens on their property.
The 5-0 decision Tuesday night followed 1 ½ hours of public discussion. More than 100 people turned out, crowding the commission room and two overflow areas.
Supporters of the ordinance said they should be allowed to keep chickens to raise their own food and have the birds as pets. Opponents worried about possible noise and smell issues and the effect on property values.
Many commissioners said they found the proposal too broad, and they worried about the burden it would place on the city to license chickens and enforce the ordinance.