TECUMSEH, Ont. -- Residents in the Town of Tecumseh will soon be able to have chickens in their backyards.

Council on Tuesday approved a recommendation to hold a public meeting so residents can comment on a plan to allow chickens in backyard coops.

No date for the meeting has been set, but council would like to hold the meeting in November, with the goal of allowing the pilot program in 2020.

The proposed two-year pilot program would allow all residents to apply for a license to have up to six hens in a coop in their backyards.

They would have to pay an annual permit fee of $25 and have a property inspection conducted.

Council did hear concerns last year from some residents who fear the chickens will attract rodents and other wildlife.

But Councillor Andrew Dowie feels the rules built into the pilot program will help alleviate those concerns.

"So when food is stored properly, when their habitat is built properly and there's enough acreage on the property, there should be no correlation or no attraction for rodents," says Dowie.

Under the pilot program, chickens will have to be at least four months old, but residents will not be allowed to have roosters.

Hens must also be kept in their coops from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and the coops must be maintained in a clean, dry, odour free and sanitary condition.

Some rural residents in Tecumseh already have chickens, if their property is zoned for it.

Residents with properties of more than 10,000 square feet can have additional birds -- one hen per an additional 3,000 square feet.

Backyard chickens are allowed in parts of Toronto as well as in Kitchener and Kingston.

Tecumseh Council had previously allowed a maximum of three urban chickens as a permitted use but amended its animal control by-law in November 2016 to ban keeping chickens in urban areas of the town.