Supporters of a proposed bylaw for Chatham-Kent learned not to count their chickens before they are hatched Monday evening.

The ultimate proposal called for staff to prepare a report and draft a bylaw allowing residents to keep up to 4 chickens in their back yard.

But the vote by Chatham-Kent council wound up a 9-9 tie, so therefore it did not pass.

Councilor Marjorie Crew used the food sustainability argument.

“ There’s a lot of people who just want to know what they are eating, and where it comes from. They want to take chickens and have a learning experience with their families.

” Councilor Doug Sulman was concerned about the rodents they will attract.

“ Hens attract rodents and what took place in one region was a neighbors house was infested by rats, while the chicken owners escaped unscathed. They found a rats nest in their house and that is not uncommon at all.”

Councilor Amy Finn added if people are curious about the egg production business, “ there are many egg farmers around and if they’d like to go see, farmers are more than happy to give children a tour and a lesson on the industry.”

So the whole chicken issue is on the back burner for now.