city ordinances

The Birdman of Eudora, Jay Wilson, tends to his quail

Eudora News and

Jay Wilson just wanted to have a hobby in his retirement and decided to raise some quail.  The problem with that hobby, is that the city of Eudora has ordinances against having fowl in the city.

Wilson decided in 2010 that raising quail was something he really wanted to do.  He began researching how to raise the birds. He studied hard to learn all about their life cycle and how to care for them. Wilson excelled with his new found hobby. He started off with six birds and, at the high point, had over 150 birds.

The problem started back in late May when Wilson went to the city to obtain a permit so that he could build a small building on his property where a foundation was already in place.  This building was to be a more permanent location for his birds.

When city inspectors came out to look at the property for the building permit, they noticed the large amount of birds on the property in pens both outdoors and his garage. Wilson was then informed that he was not allowed to keep the birds inside the city limits.

“I just wanted to have something do,” Wilson said. “My kids are all grown and this gives me company and something I enjoy doing a lot.  I love these birds and taking care of them is all I want to do. My place is clean and I keep it well maintained. There’s not odors or noise from the quail. It’s not bothering nobody.”

Wilson went to the Eudora City Commission in an effort to try to keep his birds at his home. The City Council told him, that he could not keep his birds in the city limits.  They gave him a 30 day temporary permit so he could have time to move the birds to a location outside the city. Wilson closed his outdoor pens and reduced his operation in his garage while trying to find a suitable location for his companions.

“You have to find a good location for them and make sure they are protected from predators,” Wilson said. “I don’t want to harm anyone with my birds, I just want to be able to raise them.”

At a recent City Council meeting where Wilson pleaded to be allowed to continue to have his birds at his home, one of the questions from the City Council was if he was going to be selling his birds.

“I might sell a few here and there to someone who needs a couple to train their hunting dogs, but other than that, I don’t plan on selling them,” Wilson stated.  This is a hobby, not a business.”

In the mean time Wilson has tried to find a location outside the city limits.  He recently procured a place and moved many of his birds to an undisclosed location.  Unfortunately, the thing he feared most happened.

“A critter got into the pens just the other night and killed a lot of my birds,” Wilson told us. “These were my pride and joy.”

Wilson plans to continue working on a location for the remaining birds in the hopes that he can continue his hobby and new found passion.