BIDDEFORD — City councilors gave preliminary approval Tuesday for allowing domestic chickens in residential areas.

The proposed change in the city’s ordinance stems from requests from residents to set up chicken coops on their property and raise chickens, City Manager John Bubier said.

Residents would be required to obtain permitting from the code enforcement office to own chickens, as well as for the construction of a henhouse or pen. The ordinance would allow residents to own up to six female chickens per lot, but would prohibit the sale of eggs, breeding or slaughtering.

Bubier said a final decision will be made after a second reading of the ordinance change.