PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s largest city has become the latest municipality in the state to allow residents to keep chickens in their backyards.

After a long and lively debate Wednesday, Portland City Council voted 7-1 to pass an ordinance allowing up to six hens — but no roosters — for a yearly fee of $25. Chicken coops must be set back from neighboring residences by at least 25 feet, but no building permit will be required.

Portland officials said the council received 150 e-mails, the most it’s ever received on any issue, which came up as the recession has more people interested in locally grown food.

South Portland began allowing backyard chickens in 2007 and Falmouth did the same last fall. Biddeford and Westbrook also allow the raising of chickens for personal use.