Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Barnstable Rooster Ordinance Update

I am so glad that I went to the meeting last night regarding the rooster regulations in the town of Barnstable.  I was happy to see that seven other residents from town were there too, all in the defense of their roosters.   Apparently, the rooster subject is not a new one.  The Barnstable Agricultural Commission has been working on this for a while with one of our town council members.  There have been some legitimate complaints about noise from roosters across town.  However, there are no laws pertaining to roosters in town.  Without an ordinance specifically for roosters, the town is unable to control some volatile situations that have arisen in neighborhoods.

I felt like we came to this meeting just in time.  Last night, a town council member brought the draft of a rooster ordinance that was to be voted on and perhaps implemented at last night’s meeting.  However, due to public comments and concerns, the ordinance as presented and drafted was edited and will be go back to the town and legal counsel for revision.

Initially the rooster ordinance introduced last night, although vague and broad, left a few of us with an uneasy feeling in our stomachs.  The rooster ordinance basically had three key items.  In layman terms, they were as follows:

1.  Any person with a rooster must have at least 2 acres of land

2.  The rooster must be plainly audible from 150 feet or less from the complaint site.

3.  There is a three strike fining component before there is any other action.

The meeting lasted for two hours.  After much contemplation and debate, the Barnstable Agricultural Commission decided on striking that 2 acres of land are required for a rooster.  They also struck the wording “or less” and made it just 150 feet.  They are also planning on clarifying what happens after you have had 3 strikes. 

So for now, the rooster ordinance draft, will go back to to the town’s legal counsel for rewording and reappear in a new form at the next Barnstable Agricultural Commission scheduled for January 2011.  The most interesting twist of the evening came when the commission personally invited me to apply for the vacant seat on the commission.  Isn’t it funny how life just sorts itself out?  Last night I was definitely in the right place at the right time.