Chickens Stories from Our Nest

A Letter to the Editor

I was recently interviewed by a local paper about keeping roosters in Barnstable, MA.  I felt that what I stated in the interview to the reporter was not clearly conveyed in the article.  So, I wrote the editor a letter.  I hope it will be published in this Friday’s paper.  I’m crossing my fingers!
Dear Editor,
I had the pleasure of being interviewed for an article by James Kinsella that was published on December 24, 2010 about roosters in the town of Barnstable.  However, after reading the article, I felt that I was not represented entirely correctly.
The closing line of the article said that I felt raising roosters “should not only be for the rich.”  This quote was taken out of context and the remainder of what I discussed was not presented in the article.  Initially, the draft form of the proposed rooster ordinance would require individuals keeping roosters to live on two acres or more of land.  Through urban planning and zoning within the town of Barnstable, many people do not live on more than one acre.  Affordable lots of land two acres or more in Barnstable are scarce.   Thus because of the high cost of land in the town of Barnstable, it would, in my opinion make owning a rooster something that only the rich could afford.
I also feel that keeping a rooster was made into a very black and white subject.  In my opinion, it is a gray area.  I believe that roosters can be a disturbance.  I also believe that if there are situations that cannot be remedied, then the rooster must be rehomed.  Owning a noisy rooster requires the owner to be more responsible than just raising hens.  The owner is responsible for controlling the noise of their animal if it is found to be an annoyance to those around them.
Keeping roosters is not for everyone.  We ended up with our rooster accidentally.  Our she turned out to be a he.  We did not discover this until he was 20 weeks old.  We became attached to him.  We quickly discovered he serves a purpose in the flock.  He acts as a protector to the hens.  He also enables us to raise chicks if we so desire.  By hatching our own chickens, we avoid ordering chicks from out of state hatcheries and potentially introducing foreign diseases into our current flocks.  It also keeps raising chickens local.
Through keeping hens and a rooster, my family has learned many valuable lessons.  We have learned about the roles of the hens and the rooster.  We’ve learned the lifecycle of the chicken.  We have learned about the importance of knowing where food comes from.  We are eating eggs from our local organically fed chickens.  We have also learned lessons in responsibility and see our chickens as members of our family. 
Thank you for your time.

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