Roosters in Barnstable

February 4, 2011

Two nights ago, roosters in the Town of Barnstable were met with more debate.  Fresh from the town’s attorney, the Agricultural Commission was presented with another draft of the inevitable law.  Interestingly enough, some parts were entirely different than what were discussed at the last meeting this past December.

The beginning of this new draft was similar to local right to farm laws.  The new draft would allow individuals other than farms (over 5 acres) to keep 1 rooster at any given time.  If you have between 2-5 acres and could prove $1000 profit/acre than you could be considered a farm.  This would provide you with the ability to keep more than 1 rooster.
The second portion of the law went on to read as follows:
“The rooster would be kept in between the hours of 7pm to 7am in a fully enclosed structure impervious to light and weather, separate from all dwellings and set back at least 50 feet from all boundary lines.”

The majority of members on the commission agreed unanimously that this second portion should read as follows:
 “The rooster would be kept in between the hours of 7pm to 7am in a fully enclosed structure.” 

They recommended eliminating the remainder of the clause because it prevents individuals from practicing good livestock management.  Chickens, roosters or hens, need to have fresh circulating air at all times.  In regards to the 50 feet, if the rooster is quiet, the setback is not an issue.  The remaining portion of the law does include a noise nuisance clause.  This would regulate noise that is 150 feet from the rooster’s dwelling and continuous noise lasting over 10 minutes.  A three strike fining rule for each violation remained.

Slowly but surely this law is going to come to fruition. I want it to be fair to roosters.  Crowing roosters should have the same rights as barking dogs.  At times they are both capable of annoying the neighbors.


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