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Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by 5j's, Dec 13, 2010.
Okay I have searched to no avail on town web site but have no answers. Can you help?
It is an incorporated area, so it should have a seperate set of municpal codes, which would lay the baseline for chicken ownership. This would be clarified/modified based on your property's zoning.
Here in Ma., the animal control officer or "dog" officer in each town and city has to keep what's referred to as a barn book. It's a census of all the livestock and poultry being kept in that municipality. The officer must make an annual tallly and visit each site where these animals are kept, count and categorize them, and submit the census to the Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR). The MDAR in turn makes the information available to the USDA.
If you check your town department listings, there should be one for animal control. It's often part of the police department. If you contact that person, he or she will be able to tell you what the rules are concerning poultry and livestock.
Wilbraham is famous! It's the birthplace of Friendly's!
Keep the info coming. I'm learning a few things. This is great!! it is nice having friendlys so close. Great icecream, not so great service I have found at many locations unfortunately.
Let us know if you do have an animal control officer and if he or she gives you the information. The town health-and-sanitation department might also be able to tell you (though I try to avoid talking to health department people lest it put new ideas in their head if there aren't any existing ordinances against poultry!).
The Friendly's on Rt. 12 in Auburn has excellent service, as does the one on Rt. 114 in Peabody, by the way. Not really close to you, though!
town site does have dog officer. I went to town bylaws. Very vague on right to farm. Section encourages right to farm, raise animals, being that Wilbraham was and is a farming community. It says that if there are issues with farming, it is encouraged that the mediation be resolved by talking to individual. Very vague, zoning vague as well. I may call animal control to see what they say. The back of my property abuts a farm.
Sounds like your community is chicken-friendly. It's safe to say that if you keep your flock clean and well cared for, and keep the noise down, you won't have any trouble. The problems arise when neighbors complain. That's where the mediation comes in -- the town would rather that the affected parties work it out among themselves. The town intervenes only when there is no resolution. If your neighbors are farmers, chances are they will be unconcerned about you keeping chickens. You could always bring over a basket of fresh eggs!
good thoughts. thanks!!
Hi, I live in Wilbraham also,this is what I found .Hope it helps, have you had any other experiences in town? It seems to me that we are in the clear .
Have a good one!
SECTION 633: RIGHT TO FARM (ATM 5/14/07, Art. 41)
The Town of Wilbraham hereby adopts a Right to Farm Bylaw, administered by an Agricultural
Commission, to promote and preserve farming and farmland within the town. The Agricultural
Commission shall perform its duties in cooperation with other relevant town boards,
commissions and departments.
Section 1: Purpose and Intent
In the Town of Wilbraham, where farming is an essential part of the towns history, farming
continues to be a necessary and desirable activity that provides food, clean air, economic
diversity, local employment, and open space to all citizens of our community.
This bylaw is intended to encourage the pursuit of agriculture, promote farm-based economic
and employment opportunities, farm-based recreational and leisure activities, and protect
farmland within the Town of Wilbraham.
The purpose and intent of this bylaw is to foster agricultural uses of land, and to encourage the
initiation and expansion of agriculture and related activities to function in harmony with the
citizens of Wilbraham.
The right to farm is accorded to all citizens of the Commonwealth under Article 97 of its
Constitution and all state statutes and regulations there under, including but not limited to:
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40A, Section 3, Paragraph 1; Chapter 90, Section 9;
Chapter 111, Section 125A; and Chapter 128, Section 1A. We, the citizens of Wilbraham,
restate and republish these rights pursuant to the towns authority conferred by Article 89 of the
Articles of Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution (Home Rule Amendment).
Section 2: Definitions
Farm shall include any parcel or contiguous parcels of land or bodies of water, used for
The words farming or agriculture or their derivatives shall include, but not be limited to the
farming in all its branches which involve the cultivation and the tillage of the soil
establishing and maintaining orchards
production, cultivation, growing and harvesting of any agricultural, aqua-cultural,
floricultural, viti-cultural or horticultural commodities
growing and harvesting of forest products including the production of maple
syrup, Christmas trees and any other related forestry or lumbering operations
raising and keeping of domestic livestock
keeping of horses and other livestock as a commercial enterprise
establishing community gardens and maintaining other agricultural endeavors
Section 3: Right to Farm Declaration
In this bylaw, the word farming encompasses activities including, but not limited to, the
agricultural operation and transportation of slow-moving farm equipment over
roads within the town
agricultural activities that may occur on holidays, weekdays, weekends, by day or
by night, and shall include the attendant activities associated with accepted
conducting agricultural-related educational and farm-based recreational activities,
the operation and maintenance of a farmers market and farm stands
the sale of farm-related products with approved signage
maintenance, repair or storage of farm-related equipment or apparatus owned or
leased by the farm owner or manager
the construction and maintenance of farm buildings used for shelter, feed, storage,
maintenance and farm stands
I know this is an old thread, but I thought I would chime in since I have some information that might be useful.
The person in charge of "livestock" in town is Lance Trevallion. I spoke with him today, when he called to inform me that our neighbor two doors down has filed a complaint about our one rooster. I too have read the town zoning laws ands bylaws, and although it appears to me that chickens and roosters are OK, Lance indicated that his interpretation (and he is the enforcing agent) is that chickens are NOT ALLOWED on properties less than five acres.
Now, that said, he is not the type to be a bully and show up and remove chickens simply because he has the autority to do so. He will only get involved if there is a formal complaint. Although all neighbors abutting my property (1/2 acre) are fine with my hens and rooster, the neighbor two doors down objects to any crowing, apparently, even though the rooster is within the "acceptable" limits of the "dog barking" ordinance (Strange, isn't it, that if my dog barked for 14 minutes every hour between 7:01AM-9:59PM, it would be OK, but my rooster, who crows four or five times a day for about 5 minutes, is considered a "nusiance." Don't get me started!)
At this time, I will be rehoming my rooster to the farm across the street, where, because there is over 5 acres, he is "allowed." After that, I am going to see what I can do about changing the terminology in the bylaws to allow for chickens. I will need community support. Is anyone with me?