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Crowing rooster drives couple to court

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by SueNH, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. SueNH

    SueNH Songster

    Feb 24, 2007
    The paper does have reader comments open.


    Crowing rooster drives couple to court

    Union Leader Correspondent
    4 hours, 1 minute ago

    BRENTWOOD – A North Hampton couple is asking a judge to evict a group of chickens, and especially a crowing rooster, from their neighborhood after getting no satisfaction from town officials.

    Phelps Fullerton and his wife, Jamie Marston, are taking their neighbor Sylvia Cheever to court over claims that the chickens and roosters she keeps in her yard keep them awake in the wee hours and generally disturb the peace.

    The roosters would begin loudly crowing at dawn and continue crowing throughout the day and into the evening, the couple wrote in their court petition. They believe the animals are depriving them of peace and quiet.

    Judge John Lewis denied a request by the couple to outright bar Cheever from keeping roosters on her Atlantic Avenue property, but agreed to hold a hearing in the case.

    North Hampton officials told the couple and other neighbors who have complained about Cheever's flock that there is little they can do.

    The town does have a dog ordinance "" aimed at making sure that dog owners keep their pooches quiet and don't disturb their neighbors.

    But there's no ordinance for farm animals.

    Neighbors complained to selectmen about the chickens and other alleged zoning violations on Cheever's property during a meeting last November, according to court documents and minutes of the meeting.

    Town officials only found that Cheever was keeping too many chickens on her property at one point, but gave her time to limit her flock to four.

    Residents in Cheever's neighborhood are allowed by town ordinance to keep up to four farm animals so long as they are not being kept for commercial purposes.

    Fullerton and Marston say they don't have a problem with Cheever's having four chickens on her property, but they want the judge to bar roosters from being on her land. A hearing date has not yet been scheduled.

  2. SueNH

    SueNH Songster

    Feb 24, 2007
    The comments so far (heavily in favor of the rooster):

    So, are these people going to sue the town or state when geese fly by, or coyotes, or if an owl perches in a nearby tree, ad nauseum?! Send them back to the city where they can fall asleep to the gentle sounds of horns and sirens. Stop trying to turn NH into the Peoples' Republic.
    - sally, candia, nh

    Maybe the Fullertons should think about raising fox next to the hen house.
    - Steve, Brentwood

    Looks like the judge will have to decide on, if the rooster has run a fowl of the law.
    - KN, chester, nh

    I don't have a problem with pre-existing chicken farms. If a developer builds near a farm and people buy in the development then they should deal with the conditions that previously existed.

    I do have a problem with whack jobs that bring roosters into a neighborhood. We have had a place in Alton for 35 years and about 2 years ago a neighbor decided to raise chickens. What a lovely idea----except one was a rooster. Now I have to listen to the thing day and night. I work all week to pay the outrageous "view tax" on my property because it overlooks the lake, but the peace and tranquility that justified the extra tax is being destroyed by some lunatic who wants to raise farm animals in a residential neighborhood. Fortunately, I, like the people in this story, will take the case to the court and either get my neighbor to remove the rooster or bankrupt her in the process.

    On a side note, I am a fifth generation NH resident and I have lived in NH my entire life. My grandfather was a farmer who rarely traveled outside NH, but he had class, unlike many of the commentors here. All of you NH people making rude comments about people from cities sound like ingnorant hicks.
    - Cory, Alton

    Well golly gee whiz - a crowing rooster! Imagine that! I have one neighbor with chickens and peacocks and another with chickens and roosters; quite frankly, it's the blue jays and crows screaming at each other and fighting for food that are more irritating than the roosters. If crowing roosters are the height of their complaints they should count their blessings. These people need to get a life or move back to the big city. They are obviously not meant for country life. This case should be thrown out of court and they should be forced to pay all legal costs.
    - Sandy, Thornton

    If you leave in a rural area, then you might have to deal with livestock. It's NH, that's the way it is. I live in Manchester and a neighbor 2 houses away has a rooster and chickens. How is it that here in the middle of the west side nobody seems to mind, but residents of a sparsely populated stretch of 111 are going to court over birds?
    - Jeff, Manchester

    When I was a kid our neighbor took us to court over a barking dog. The court gave the dog a curfew, he needed to be in by 7:00 PM each day. Unfortunately, that's exactly how it was worded "7:00 PM each day." Well, 12:01 is the next day.

    Funny how things are a cycle. I now have a barking dog, he drives me nuts. I'm surprised the neighbors haven't killed him. I've tried every type of no-bark collar...including a shock collar...nothing works. On Saturday, I bought a muzzle.
    - DJ, Amherst

    Are you people serious? Now I've seen everything!!
    You think someone shouldn't be allowed to have a rooster if you live to close to them and can hear him? Are you kidding me?
    They're building houses on top of houses in every community within an hour from the MASS border. Why is that?
    Well, people want to "escape" the city and its crime to play family in country. And of course the construction companies will stack the houses on top of each other because they don't care. They see dollar signs everywhere!!
    Does anyone care that we're losing our space, our freedoms and our piece of mind on top of it?
    Is anyone going to be able to own any kind of animal?
    God forbid the cat meows or my dog farts!
    Go back to the city with your beeping horns and sirens!!
    Now that your invading our peaceful lands, I have to sell the house I lived in my whole life and move North in order to escape the UGLY suburbia your building.
    My quiet country dirt road is being invaded by massholes.
    PLEASE…..SOMEONE…..Just make the buildings taller in the cities so it can house these people.
    Seriously! Stay out and leave our roosters alone!
    - Joanne, Merrimack, NH

    When we first moved to North Hooksett in 1991 it was quiet enough at night that you could sleep with the windows open on a warm summer night.

    Now it's so noisy with constant traffic that we have to use a noise masking machine, two of them at once sometimes.
    However it works for us and these folks oughta try it too rather than complain.

    Its what happened in Auburn with the old chicken farm on Old Candia Rd. Place was there for years then a developer comes in and builds fancy new subdivisions all around the farm and next thing you know there are whining yuppies. "Oooh it smells, oooh its noisy..." Result? Chicken farm gone.
    Some people are simply miserable ba$#^*&ds
    - Marie, Hooksett

    What came first the rooster or the neighbor?
    - annienh, Henniker

    I once rented a room from a man who had two pet roosters. It was the only month of my life where I didn't have to rush to work and was on time every single day, so there's an up side!
    - Brian, W. Manch

    Not that I'd be thrilled about it but your right to sleep doesn't trump somebody's right to food. How many people actually keep chickens and roosters as PETS? I mean, come on! They keep them as a food source. Some of these comments are ridiculous. Liane, should you also get a fine for "being a selfish jerk" by trying to deny someone the right to keep animals on their property that they are entitled to? Sounds to me like the pot calling the kettle black. And CMac- seriously? They should only be able to keep the roosters if they were already there? So, I guess you can only have a dog if you had one BEFORE your neighbors moved in.... what???????
    - J, Fremont, NH

    CORRECTION - hens lay the same amount of eggs with or without a rooster. The eggs just won't be fertilized.
    - Catherine, Brookfield

    My friends call me The "Donald." You can call me Don or The "Don." You may have seen my family in a cartoon. His name was Foghorn Leghorn. He tried to make a difference and always meant good. Yeah, we're noisy at times but it's something you get use to. If you are angry about us you will hear every move we make...because you are out to get us. If you appreciate us for what we provide, then you will see us for what it is we truly do. Eat, sleep, knock up a hen to give us more - that's our life. You'd yell too if that was your life. I bet you like eggs? Make cakes, eat eggs scrambled, or just about anything. Chicken wings have become a huge hit. All my relatives hobble now. Anyway, you may dislike me, The "Donald." But I am not here to make you mad at me...I have a job to do. I live in New Hampshire...would you mind leaving?
    - The "Donald.", Sandown, NH

    Which came first , the rooster or the neighbor. If the rooster has been there whole time then the neighbor should mind their own business. That would be like the people who bought cheap homes next to Manchester Airport then complained about the noise. If the rooster is new, time to change the noise ordinance
    - C Mac, Allenstown

    Well, what is next, Children?, The gay couple next door?, Motorcycles on Atlantic Ave? Horses neighing from the horse farm next door, the flock of geese in the field? These are the same types who move in from Mass, Conn., or NYC, then complain bitterly about the Hampton Airfield, Seacoast Harley Davidson, demand more police protection, side walks, and more street lights, vote for every item the School Teachers Unions want, then move away in 5 years or less. This is has been going on in North Hampton since WWII and it really has damaged this town.
    Why is a Judge even giving this time in court? Why? If you don't like it, move!!!!!!!!!
    - Bill, North Hampton

    This is classic. A bunch of down-country flatlanders looking to ruin the State. Here in Stoddard, we've got outside agitators trying to monitor everything people do. These agitators have turned neighbor against neighbor, and even want to regulate what size light bulb you can have!!! They got a couple of these agitators onto the Select Board, and they have spent their time running people out of their jobs by creating a hostile work environment, or trying to do the same to other long term town employees.
    If you don't like the way it is here in NH, get out. Don't blow in here from some flatland craphole, enjoy the NH advantage, and then try and turn the town into Massachusetts!!!
    - George, Stoddard

    you sure they Aren't Pheasants? I know someone who confuses the Two. lol
    - Newt, Raymond

    if you don't like your neighbors rooster then must not like all the traffic during the summer months too. what's next for you two? getting the courts to limit or ban the noisy traffic that goes up and down atlantic ave. simple solution for you is to move.
    - Brian, Franklin

    Back in the 1940's when my parents had a hen house they would take a noisy rooster and make chicken fricassee out of him.
    - David, Keene

    Back in the 1940's when my parents had a hen house they would take a noisy rooster and make chicken fricassee out of him.
    - David, Keene

    I do live in CAMPTON and if one of my neighbors had a rooster that was keeping me up 2/3 of the night I'd complain too!!!
    Just cause we live in a more rural area doesn't mean we don't appreciate a good night's sleep. Want a farm - get a spread of land
    - Mary, Campton, NH

    I get sick and darn tired of reading stories like this...If those yuppies don't like chickens let them move back to Boston. Better yet, I Hope Ms Cheever goes out and buys some Guinea Hens. If Ms. Cheever does that, Fullerton and Marston will have wished they hadn't complained.
    - Rick Olson, Manchester

    Do you think they ever read the Dogs of March?
    - Aron, Holderness

    Roosters are awful, they are loud as hell even in the middle of the night. This doesn't have anything to do with live free or die or property rights, if you had a neighbor blasting an airhorn every 3 hours every single day, any normal person would get fed up. Usually the roosters owners get fed up and get rid of them before the neighbors need to push it this far. If this is an established chicken farm it's one thing, if it's someone getting a few for pets than they should be under an ordinance just like a constantly barking dog would be.
    - J Paige, Manchester

    Hey Jeff in Goffstown, chicken will certainly lay eggs without a rooster around. They can't have chicks without a rooster, but the hens produce the eggs we eat all on their own.

    Is it rude that this neighbor allows the rooster crowing. Definitely. Is there anything that the town can really do about it. Doubtful. The town could pass a general sound ordinance to keep things quieter at night but the likelihood of keeping all noise away during the day is absurd. Do these people really want to limit ALL noise or just the noise that THEY don't like?
    - Kim, Manchester

    stupidity run rampant. seriously.
    i have 5 roosters, because i bought some straight run chicks, and they happened to be mostly roosters. now i only buy already sexed chicks, because i have more than enough males already.
    anyway, you do NOT need a rooster to get eggs. hens lay eggs with or without. you just can't hatch any more chicks if the eggs aren't fertilized...
    and roosters crow anytime they're awake & they can see light, so a suburban rooster that is in a streetlighted area is going to crow 24 hours/day. mine crow at night if there's a full moon. too bad. deal with it, i have to hear them too, but it doesn't bother me... not like a yapping dog
    - Lee, Northwood

    Hey Jeff from Goffstown...roosters are NOT needed for hens to lay eggs. Hens will lay eggs without a rooster. The purpose of a rooster is to fertilize eggs so they produce young. If the purpose of these folks keeping chickens on thier property is to produce fresh eggs, than a rooster is not required. It's just an annoyance to their neighbors.
    - Jim H, Manchester

    Okay Jeff from Goffstown. You obviously know nothing about chickens. You do not need the rooster to have the hens lay eggs. They are only needed if you want babies!! God such stupid people. On another note this is NH and it is supposed to be rural. If you don't like the crowing move the heck out and go back to the city. I have chickens, horses, etc. here in Bedford and my neighbors all like the fact that they too have animals in their backyard. Most towns are zoned R/A which is residential/agricultural and its that way for a reason. Enjoy the sounds of the rooster in a matter of time you won't even hear it you will be so used to it. People always want to change the country and then bemoan the fact when its gone. Good grief!!!!
    - TS, Bedford

    These people live in NORTH HAMPTON- not Campton. I can see if you are actually out in the country- fine....but there at many NH people who think if there's a blade of grass we're on Green Acres and they should run out and buy Arnold the pig. The law is there to protect the public's rights - which are being violated when they are kept up around the clock by farm animals.
    - Liane, Bedford

    Can't people just get along? This is really rediculous!! We live in NH!!! Live free or die....anyone remember that one? It's not just for some....it's across the state!

    Chickens need a rooster to lay eggs.....how about putting some money towards a sound wall? They use them at doctors offices....put a few in your room nearest the neighbor. Save a couple thousand that you'll be spending on a court case for something they are doing legally! Or, I guess if you have that much time and money to waste then you're probably not looking for solutions...you're looking for the win! Big difference.....
    - Patti, Dunbarton

    Yup, people fall in love with the quaintness of small town NH only to move in and destroy it with their petty legal actions. If you don't like country living folks move to the city.
    - Tracy, Manchester

    My neighbor ( 4 houses away ) had a rooster for about 2-3 weeks. The noise this animal made every morning was very irritating. I’m sure SOMETHING would of happened to the rooster had it stayed longer.
    - JC, Brookline

    I think that attitude is really sad. If you have neighbrs all around you- why would you keep a loud crowing rooster??? We all pay our property taxes NO ONE should be allowed to keep their neighbors up around the clock with ANY noise. I have new for you- roosters don't just crow in the morning! Our neighbor had one that crowed from 1-4 am EVERY DAY in a family neighborhood with many neighbors...babies and elderly people and made everyone miserable-we moved to get away from that selfish jerk. Its one thing if you live on a farm, but when you have an acre of land that abuts 20 others- roosters should NOT be allowed and selfish jerks should receive LARGE noise fines.
    - Liane, Bedford

    I would love to hear those lovely noises at any time of the day or night. I grew up on a farm and miss it. Don't these complaining people have anything better to do?
    - miss m, bedford, nh

    oh no! not a CROWING rooster!....
    - mike, meredith

    Welcome to NH! I am surprized to find myself in sympathy with the couple filing the lawsuit. This is very much like your right to do what ever is fine until it hits my rights and I am negatively impacted. ( ie; I support your right to smoke yourself to death, just don't do it where I can smell it.) Yup, roosters crow, and hens won't lay an egg with no rooster around. I suggest its back to the farmers market for fresh eggs after a couple of chicken dinners. Thoughtless by one neighbor can ruin relations with entire neighborhoods and eventually create more regulations (just what everyone who is not a liberal democrat does not want) that negatively impact a lot more than just the inconsiderate neighbor.
    - jeff, Goffstown

    Live free or move
    - Stephanie, Deerfield

    Somebody needs to move back to the Bronx.
    - sue f, wentworth

    So The rooster crows! At least it's not at "Mid night" as the great Blues singer Lead Belly wailed about! You live in NH , Its a fun, rural place to be! I have neighbors that have roosters doing the same. Hey I make my own late nite noises, no one calls the authurities! Chill out and enjoy the wierdness! It's FUN!
    - Peter H, Campton, NH

    Funny how others think they can tell someone what they can do on their own property. Seeing she is forced to have only four chickens, if I were her, I'd keep four roosters!
    - CB, Nashua

    Geez, I thought this was just my problem = neighbors who are like their livestock, and don't care about the stink they make. Actualy seem to wallow in it.

    Must be more - what is the word - universal? Seacoast to the mountains, to the valleys...

    I say go for it. Short of a chicken dinner, the law is the only thing available.

    Well, maybe backing off and reasoning with the neighbors. But you know, some neighbors are not reasonable. I'll bet that was tried at some point and got guano in response. For those who don't understand, gauno is bird sh--.

    And may I clarify - roosters crow with first dim light of the day, not sunrise. "Dawn" is not the sun coming up and your alarm clock going off. Sometimes it's not far away, either, as he and his hens come close, pecking for - what is it they're pecking for? I know - it's something that makes the neighbors happy.

    Personally, I'd say this is a reason, of a very few, to have a gun. But that's not the point, is it?

    On reflection, just wring their darn neck, unless you're expert with a .22 - bird shot pellets are nasty to get them all out. But there are laws against that - if you don't "own" them.

    BTW - color again? Fat cock or just ruffled feathers? Fat enough, I might come and do somebody a favor.

    But have to remember - a good cock is hard to find. Somehow I have to bet, of the neighbors, there is a man and a woman. Why do I have the sense there is one, over the other, that's put this into a court of law?
    - RP, New Boston
  3. NatalieB

    NatalieB Songster

    Jun 27, 2009
    Ashby, MA
    WOW---the comments were eye opening. I hope they win their battle. It states 4 chickens...........not just pullets. Luckily I live in the sticks............no one cares about my roos. Even if they did............. [​IMG]
  4. ohh and to those that claim "People should be able to do whatever they want on there own property" must be dumb if they dont realize that ONCE the noise and racket goes WELL beyond your property line then your doing something wrong.

    I could not care if my hopefully soon to be terminally ill neighbors had 10000 roosters and were loud. But the fact that the undesirous screeches and screaming of these filthy things goes on and I have a rather large plot of property and I can hear it very loudly , thats what the real problem is.

    The government should make it mandatory that the roosters should be debarked by a vet, that would solve these derelicts from aggravating quality citizens.
  5. longlost2u

    longlost2u Hatching

    Aug 28, 2012
    To all you morons who causually tell people to move who can't sleep due to inconsiderate neighbors...ok with you if I blast my stereo all night next door to you? You can always move away. Tell me where you live, I will take a drive through your neighborhood when you are sleeping or sick and lay on my car horn for a few hours.
    I grew up on a farm, and I still like to get my sleep. Away from city traffic AND @$$hole neighbors in the country who don't care about their neighbors.
    Live free or die? Guess that means it's ok that I shoot the obnoxious rooster two houses from me, and his owner too.
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    It seems obvious that keeping roosters is within her rights. That does not mean that noise ordinances do not also apply. If there are ordinances that prevent stereos from blasting the neighborhood, incessantly barking dogs or loud machinery, I would expect that the rooster's crowing would be covered as well. I am guessing, though, that at this point the rooster's owner is less than enthralled with her neighbors and not particularly wanting to please them.

    I'd suggest getting a sound meter and measuring the decibels at the home of the complaining couple as well as at the property line.
  7. djhsold

    djhsold Hatching

    May 13, 2013
    I live in an area that did not prohibit chickens until a recent ordinance wants to be added. We have had 2 chickens for a year now and one grew up to be a hen and the other a rooster. They are my son's pets and he enjoys them. I received a letter from the city that there was to be a meeting that would ban roosters and that I should appear since there have been numerous complaints. I went to the meeting with over 60 signatures of neighbors that approved of us owning these chickens. I even went to the police dept to check on the compalints and the police dept has no complaints to my address about the rooster crowing. These animals have become our pets and I am not going to allow an oridinance to pass that bans roosters. The decibel level of a rooster crowing is about 90, the same as a dog barking. I highly doubt the city will try to ban dogs also. We keep our rooster in a cage at night and I have since added a door so the rooster does not crow till after 7:30ish, when the kids get on the bus for school. I am glad to live where I live and have neighbors that stick together on issues.

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