Lifting rooster bans - city hall speech


5 Years
May 25, 2014
Speech given on Dec. 15, 2014 to Gaithersburg City Hall. Roosters are wrongly discriminated against. Not only that, rooster bans encourage abuse of process. Now that we all know chickens are fun pets, lets stop the unjust ban of roosters.

The rooster ban fails the “darn good reason” test. It also empowers abuse of process.

Our country was built as a republic. It means we must have minimal government with few rules and restrictions. If we are going to make a law that denies freedoms, there better be a darn good reason.

In 2010 our codes were reviewed and we voted to largely keep the rules unchanged except we decided to ban roosters. We did this even though:

1) There were no prior problems with roosters

There was no need to single out any particular animal because:

2) We already have rules for noise pollution that should apply to every animal

Further our codes had already stated:

3) Unlawful to keep a “crowing rooster”

Before 2010, our citizens were already protected from noise pollution issues related to chickens. We made a big mistake in changing the rules.

Chicken collars are simple and effective
When you attach a simple collar to a chicken, it prevents the crowing. They cannot fill their windpipe to make the loud noise. All other noises and chicken activities are still possible. Regardless of sex, it is the way to go. We already have regulations in place for dog barking and nuisance complaints… why make distinctions between animals? Noise is noise, it should not be tolerated - period.

A flock benefits from a rooster
A rooster stops bickering amongst hens. A rooster protects hens. A rooster warns hens of danger. Most of all, a rooster will find worms and food then encourage the hens to eat first. It is a wonderful sight.

Neglected animals
Because of rooster laws, many are slaughtered simply because of their gender. Many birds are sent to animal shelters but they can’t keep them all. Rather than see them become Tuesday night dinner, many owners would rather let their roosters run wild — this is even more cruel. It is not humane.

Roosters are loving
"Frizzle” the Rooster was a very special family pet to the Burritt family. Just one of the many traits that made Frizzle such a great pet: he was litterbox trained! No kidding! The Burritt family picked up Frizzle at a local farm market, where he had been left after his previous owner died. The Burritt family couldn't resist and brought him home, where the rooster amazingly learned how to go poo in the litterbox by watching the family cat! Ever since then, he lived in the house as the beloved family pet, greeting everyone who knocked on the door and sleeping in the family quarters.

Abuse of process
Perhaps the best reason to lift the rooster ban is to prevent abuse of process. Do not give anyone the ability make false claims that must be explored. Do not make animal control have to figure out the sex of a chicken. There are over 150 breeds of chicken in all shapes and colors. It is not so easy to determine the sex of a chicken, even experts get confused. So why do it? Focus on what really matters which is the health and cleanliness of the animals and if they are making unwanted levels of noise. Don’t focus on male vs. female.


5 Years
May 25, 2014
Follow up speech given on Jan. 5, 2015 to Gaithersburg City Hall.

On December 15th I asked if we could lift the rooster ban. Since that time I have heard no response. Tonight I’ve come to ask again.

On the night of the 15th, we noted how important it is to help families move into Gaithersburg. Why? Because nothing is more important to community than home ownership. I stand before you as proof of this. I’m willing to take a stand for what is right because this is my city. I live here.

On the night of the 15th, we noted how much money we have waiting to be used for improvement projects. To erect sculptures, plant trees, make benches. Anything to pretty up the community now, not later. My family did this in our own way. We shared some very nice birds on our front lawn to the delight of our community. We made many friends and it was extremely pleasant. We have signatures from neighbors which attest to this. All immediate neighbors loved them and many people would come from all ends of the neighborhood to enjoy our birds. A great many vegetables were consumed because if they weren’t, children realized they would not be allowed to visit the chickens. It was wonderful.

Something terrible happened to my family. Something that shattered community spirit. It is clear that something is wrong with our rules and regulations as well as our enforcement of them. This must be rectified.

Please allow me to reinforce my words from December 15th:

Why single out roosters? Banning them is wrong because:

1) you cannot enforce it - what is a rooster and what is not? It’s not so easy to tell.

2) it is inhumane - we kill too many roosters, just because of rules built on incorrect knowledge.

3) they are beneficial - they protect the hens, they find food for the hens, they prevent fighting.

4) what we need are rules for nuisance noise applied to all pets - no need to single out any animal. Roosters can be very quiet.

5) we allowed them before, it was never a problem, there was no reason to change the ruling in 2011.

Let’s take a high moral ground. Let’s make decisions that are clearly right. Let’s entice intelligent families to flock to our city with rules that enhance our freedoms and quality of life.

Unless there is a “darn good reason” we should never erect a law which limits our freedom. To do so goes against the very fiber from which our country was created.

Let’s hear from our mayor and council members. Will you lift the rooster ban?


5 Years
May 25, 2014
Follow up speech given on Jan. 20, 2015 to Gaithersburg City Hall.

A bit of serious humor in the form of the "I have a dream" speech of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Yesterday was Jan. 19th - a day in which we honor the moral character of Dr. Martin Luther King and his dream.

I have a dream that my six little chickens will one day live in a city where they will not be judged by the feathers on their skin but by the content of their character. Gaithersburg is a “Character counts” city after all.

In a sense we’ve come to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all pets, yes, chickens as well as dogs and cats, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that Gaithersburg has defaulted on this promissory note. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, Gaithersburg has given chickens a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this city. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give all chickens upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind Gaithersburg of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of pet superiority to the sunlit path of pet justice. Now is the time to lift our city from the quicksands of pet injustice to the solid rock of pet equality. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's creatures.

We cannot walk alone.

We cannot turn back.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day the city of Gaithersburg will rise up and live out the true meaning of the creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all creatures are created equal."
If Gaithersburg is to truly be a “pro chicken” city, we cannot ban roosters.

Rooster bans enable abuse of process. It opens the door to false claims. It gives citizens who despise chickens a tool to do harm. It gives them an excuse to call the city and say “I think I see a rooster.” It forces animal control officers to have to make a judgement call on the sex of an animal. All of this to enforce an unjust city code. I ask you - if there is no noise, who should care? For someone who keeps nothing but hens, the rooster ban causes them constant grief.

Roosters can be noisy, but they don’t have to be. It depends on their owners.

Pit Bulls can be deadly, but they don’t have to be. It depends on their owners.

Sports cars can drive dangerously, but they don’t have to. It depends on their owners.

On Dec. 15 I asked. On Jan. 5 I asked. Today on the 20th January I ask again. Please do not unjustly remove our freedoms. Lift the rooster ban.


5 Years
May 25, 2014
Follow up speech given on Feb. 2, 2015 to Gaithersburg City Hall. Requested a compromise by giving our family a permit to obtain a rooster and then re-evaluate a year later to open to public hearing. This day Animal Control presented their research. Do you agree?

Gaithersburg is a wonderful place to live because of your efforts. The service is top notch as you can see where the city lines end when the snow days come. Also we hold the annual agricultural fair that brings so much fun and education to many people. We can see our city, county and state tries very hard to preserve farming culture. The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Program is one of the most successful programs of its kind in the nation. Maryland has preserved in perpetuity more agricultural land than any other state in the country.

When we are building houses, buildings, roads, we strive to keep a balance with mother nature. Still, we push animals out of our daily life. We complain about animals that bring inconvenience; however, animals have no way to voice complaints about humanity's destruction on their natural life. If we keep pushing animals out of our daily life, sooner or later, human beings will be all alone on earth. Imagine if every city, county and state bans the rooster. If we destroyed all roosters, within a very short time the chicken family would become extinct and the familiar American breakfast of bacon and eggs would be no more.

That said, a chicken is not a farm animal. It is a bird, not unlike an African grey parrot. There is nothing preventing the chicken from being a perfect companion animal in the city.

In 2010, we enacted a pre-emptive law to ban roosters. The ban would prevent noise complaints while protecting hens in our city for years to come. Unfortunately ideas that sound good on paper don’t always turn out well in practice. Animal Control is caught in the middle. The new law forces them to confiscate any animal that remotely looks like a rooster. As the laws are written, they must do this even if there has not been a single issue with crowing. This law does not protect hens in our city, it makes them a target.

Please grant my family a special permit to have roosters. Consider it a trial to test whether or not my claims are true. Please trust that I will not pollute our city with noise. If I obtain a rooster and if it makes unreasonable noise, we will deal swiftly with the issue.

The last thing I want to do is cause trouble for my neighbors. I have presented 12 signatures from neighbors stating that they miss our birds. I have presented 4 signatures from my direct next door neighbors stating that they never heard any noise. We have always been responsible. If granted a permit, if all goes well, when it expires we can either extend the permit or consider opening up to public hearing at a more appropriate time.


5 Years
May 25, 2014
Follow up speech given on Feb. 17, 2015 to Gaithersburg City Hall. This is the fifth time asking for a lift of the rooster ban. Clarified false claims against Thorburn chickens. Community residents came to voice support of lifting rooster ban. Eight supporting opinions presented this night.

My name is Aaron Rosenzweig. I live on 1 Thorburn Road.

Character counts. Personal character. Community character. City Government character. This is why we are here.

Mutual respect is paramount. While we hope neighbors will care for each other, at the very least we must respect a neighbor’s right to exist. If I disagree with the life choices of another person, as long as they are not impacting my freedoms and quality of life, I should not have a leg to stand on. This is why we are here.

We have a good community. One worth fighting for. The Thorburn chickens were removed from our Westleigh community because of the Rooster ban. Your rooster ban was not used to silence any noise complaint. Your law was abused as a tool to remove chickens. This is why we are here.

I would like to clarify two false claims against me. First, having a coop on my front lawn complies with city codes. Second, my pet chickens have never been “at large.” They are always under supervision. Companion animals are allowed on my lawn and allowed on the sidewalk as long as I am out there with them. One non-nearby citizen made many false claims and kept calling the city. Sadly animal control did not protect me from being harassed. Instead, they became part of the harassment.

The rooster ban is not only unnecessary it is also harmful to our community.

I’ll outline our city codes:

Section 4-4 Animal public nuisance.
An animal is “at large” when they are left unattended in a public area when the owner/custodian is not in the immediate vicinity.

Section 4-3 Cruelty to animals; animal care.
Exercise and freedom of movement necessary to maintain the animal’s good health.

Section 4-102 Temporary permits.
The city manager may issue a temporary permit for the keeping, care and protection of a prohibited animal where it is determined that such actions are necessary to the animal’s welfare.

And now the item you removed in 2010:
Section 4-7 Regulations for keeping domestic fowl.
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep a crowing rooster within two hundred feet of any inhabited dwelling.

Section 4-7 along with our general noise nuisance protections certainly sounds plenty strong. Why would you change our rules in 2010? Why make an outright ban?

I have with me written testimony from PHDs in Poultry Science and Veterinary doctors with chicken expertise. They all agree, rooster collars are humane. I want to respond to the report made by Lisa Holland, Director of Animal Control. May I have an additional 3 minutes to present these findings?


My name is Akiva Rosenzweig. I live on 1 Thorburn Road.

First I want to mention to you that I am a boy with long hair. My sister has donated her hair four times to Locks of Love to help children who suffer from cancer. I want to do the same. When summer comes, it will be my first time to donate my hair. I am very proud. Many people think I am a girl but I don't mind because I know my heart is in the right place. My parents always teach me to do the right thing, even if it might make me different from others. I have long hair and I have chickens as pets. It sounds different than most kids, but I am glad my parents support my decision.

Chicken are wonderful pets. They are soft, loving and cute. We used to have our chickens in the front yard. I remembered those days my neighbors, big kids and small kids would stop by and we all talked about chickens. I love to share. Later we were forced to move our chickens to the backyard because there is one grandpa who didn't like our chickens and kept calling animal control. Now our chickens are in the backyard. I think they are still happy, but sadly it is not easy for my neighbors to play with the chickens anymore. I liked it when they were community pets.

I also like roosters. I have read many books and articles online that it is healthy to have a rooster in the flock to balance their living style. Roosters are strong. They will protect the hens. But my parents said the current laws in the city don't allow us to have roosters because they make noise. You decided to ban roosters. I wonder if this is really the right way to handle roosters? Ban them from our city and kill them? Human beings share the earth with all living creatures. We might be the most advanced animal, but we are not superior. I remember when I watched Spiderman, he said, "with great power comes great responsibility". If roosters have not disturbed anyone, why make a law to get rid of them? Do you agree with me?


My name is Rachel Rosenzweig. I live on 1 Thorburn Road.

I am always taught to be kind, to love animals by my parents, by my teachers, and many others. I believe you too will teach me the same important values of kindness here. However, cruetly does not always happen in dark alleys. Often it occurs in the bright sunlight. What we do not see by our own eyes, we tend to ignore. Human beings have mistreated animals in many ways.

50% of chickens are born as male. Our current rooster bans, nationwide, make hatcheries slaughter those unwanted male chicks. Chickens are birds, this makes it hard to sex them. For all the interesting chicken breeds, it is difficult to tell which one is male and which one is female even after they are several weeks old. Many owners don't intend to have roosters and end up with roosters in their flock. Our city's rooster ban give people a reason to kill roosters. I don't think the rooster ban is humane. Please lift the rooster ban. I hope tonight you will go home and share with your loved ones that you intend to save many innocent animals.

Council member Ryan. My Dad tells me your chickens were sex-links. Designed by humans to have markings at birth to immediately find the boys so they can be tossed in the trash can. Sex-links are not a breed, they can't produce more sex-links. There are many fantastic breeds of chicken but they cannot be sexed at birth. If later your family wanted to raise Chinese Silkies, I guarantee that you will have a rooster, even if you purchased hens. Your family should not be denied the joy of Silkies. You should not fear having a rooster.

Perhaps allowing hens in 2010 was hard for you because you didn't even know chickens then. I feel that in 2015, you are really happy about what you did. You see the benefit like few others can. You will feel the same about roosters if you lift the ban.


5 Years
May 25, 2014
Follow up speech given on March 2, 2015 to Gaithersburg City Hall. This is the sixth time asking for a lift of the rooster ban. Presented evidence that rooster collars are effective and humane. Four different doctors agree in writing that it is a good solution.

My name is Aaron Rosenzweig. I live on 1 Thorburn Road.

I want to respond to the report made by Lisa Holland, Director of Animal Control.

Lisa said the rooster ban has reduced the number of rooster complaints. She did not give any numbers to support this claim. Without hard facts, you must dismiss this part of her testimony as hearsay.

Furthermore - our laws before 2010 already had protections for general noise nuisance and even for “crowing roosters.” The new ban does not make it any “easier” to address rooster complaints. The ban does make it easy to kill an animal which is not crowing and which may not even be a rooster.

Lisa said the Humane Society finds all methods of silencing a rooster to be inhumane. She did not name the person she spoke with. Without a written formal statement we cannot assume this is the official viewpoint of the Humane Society. You must dismiss this part of her testimony as hearsay.

Lisa said she spoke with four animal doctors. None of them had heard of any methods for silencing a rooster. Lisa concluded that this means such methods are not legitimate. The doctors simply said they did not know, these doctors may not have adequate chicken experience. You must dismiss this part of her testimony as misrepresentation.

Lisa said a collar is inhumane because it might get stuck on something. Wouldn’t this also be true for dog and cat collars? Yet those are humane enough. Don’t dogs have both shock collars and water spritzing collars? Yet those are humane enough to be sold nationwide. We are simply talking about a collar that fits snug but not tight on the neck of a large bird. Like a sock.

Lisa said that surgery to remove crowing is difficult and expensive, hence inhumane. All surgery incurs risk. We routinely remove the reproductive organs of dogs and cats. That is risky too. A doctor with experience can surgically remove a rooster’s ability to crow. If a complication occurs and the bird does not make it through surgery, it happened while they were asleep without any pain. Isn’t that more humane than killing them outright? If someone wants to pay for the surgery so that possibly the bird can live out their days but the bird did not survive surgery… how is this cruel?

How can any chance to live a near normal life be considered cruel when faced with the alternative of certain death?
Listen to the experts:

Dr. Lonnie Luther has a PHD in Poultry Science and has conducted numerous scientific chicken experiments with the FDA. He presents a letter stating that collars and surgery are both humane.

Dr. Gregory Meyer is an animal doctor in Silver Spring with extensive chicken experience who keeps a flock of his own. He presents this letter stating that he has seen roosters that have used collars and find them to be humane provided the owner routinely checks the collar.

Dr. Victoria Hollifield is an animal doctor in Gaithersburg who performs difficult surgeries on chickens. She has also seen roosters with collars and finds collars humane.

Dr. Peter Brown has a degree in Poultry Science and is the doctor for the Chicken Whisperer radio show. His letter also agrees that collars are humane. Knowing intimately the anatomy of a chicken, he finds collars will in no way harm the voice box of a rooster.
Four doctors, four written letters. Rooster collars are humane.


5 Years
May 25, 2014
Follow up speech given on March 16, 2015 to Gaithersburg City Hall. This is the seventh time asking for a lift of the rooster ban. Presented evidence that it can be really hard to distinguish a rooster from a hen.

My name is Aaron Rosenzweig. I live on 1 Thorburn Road.

Today we pretend to be animal control officers who must enforce a rooster ban.

1) Mayor Jud, do you see a rooster or a hen?
This is a champion white leghorn hen. Yes she has a large comb and wattles, that’s why “she” is a champion.

2) Council Member Ryan, rooster or a hen?
This is a “duck wing” leghorn hen. She is similar to the previous hen just with different colored feathers.

3) Council Member Henry, rooster or a hen?
Beautiful isn’t “he”? This is a Sebright rooster. Named after Sir John Saunders Sebright who established this breed in the 19th century which led to Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

4) Council Member Neil, rooster or a hen?
All birds in this photo are roosters. They are on a farm for meat production.

5) Council Member Cathy, rooster or a hen?
This is a Silkie rooster. Looks more like a llama or a rabbit than a rooster doesn’t he.

6) Council Member Michael, rooster or a hen?
This is a Silkie hen. She’s the girlfriend of the previous rooster.

7) City Manager Tony, rooster or a hen?
These are the spurs of a Polish hen. It is common for the Mediterranean breeds of females to grow spurs.

It can be really tricky to tell a rooster from a hen. When there is no crowing, no public nuisance, why ask staff to determine the sex of an animal? Why does it matter? It matters because we outlaw all male chickens. You do not pay animal control officers enough. You task them with the destruction of a child’s favorite pet for no just cause. That, my friends, is inhumane.

Why did we enact a rooster ban?

I like dogs, I’ve owned two dogs as a child. Dogs have the potential to bark loudly. 90 decibels, the same as a rooster. The same as a lawn mower. Dogs have the potential to maim and kill. I said “potential” because it relies on their owners. Yet we do not ban dogs. Why is that?

Will you ask Lisa Holland to compare the number of dog barking complaints to rooster complaints? Will you ask her to compare the number of dog attacks to chicken attacks?

If we must draw the line somewhere, we banned the wrong animal.


5 Years
May 25, 2014
Follow up speech given on April 7, 2015 to Gaithersburg City Hall. This is the eighth time asking for a lift of the rooster ban. Explained "magical thinking" and how it relates to personal freedoms. Asked if a city should operate as a large HOA by passing laws to decide what is prim and proper. Recited a poem about chickens "it would have been enough for us."

My name is Aaron Rosenzweig. I live on 1 Thorburn Road.

“It’s only real until someone proves it’s legendary.”

My son, Akiva, said this to me. He took something from Japanese culture, stood it on its head, then created a new idea.

“It’s only real until someone proves it’s legendary. What some people think about chickens, especially roosters, is wrong. We have to show them the truth.”

He makes it sound so simple. What is remarkable is how he expressed a concept that lawyers grapple with every day. It’s called “Magical thinking.”

As human beings we rarely see our world for what it is. Instead we see only what we believe even if it has no basis in reality.

A baby elephant can be tethered by a simple chain. When he matures he is still restrained by that weak chain. As an adult he could snap it without breaking a sweat but he doesn’t even try. He “magically thinks” there is no point because he tried so many times so long ago.

The smarter we are, the easier we fall pray to “magical thinking.”

One of my neighbors told me never to come to city hall. She said it would be bad, I will only make you upset, I would then be on your black list and you would proceed to make my life uneasy.

I know she meant well but when I asked her to name at least one council member, she could not. She succumbed to “magical thinking.” She had never taken the time to meet any of you but somehow she just “knows” what she said is true.

I, on the other hand, would not want to put such words in your mouth. I would like to hear, first hand, what you have to say. Why should I assume the worst? Were you not elected by our citizens? Are not most of our citizens good reasonable people? Coming here to be part of the council is not your full time job. You do it for some reason far beyond drawing a pay check. You are here to make a difference.

I must try to present you with enough information. The more you know, the better decisions you will make. When bad things happen, to turn and hide and be a victim… that is not good character.

I ask you tonight, if all my immediate neighbors are happy with my family and our choice of pets, why did Animal Control visit us 5 times? Why did Animal Control try to take our birds away? Why did the city harass us? If you cannot come up with an adequate explanation, then I beseech you to change our laws so this does not happen again.


My name is Akiva Rosenzweig. I live on 1 Thorburn Road.

In time of peace chickens are a wonderful hobby, in time of war a patriotic duty.

If chickens were beautiful to look at but not soft and cuddly, it would have been enough for us.

If they were soft and cuddly but did not clear our weeds, it would have been enough for us.

If they cleared our weeds but did not rid us of ticks and slugs, it would have been enough for us.

If they rid us of ticks and slugs but did not energize our soil, it would have been enough for us.

If they energized our soil but could not be trained, it would have been enough for us.

If they are easy to train but do not produce eggs, it would have been enough for us.

For every time we forget how truly incredible chickens can be — forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement.

For every time we forget the “victory gardens” of recent past, where chickens provided countless Americans and British citizens with nourishment and entertainment to live through World War II — forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement.


My name is Rachel Rosenzweig. I live on 1 Thorburn Road.

Is it the responsibility of a city to decide for its citizens what are pets and what are not? Must a city create laws that limit our personal freedoms? If a city must determine what is acceptable, where do we draw the line? At what point do we go too far and simply turn the city into one large Homeowners’ Association?

Of course there is a purpose for an HOA. An HOA is created when a small group of people decide that their immediate community should have specific rules about what is proper. This makes sense. If you want to control the colors of paint and types of trees you can create a uniform look amongst all neighbors. You can ask the HOA to enforce violations anonymously. If you move into an HOA, you must adhere to its rules.

A city, by definition, is a large group of people living together. It is a melting pot. A strong city embraces diverse cultures and lifestyles. If people live in communities that are not part of an HOA, they should expect to see freedom of expression. In our Westleigh community, our next door neighbor plants pumpkins on his front lawn. Up the street a family built a jungle gym on their front lawn that everyone enjoys. We put our pet chickens on the front lawn and shared them with our neighbors. It is a friendly place where people stop and chat with each other. If you live in a place without an HOA, you must learn to respect your neighbors.

HOA or no HOA, both are good. It’s up to you. What do you want? What do you believe? Where do you want to live?

In 2010 when the McClure’s asked the city to ban chickens, they did so because they did not live in an HOA community. I find it remarkable that it was easier for the McClure’s to get the whole city to consider banning chickens than it was to convince their non-HOA community of Pheasant Run. You actually brought it to public hearing, the question of removing the right to raise chickens from 60,000 citizens.

At the city level, doesn’t it make sense to only make laws that benefit public safety and transportation? Why make laws to decide what is prim and proper? Please leave that for an HOA to decide. Do not impose any person’s narrow view of the world across the entire city.


5 Years
May 25, 2014
Follow up speech given on April 20, 2015 to Gaithersburg City Hall. This is the ninth time asking for a lift of the rooster ban. Explained "Inaction is action" and how being silent is agreeing of the status quo. Asked if a city should tell us what are "pets." Announced May 4th as International Respect for Chickens Day.

International respect for chickens day May 4th:


My name is Aaron Rosenzweig. I live on 1 Thorburn Road.

Silence… [10 second pause] is deafening.

Inaction… is action.

Failure to act means you agree with the status quo. Not making a decision *is* a decision. Not taking a side *is* taking a side.

You choose what issues matter. You decide what issues warrant change. You have not found it necessary to revisit our laws concerning chickens.

Allow me to articulate clearly the status quo that our council supports:

1) You support David Roseman and his hobby of photographing children then giving them the middle finger.

2) You support city officials feeling like they are merely a cog in the wheel. When you ask their opinion they reply “it doesn’t matter what I think.”

3) You support removing chickens because they “look like” roosters.

4) You support forcing us to remove electric heat in the winter so that our pets will suffer

5) You support harassing citizens numerous times for the same artificial offense

6) You support degrading our citizens, telling them they don’t belong

7) You support knocking on our doors telling us we cannot have chickens

8) You support city officials who refuse to read our city codes and also refuse to show us in writing what we have violated

9) You support city officials making up their own rules on what the city codes should be.

10) You support members of the council calling us on the telephone to say, “chickens are not pets.”

Can you still stand there, speechless, and allow these atrocities to continue? If character truly counts in Gaithersburg, you will stand with me.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the chicken owners, and I did not speak out —
Because I did not keep chickens.
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak for me.

May 4 is “International Respect for Chickens Day.” Please do an action for chickens in May.


My name is Rachel Rosenzweig. I live on 1 Thorburn Road

What are pets?

One of the members of our council phoned and spoke with my father. This person told us that "chickens are not pets." This person also said that it "really bothers them" when we say that roosters complete a flock. Finally, they said "I've seen chickens, kept in their coop, they survive just fine."

I don't want my chickens to merely survive, I want them to thrive.

I want my chickens to be happy and that includes time to run around and do as they please. This includes having their big brother watching out for them while the hens are chasing bugs.

Who are you to judge me? Who are you to say that my bond with my birds is anything other than wonderful?

If I was creating a problem, that is a different story. None of my neighbors have complained about noise nor smell. All of my immediate neighbors like my pets. Why is the city giving us trouble? Why is the city not defending us from people who live far away?

Some people ask, why do you want a rooster? They won't give you eggs. It's simple really. Does your cat give you eggs? How about your dog? Is the value of an animal merely what they can do for you? How selfish is that!

I want a rooster for the same reason you might want a dog. Because they feel good to hold, because they are happy to see you, they come when you call, and they look awesome. A perfect gentleman. My general Coco-san.


International Respect for Chickens Day

My name is Akiva Rosenzweig. I live on 1 Thorburn road.

International Respect for Chickens day is on May 4. It is to celebrate chickens around the world. It is also to protest the bleakness of chickens living in farming operations. The entire month of May is International Respect for Chickens month. If possible, please do an action for chickens on or around May 4. Chickens are cute and cuddly, clear weeds, rid us of ticks and slugs, and lay eggs. They are not hurting anyone. So why, why is there a rooster ban?

Some people say, why not buy eggs at the store? Why not go to Whole Foods to buy “certified humane” eggs? I used to think that way too. I used to think that I was getting a “happy egg” from a “happy chicken.” It’s actually a lie. If you go to our website:, scroll to the bottom and click the links for videos and more information. “Cage free” eggs and not humane. “Free range” eggs are not humane.

Did you know what happened during World War II? Food was hard to find. Do you know what we did in America? We realized we could raise chickens for eggs and meat in very inhumane conditions and they would still survive. This changed the world. Chickens went from being a luxury to being a common food. We were so efficient in our chicken farming that Europe started to ban our chicken meat. We sold it for such a low price that their humane methods could not compete.

If you are going to eat chicken eggs, why not make friends with chickens, why not live with them like you do with your dog or cat. It does not make sense to force chickens to live out their lives in concentration camps for our pleasure, in a place far away, never to see the light of day. When their usefulness is done, we gas them then throw them in a pit. Is that humane?

Thank you!



Apr 24, 2015
Hello! I am on the neighborhood council in Eugene, OR because I am so passionate about roosters. They are amazing, and I want to keep mine in the city. I am interested in these posts and want to know what outcome has been. It's a great start. I am starting a rooster sanctuary and hope to have rooster bans lifted here. Blessings, and keep me informed on your progress.

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