N.J. town proposes limiting mating of roosters, chickens in backyard..

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by jjthink, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    N.J. town proposes limiting mating of roosters, chickens in backyard farms to 10 days a year
    Published: Thursday, March 17, 2011, 8:35 AM
    By Lisa Coryell/For The Times

    HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP — It might not make the chickens happy, but the township committee hopes to keep the peace in neighborhoods by limiting conjugal visits between roosters and hens in backyard farms.

    Male fowls would be allowed into the henhouses 10 days a year under an ordinance introduced by the township committee Monday night. No rooster would be allowed to stay more than five consecutive nights and any crowing would be strictly prohibited.
    "You can bet if you have one rooster in there with six hens, he’s going to be crowing," chuckled John Hart, a beef farmer who sits on the town Agricultural Advisory Committee that helped draft the ordinance. "Only in Hopewell Township would we waste the time and money on chicken legislation. Other towns are laughing at us."
    Hopewell began working on the law several years ago when a father came to town hall to inquire about rules for keeping chickens in the backyard to teach his children about the cycle of life. That ruffled feathers among the town officials, who decided the laws on chickens were ambiguous and needed to be clarified.
    Three years and countless legal hours later the ordinance was unveiled for consideration.
    The draft ordinance lays out the rules for keeping backyard fowl; the only livestock permitted on township properties less than five acres.
    Under the law, up to six hens would be allowed on half-acre lots; but mature roosters would be forbidden.
    "They make too much noise," Hart said. "They’ll be out there crowing at a full moon."
    The male fowls would be allowed limited time on the property "for purposes of fertilization" but they’d have to keep quiet while they were there. Any rooster caught crowing for a prolonged period of time would subject the property to a two-year moratorium on all rooster visits.
    Hens do not need roosters around to lay the unfertilized eggs used for eating. Each hen will lay an egg a day on average.
    The law also regulates how to shelter chickens, store their feed and dispose of their waste.
    Proponents say the ordinance is needed to prevent any squabbling among neighbors in places where suburbanites want to try their hand at chicken farming.
    Hart, who owns the Rosedale Mills feed store on Route 31, says it’s a growing trend among people looking for a healthier diet of homegrown food.
    "Most people keep the chickens so they can have fresh eggs," Hart said. "We used to sell 1,000 chicks a year. Last year we sold more than 3,000."
    Hart also sells chicken coops to people all over the state. One couple comes in from New York to buy supplies for a pair of chickens they keep on an outside deck, he said.
    He also hosts a Chicken Chat in the spring and the fall for people to share ideas about raising poultry.
    He recounted a conversation last spring between a little girl and an old-time farmer who attended the gathering. The child was asking for advice on what to do with a hen that pecked and broke the eggs laid by other hens.
    "The guy said, ‘I just wring their necks,’" Hart recalled. "I told him ‘No, no, no, you can’t tell people that. These people think of their chickens as pets!’"
    Mayor Jim Burd said the ordinance is a good balance between the town’s suburban lifestyle and rich farming history.
    "Our agrarian roots are the backbone of the township and we want to do what we can to keep that going," Burd said.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  2. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    good gawd... [​IMG]

    I will never, ever, live in NJ.
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
  4. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2008
    Cypress, Texas
    LOL wow......so you pretty much have to build a seperate pen for the rooster...and keep his mouth taped shut....

    I'm sorry, are people really this stupid?
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    GEEESH! Just legislate noise levels and times (big difference in 3 am and 3 pm, lol); then let the property owner worry about how he is going to house his roosters without breaking hte noise law--same as those with dogs, loud machinery or garage bands.

    I do have to give them credit for thinking outside the box, though. They jsut went way too far over into the funny farm padded room.
  6. calista

    calista Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2010
    To remain in the same vein of political correctness, the township should verify that no conjugal visits will be allowed until the roosters have scored passing grades on safe-sex classes and have been provided with -- ah -- chicken prophylactics for those rich suburbanites who don't want their hens raising babies out of wedlock. [​IMG]
  7. JerseyFresh

    JerseyFresh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2008
    I've lived in several stated (coast to coast) and NJ is the most regulated by far.
    The only good thing in the article is the mention of Rosedale Mills. It was near my home and is a fantastic feed/supply store.
    I've since moved out of the state [​IMG]
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Same topic, in the other local paper:

    HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP: Chickens may find new roosts
    DATE POSTED: Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:05 AM EDT
    By John Tredrea, Staff Writer

    Residents whose homes are on lots at least one-half acre in size would be able to keep up to six chickens on their properties under a measure introduced by the Hopewell Township Committee Monday night.

    The proposed ordinance, scheduled for a public hearing and adoption vote April 25, is backed by the Residential Animal Agriculture Subcommittee of the township’s Agricultural Advisory Committee.

    For homes on lots larger than one-half acre, up to four additional chickens may be kept for each additional half-acre. Mature roosters would be prohibited. However, roosters may visit the property, for purposes of fertilizing chickens, up to 10 per days per year, but no more than five days consecutively.

    A cockerel, or young male chicken, that crows would have to be removed from the property.

    Slaughtering chickens in public view would be prohibited.
    Chickens would have to be in a fully enclosed shelter, in the rear yard, at least 25 feet from any neighboring property line and at least 50 feet from any neighboring house.

    The size of the shelters would be limited. Feed and waste would have to be kept in tight containers.

    Chickens would be prohibited from running at large or disturbing the peace. There would be penalties for violations.

    The measure was backed Monday by John Hart, a farmer and former township mayor and member of the township’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, and Ted Borer, of the subcommittee on Residential Animal Agriculture.

    The proposed ordinance “is consistent with ordinances in townships across the country,” said Mr. Borer

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Seriously, that sounds like a joke to me. They'll be setting themselves up to spread diseases by using "stud roosters", plus, you cannot, absolutely cannot stop a rooster from being a rooster unless you make him stop breathing. [​IMG] A rooster crows. They need to get over it.

    Sorry, Judy, but I always knew NJ was another planet. Might be a good idea if someone who actually knew about chickens consulted on these stupid ordinances.
  10. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    OK, sure, there's a lot of silliness in trying to legislate such things, but... I'll take another view here, FWIW.

    At least this town allows chickens. Thumbs up.
    This town allows 6 hens. again, Thumbs up.

    That this town is allowing these hen keepers 10 days to propagate their flocks?, a HUGE Thumbs up.

    Given the number of townships, cities and villages with zero tolerance or any provision, of any kind, I'd say this township is downright progressive.

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