Board Lets Pet Chickens Stay Home to Roost

hen.jpgA recent Itchmo article told the story of a town that forced a family to give up its pet chickens despite pleas from the family claiming that the birds were pets and not farm animals. But in Easthampton, Mass., town officials saw it differently when 10-year-old Sylvan Lorenz defended her pets at a recent zoning board meeting.

Sylvan and her brother have been rearing the chickens since they were a day old, but neighbors who had previously been denied the right to raise chickens on their property complained to the zoning enforcement officer. The Lorenz family was ordered to get rid of their hens, but Sylvan was able to convince the board that the birds were pets, not “poultry”.

The board came to the conclusion that the bylaw regarding farm animals was ambiguous in its definitions. Board member Dave Gardner pointed out that many dogs live on farms, but they are not defined as farm animals. His opinion was that a chicken could be a pet, and the rest of the board agreed, voting 5-0 to allow the Lorenz hens to remain with the family, but limited the number of chickens allowed to four.

Sylvan was pleased with the outcome of the hearing and said that she’d learned a lot about the zoning board.

Source: Daily Hampshire Gazette

2 Responses to “Board Lets Pet Chickens Stay Home to Roost”

  1. Lynne says:

    If people can keep other birds such as finches, parokeets, etc., why the special exemption for chickens?

  2. nora says:

    I also had several pairs of chickens when young and we lived in the City. NO ONE complained and our little roosters when learning to crow at daybreak were appreciated by the whole neighborhood as ambassabors of Get up and GO! I loved those darn chickens!

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