DERRY — Town officials are pondering what’s fair where fowl are concerned.
Planning Board members are once again looking at the town’s animal ordinance to see what regulations could be updated to keep control of neighborhoods where property owners keep chickens and roosters.
This comes after several residents complained earlier this year about the foul and fowl problems coming from a chicken coop next door.
In 2009, Derry enacted an updated animal ordinance which covers livestock, including roosters and chickens. But some rules need to be tightened up, officials say.
Some residents are saying existing rules aren’t being followed.
Phillip Bruno said his Windham Road neighborhood is being held prisoner by one neighbor’s noisy rooster.
“I know you can’t stop people from having roosters, but at least have some kind of control to house them at night,” he told town officials. “This is ridiculous, this is insane. ... In my case, the chicken coop is like 50 feet from our bedroom window; it’s crazy.”
Right now, residents need at least 1 acre to house any agricultural livestock, including horses, cows and sheep. All fowl pens kept on fewer than 2 acres are required to have wire mesh or poly-mesh roofs.
All animals must be enclosed so they cannot escape and trespass on public or private property. Enclosures must be 20 feet from a neighbor’s property line.
Bruno’s neighbor is following the rules when it comes to his lot size and coop location.
But it’s the rooster that makes for some sleepless nights.
Bruno isn’t alone.
Neighbors Richard Tripp and Maureen Heard also complained to the Town Council.
Heard lives at 52 Windham Road and said the rooster is very loud.
“I live next to Mr. Bruno; it is a very loud rooster, “ she said. “It definitely keeps my family up, wakes us up early in the morning.”