These NJ towns have cried ‘fowl’ with a ban on live roosters
A Bergen County town is the latest in the state to consider a rooster ban due to noise complaints, according to a report.
The Fair Lawn Borough Council is considering regulating against the male chickens as domestic animals, NorthJersey.com reported while citing Councilwoman Gail Rottenstrich, who said there had been a couple of concerns over the noise they create.
Regulations for keeping chickens vary by municipality, as do outright bans on roosters as backyard animals for residential property around the state.
The following handful of Garden State communities already have put their figurative foot down, against poultry — or at least roosters.
Aberdeen (Monmouth County)
Aberdeen allows up to eight female chickens on a 22,500 sq. foot property. For larger properties, the maximum is 12 hens — no roosters are allowed on any domestic property. The chicken enclosure needs to be 20 feet from any neighboring residence, and 20 feet from any area of storm drainage.
Glen Ridge (Essex County)
Glen Ridge allows for up to 8 hens on a property, no roosters. The borough ordinance calls for a minimum, 4-foot-high fenced, enclosed yard and the chicken coop must be at least 10 feet from property lines.
Haddonfield (Camden County)
As of December 2021, Haddonfield has amended its local code to allow for the keeping of "backyard chickens," but roosters are banned. Chicken coops and enclosed chicken runs must be set back at least 20 feet from any residence owned by another, and the coop must be at least 5 feet from any property line.
Jersey City (Hudson County)
Jersey City allows for up to 50 chickens, with the proper license, as long as they are kept at least 25 feet away from any other residence. Roosters appear to be restricted under the local code.
Keyport (Monmouth County)
Keyport allows up to six hens on a property, with an annual permit for chickens, but roosters are banned.
Maplewood (Essex County)
Maplewood has been allowing up to 15 households to each keep up to five chickens, with no roosters allowed. Before applying for a permit to participate in the program, each interested household must secure the written consent of all next-door property owners.
Millburn (Essex County)
Millburn allows up to four chickens by permit, with a required coop at least 20 feet from any property line of an adjacent property and 20 feet from the home. Under the ordinance, no free-range chickens and no roosters are allowed.
Middle Township (Cape May County)
The Middle Township Committee had introduced a measure to restrict residents from owning roosters, but several attendees at a September 2021 meeting spoke on behalf on the sometimes noisy animals — and the restrictions were tabled, as reported by the Cape May County Herald.
Ridgewood (Bergen County)
Ridgewood's ordinance calls for chickens to be allowed by permit, while banning roosters or “screaming or chattering fowl.” The local ordinance says coops must be at least 50 feet from a neighbor's home or any place where people congregate, and at least 200 feet away from any food establishment. Coops must also be at least 10 feet from property lines.
Woodbridge (Middlesex County)
Chicken are among a short list of animals (along with ducks, rabbits, sheep, goats, pigs and horses) that are banned from ownership in Woodbridge. The township Department of Health and Human Services may consider and review, in its sole discretion, certain requests for a special permit.