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Raleigh City Council won't ban roosters

From staff writer Austin Baird:

Raleigh roosters are safe, at least for now.

The City Council's law and public safety committee decided Tuesday to uphold an ordinance that allows roosters inside city limits.

The council was considering a citywide rooster ban because of a recent uptick in noise complaints related to crowing.

Scott Voorhees argued that the problem is overblown. He owns a rooster and several hens, and a neighbor complained to the city about the noise. He says his rooster crows in the morning and a few times during the day, but rarely makes noise at night and never louder than a barking dog.

Julia Zavada also owns a rooster and several hens. She said roosters are indispensable for chicken owners because they protect against hawks, snakes and insects.

Zavada sound-proofed her coop and locks up the fowl each night, and she said most owners are responsible like her. "If you're responsible, there's no problem," she said.

The council agreed and made no change, though they said city workers will continue monitoring the issue to determine if a change is needed later. "We don't have anything against roosters," said Councilman Mary Ann Baldwin.

Raleigh council mulls rooster ban

A discussion of animal control policies led to an unlikely topic for the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday: rooster regulations.

It turns out there’s nothing on the books that prevents Raleigh residents from keeping the birds. But an ill-timed “cock-a-doodle-doo” might run afoul of noise ordinances, and individual roosters could be declared a public nuisance, the city attorney said.

Councilman John Odom said he’s received three calls about noisy roosters in the past year. City staff also received a complaint from the Boylan Heights neighborhood, where the rooster’s owner was willing to work with neighbors and give up the bird.

Odom asked city staff to draft a rooster ban – already in effect in neighboring cities like Cary that allow backyard chickens.

Councilwoman Mary Ann Baldwin said she wasn’t sure new rules are needed. “Do you want to be the rooster killer in Raleigh?” she joked to Odom. “Don’t you think it’s a little extreme to ban roosters?”

“In a city, in close quarters?” responded Councilman Randy Stagner.

The council’s Law and Public Safety Committee will take up the issue again at a future meeting.

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