Is It Legal to Own a Rooster in New Bedford or Fall River?
I recently came across a post of a Fall River resident requesting some information about owning a rooster in the city. I was immediately invested and had to find out for myself.
Growing up in the countryside of Westport, roosters were a dime a dozen. You heard and saw them on the daily, but that's completely normal. However, I have yet to see any or know anyone who owns a rooster that lives within an urban setting.
According to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Massachusetts, each town and city has its own set of regulations for owning poultry, specifically roosters. It makes sense; roosters are loud and can cause a noise problem within the neighborhood, but it also depends on where you live. Specific permits must pulled as well.
If you live in Fall River, there are currently no laws regulating the ownership of a rooster. In New Bedford, chickens are cool (to an extent), but roosters are not allowed.
New Bedford Animal Control Officer Manny Maciel said that if a rooster is crowing and disturbing neighbors, the owners can be cited under city ordinance for disruption of the peace.
"The best thing to do if a rooster is becoming a nuisance is to call us at Animal Control to investigate and talk to the owner about the complaint," Maciel said. "Most get rid of the rooster instead of paying a $100 fine."
The average number of complaints the New Bedford Animal Control receive is three per calendar year, but Maciel said there are many more at times.
Now, just because it's legal to own chickens doesn't mean you can just let them run around free range. A permit must be pulled depending on the amount of chickens you are looking to have as well as the size of the coop.