Canandaigua City Council considers ban on roosters

CANANDAIGUA — City residents may soon have reason to crow about their good night’s sleep and peaceful mornings.

City Council on Thursday night may take the first step in changing the city’s ordinance dealing with chickens, including prohibiting roosters. The changes also would address the health and safety of chickens that are currently allowed and still will be.

The changes could take effect later this year.

The city allows residents to keep chickens — as defined in the ordinance, domestic hens kept for eggs — on their property provided they obtain the necessary permit, according to City Manager John Goodwin, who is one of those residents.

Roosters also had been allowed — and at least two residents have them — but several community members have raised concerns about the roosters’ excessive noise.

The roosters can be an annoyance to neighbors, Goodwin said in describing reasons for the proposed ban. Although nothing in the code has prohibited roosters before, the city had been advising against keeping roosters for those who had been seeking permits to have chickens, Goodwin said.

Should the change in ordinance be approved, owners would have 60 days to find a new home for the roosters. Goodwin said there are places that accept roosters, including Lollypop Farm.

State law limits homeowners to six chickens; the city’s ordinance follows it.

The other proposed changes deal with sanitation, minimum coop sizes and the like that are meant for the protection of neighbors and chickens, Goodwin said. Owners would have a year to comply with the new regulations.

“We also want to make sure chickens are properly cared for,” Goodwin said.

Violators could have their permit revoked permanently. Also, an owner could be fined up to $250 and/or imprisoned up to 15 days for any violations, according to the ordinance.