These NJ Towns Shouted “Chicken” With Live Roost Bans

A town in Bergen County is the latest in the state to consider a ban on roosters due to noise complaints, according to a report.

The Fair Lawn Borough Council is considering regulating male chickens as pets, NorthJersey.com reported while quoting councilor Gail Rottenstrich, who said there had been some concerns about the noise they create.

Regulations for keeping chickens vary from municipality to municipality, as does the outright banning of roosters as barnyard animals for residential properties across the state.

The next handful of Garden State communities have already put their figurative foot on poultry — or at least roosters.

Aberdeen (Monmouth County)

Aberdeen allows up to eight female hens on a 22,500 square foot property. For larger properties the maximum is 12 hens – no roosters are allowed on a domestic property. The chicken coop should be 20 feet from any neighboring residence and 20 feet from any storm drain area.

Glen Ridge (Essex County)

Glen Ridge allows up to 8 hens on one property, no roosters. The borough ordinance requires a fenced yard at least 4 feet high and the chicken coop must be at least 10 feet from property lines.

Haddonfield (Camden County)

As of December 2021, Haddonfield changed its local code to allow the keeping of “backyard chickens”, but roosters are prohibited. Chicken coops and enclosed chicken coops must be located at least 20 feet from any residence owned by another, and the chicken coop must be at least 5 feet from any property line.

Jersey City (Hudson County)

Jersey City allows up to 50 chickens, with the proper permit, as long as they are kept at least 25 feet from any other residence. Roosters seem to be restricted under local code.

Keyport (Monmouth County)

Keyport allows up to six hens on a property, with an annual chicken permit, but roosters are prohibited.


(Photo by Hana Oliver on Unsplash)

Maplewood (Essex County)

Maplewood allowed up to 15 households to raise up to five chickens each, with no roosters allowed. Before applying for a permit to participate in the program, each interested household must obtain the written consent of all neighboring landowners.

Millburn (Essex County)

Millburn allows up to four chickens per permit, with a chicken coop required at least 20 feet from any property line of an adjacent property and 20 feet from the house. 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 stop residents from owning roosters, but several attendees at a September 2021 meeting spoke out on behalf of the sometimes noisy animals – and the restrictions were dropped, as the Cape May reported. County Herald.

Ridgewood (Bergen County)

Ridgewood’s ordinance calls for chickens to be permitted by permit, while prohibiting roosters or “screaming or chattering hens.” The local ordinance states that co-ops must be at least 50 feet from a neighbor’s house or any place where people gather, and at least 200 feet from any eating establishment. Co-ops must also be at least 10 feet from property lines.

Woodbridge (Middlesex County)

Chickens are one of a short list of animals (along with ducks, rabbits, sheep, goats, pigs, and horses) whose ownership is prohibited in Woodbridge. The Township Department of Health and Human Services may consider and review, in its sole discretion, certain special permit applications.

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