If you had neighbors like these, you’d be coocoo too. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

A German couple just went to court to get their neighbor’s rooster removed, claiming the bird is torturing them by crowing more than two hundred times a day. One sort of marvels at the restraint of the German neighbors in going to court rather than inviting the rooster for dinner. Here, the USDA estimates that more than 13 million people in the US now have backyard poultry flocks. 

So, what rights do neighbors have to prevent others from keeping them? Well, homeowners associations have rules and municipalities have zoning laws, many of which prohibit the keeping of roosters, both because of the noise and to prevent cockfighting. But even if there’s no specific ordinance banning them, every town has nuisance laws that prevent excessive noise so you do have some rights. But first, try talking to your neighbors nicely about your concerns before you go to authorities to make the neighbors get the flock out.

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