Cluck, yeah! Brookhaven Town will allow for up to 12 chickens per yard


Are you looking to insulate yourself from another spike in egg prices?

If you live in Brookhaven Town, you’ll have the opportunity to live more independently of market rates, thanks to a code amendment that was unanimously passed by the Town Board that now allows for up to a dozen chickens per residential property.

Though the amount of chickens you could raise will depend on your property size.

“This decision aligns perfectly with our mission to support local food initiatives and empower residents, especially young people, with the knowledge and skills to care for chickens,” said Vanessa Lockel, executive director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. “CCE Suffolk looks forward to continuing to provide resources and support to our community’s backyard chicken enthusiasts.”

The new law was passed June 20.

In case you’re wondering, raising a rooster (known to wake up the neighbors) is still prohibited in town.

The details

  • The amended code eases the setback requirements from 50 feet from all property lines to 10 feet, allowing
    more residents to meet the requirements without the need for a variance. 
  • The code also changes the standard from a universal hard limit of six chickens to a standard that reflects the size of property. 
  • The new standard holds the limit of six chickens for parcels under 20,000 square feet, but allows up to 12 chickens for parcels
    over 20,000 square feet.

The way town officials see it, the relaxed restrictions will afford more residents the benefit of raising chickens at home, while providing more sources of fresh eggs, with safer and more lasting homes for chickens.

Chickens also provide a public health benefit, as they feast on ticks.

“Chickens also promote a circular economy by the removal of kitchen food scraps from the waste stream, turning it into protein for
energy and providing households with fresh, locally sourced eggs and poultry,” a town announcement reads.

Photo by Zoe Schaeffer on Unsplash

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