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Rooster owner willing to work with city, neighbors

Last Modified: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:58 PM

By Doris Maricle / American Press

JENNINGS — The owner of some nuisance roosters said Tuesday he is willing to work with the city to resolve noise complaints made by neighbors.

Troy Gaspard, of 538 Felix St., said he has been raising chickens and roosters at his property since moving there in 2007 after receiving verbal approval from neighbors, including a veterinarian who also raises chickens.

“I’ve had them without any problems until about two years ago,” Gaspard said.

Since then he has been in court for numerous complaints of noise violations, and his property has been scrutinized by city officials, he said.

“I don’t think the problem is because my chickens are bothering any neighbors,” he said. “If so, why would it have taken five years (for complaints)?”

He also questioned other residents who have similar fowl.

Councilman Johnny Armentor said the problem is not so much with the chickens, but with noise complaints associated with Gaspard’s roosters.

Gaspard keeps 34 roosters in a metallic barn surrounded by a privacy fence. At one time he had as many as 50, he said.

“Any time you have that many roosters you are going to have a problem because as soon as one starts crowing, they all start,” Armentor said.

Reducing the number of roosters would likely help ease the problem, he said.

Armentor and Council President Trey Myers said Gaspard is not the only city resident who keeps fowl. There have also been problems with quail, doves and other fowl in other parts of the city, Armentor said.

“When you have that many fowl you can’t control them because they are wild animals,” Armentor said.

Gaspard said his attorney, Ric Oustalet, and city attorney Kevin Millican are working on an agreement to resolve the issues with the roosters to include reducing the number.

“Most of the complaints received by the city have centered more around the noise, though we did receive some complaints about the sanitization and the smell,” Millican said. “The neighbors simply don’t want to be disturbed. They are not opposed to someone having animals in their yards. It’s just more problems than what they were willing to accept.”

The city does not want to take away from what Gaspard enjoys doing or to prohibit the birds, but it may need to consider reducing the number of birds, roosters and flocks residents are allowed, Millican said.

Myers said the city may also need to review its noise ordinance, which he says is “too lenient.”

“If we continue to have complaints, we are going to have to address the issue,” Myers said. “We don’t want to do it by limiting the numbers, but the smell and noise has to be less intrusive.”

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