Community chicken pets are old news in Brooklyn, so it's only natural that urban chickening efforts and squabbles over coop rules have migrated to the new Brooklyn. Which is Queens, or something. It's hard to keep track.
According to the Times, Forest Hills mother Sylvia Saye, 48, made a $2,500 coop home for a dozen chickens in her backyard in hopes of feeding her daughter hormone free, free-range eggs, a move that was all the rage back in the chicken-heavy days of 2012. Now, she says her neighbors are trying to force the chickens out, citing rules forbidding any "cattle yard, hog pen, fowl yard or house, cesspool, privy vault; nor any cattle, hogs or other live stock or live poultry." Saye intends to fight the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation, which manages the neighborhood community she lives in. "These are 101-year-old rules," she told the Times. It is difficult to live without a privy vault.
If this battle seems familiar, it's because it's happened before, sort of. In 2012, Park Slope denizens were up in arms over a supposedly noisy community garden chicken coop opponents claimed was unhealthy and would attract rats. There was also a situation in Staten Island a few years ago in which chickens and roosters wreaked havoc on the streets, clucking and crowing in the early morning hours. It's illegal to keep roosters in the city, although those particular roosters reportedly did not have an owner.
It's hard to know what will happen to Saye's chickens, and whether or not the Forest Hills Gardens community will permit her pets to continue feeding a child hormone-free eggs. Forest Hills Gardens Corporation president Mitchell Williams told the Times that the community rules—which also prohibit "any brewery, distillery, malt house, slaughter house, brass foundry, tin, nail or other iron foundry, lime kiln or sugar bakery, tallow candlery, crematory, hospital, asylum,"—is what "has kept the Forest Hills Gardens the oasis it is today," so it appears he won't be backing down anytime soon. If he has his way, it's may be only a matter of time until Saye's daughter has to hug her chickens goodbye.