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In The September 22th Issue Of The County Transcript

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Letters to the Editor Policy

Sound-Proof The Rooster!

This letter is in response to the report appearing in the 9/8/04 County Transcript about the chicken complaint at the New Milford town meeting.

My name is Sue Abbott, and I'm the proud owner of 24 (not 26) chickens, including 1 (not a "few") rooster(s). I live at 229 Smith Street, which is between Park Place and Wall St., one block back from Church St. My husband, John and I also operate a small nursery/garden where we grow herbs, veggies, and bedding plants (in season). This type of business is allowed within the Residential Zoning for New Milford, as I verified this with Amy Hine before we erected the greenhouse.

I'd like to set the record straight on a number of issues raised by my disgruntled neighbor and her friend (who is not a neighbor of mine and therefore should have no input into these issues at all).

First and foremost, this complaint was brought about as a retaliation against my husband and I, as we had the unmitigated nerve to ask them to remove 20 years worth of junk that they had piled on our property. Items included a junk car, old grills, wheelbarrows whose wheels had melted in old age, barrels, tires, cinder blocks, doors, wood, and various other useless (but valuable to them) pieces of junk.

This request to them was actually a direct result of the chickens trespassing on their property. We decided to build a fence around our/their property line so as to prevent the "girls" from straying onto their little kingdom. But before we could proceed, the garbage needed to be removed. It was interesting to note that although it didn't seem to bother them all those years (they couldn't see it piled behind their garage but I saw it 24/7 from my vantage point), as soon as it was moved to their driveway, hence visible, it vanished within the week. We are still awaiting the relocation of their shed, which sits 3 feet over onto our property. Can't build the fence until this is done.

Secondly, the article intimates extensive damage done by the chickens to her property. If a single 3" hole next to a bush constitutes "extensive", then I guess she's correct. Yes, I let my girls out occasionally to roam our yard. We own 8+ acres so I guess we have enough room. The eggs they lay (and we sell) benefit from the grass, weeds, and leftover veggies they eat. They are also a form of natural pest control (except where our neighbor is concerned; unfortunately they're still here).

Third, I never told anybody anything about shooting my birds. If reporting the facts is important, I suggest verifying what was or wasn't said. Comments about "discharging firearms within borough limits" was discussed at the meeting, but not by me, as I wasn't there. (What a day to miss a meeting!).

Fourth, councilperson Jane Zick stated my girls are driving the "neighbors" nuts. Just who are these neighbors? Seems like the only complaint I've received has been from Carolyn Grumand. I know for a fact she doesn't represent our other nine neighbors. In fact, she doesn't get along with any of them, either. Unhappy people enjoy wallowing in unhappiness, but as I'm not a psychiatrist, that's not my problem.

Fifth, I've already taken steps to sound-proof the morning rooster noise. I don't know why he wakes up at 5 am anyway; even the hens aren't up then. Typical male. And just for the record, I didn't order a rooster when I bought my 16 chicks, specifically for that reason (noisy). But even though you can't fool Mother Nature, sometimes it can fool you! (Thanks, Ted). His name is Victor/Victoria. You can see why.

Finally, she was right about one thing; I do what I want. But I do it within the scope of the law. And if she wants her yard chicken-free, than I suggest that her beer-guzzling husband put down the Bud long enough to get the shed moved ASAP, or put up their own fence. Otherwise, happy hunting.


Sue (and John) Abbott

New Milford, PA

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Letters To The Editor MUST BE SIGNED. They MUST INCLUDE a phone number for "daytime" contact. Letters MUST BE CONFIRMED VERBALLY with the author, before printing. At that time you may request to withhold your name. Letters should be as concise as possible, to keep both Readers' and Editors' interest alike. Your opinions are important to us, but you must follow these guidelines to help assure their publishing.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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