Riverhead Town proposal pecks away at people’s personal chicken coops
Eileen Benthal brought Goldie the rooster and 16 other chickens onto her property during the pandemic to keep her family safe and healthy.
She says creating a coop was also an excellent activity for her daughter Johanna who has developmental disabilities.
What began as farming in the backyard blossomed the idea for Johanna’s Hope, a non-for-profit for people with developmental disabilities that allows them to interact with the animals, spend time outside and harvest eggs.
The right to have a coop is being threatened.
Riverhead Town is considering a ban on backyard roosters, sales of eggs from people’s homes and regulating chicken coops on residential properties. The proposed code amendment would also limit the number of hens a person can have on their property to 10.
According to the proposal, this will “ensure the domesticated fowl do not adversely impact the neighborhood.” Eileen Benthal says the town should, “leave the small backyard farmers alone, let us feed our families.”
News 12 reached out multiple times to the Town of Riverhead for comment on proposal but has not yet heard back.