Barnegat Leader

Barnegat Man Raising Chickens Gets Approval From State

By Eric Englund | Oct 18, 2019
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Barnegat — A Barnegat Township resident raising chickens on his Mast Drive property recently received approval from a state agency that had conducted an inspection of the premises. Sandy Strilek, a state Department of Agriculture Livestock inspector, had received a complaint that the chickens were not living in humane conditions. But in her letter to the owner, Strilek said all humane standards were assessed and the chickens’ accommodations “were found to be consistent (with) the humane standards, including, but not limited to methods of feeding, watering and keeping.”

In addition, the inspector found the poultry did not display “obvious signs of pain or illness.”

“I have taken good care of them,” said Christopher Anthony Aguilar. “They’re not a nuisance to anyone.”

Earlier this month, Aguilar, along with a neighbor, Brandon Baker, appeared at a township committee meeting to complain that an ordinance requiring livestock owners to have at least one acre of property was too restrictive. Aguilar has four chickens, plus a rooster.

“We get fresh eggs daily,” said Aguilar. “They’re also great for pest control. I can enjoy my backyard without the bugs eating me alive.”

Aguilar said a chicken coop requires only 3 square feet  per chicken and a run area of about 20 square feet per chicken.

“A flock of four chickens only requires a 10-foot-by-10-foot area, which is 100 square feet,” he said. “The coop itself only requires 4 feet by 4 feet, which is 16 square feet,” he said.

Aguilar said he has a rooster that crows several times a day, but not before 7 a.m. and not after 9 p.m.

“The ordinance needs to include roosters because they protect their flock,” he said.

Aguilar said he also started a Facebook Page, and already has more than 175 followers. He said he might attend the next township committee meeting, Thursday, Nov. 7, at 6:30 p.m.

“I’d like to have someone talk about urban farming,” he said. “That’s what me and a lot of other people are doing.”

“We’ll discuss it and see how this affects the rest of the people in the area and the township, as a whole,” said Mayor Alfonso Cirulli.

— Eric Englund

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