Law takes chickens away from 10-year-old

LOWER TOWNSHIP, N.J. - October 5, 2011

Brianna Lyman has been a 4H Club member for two years. In that time, she has raised two chickens, Marie and Sharon, at her North Cape May home.

According to a Lower Township ordinance, the Lyman's property is too small for farm animals even chickens.

The pair has gotten loose and some neighbors complain that the chickens scratch up their yards and make a mess.

Code enforcement has given the Lymans until October 19th to relocate Marie and Sharon.

"They're clean, healthy, they've got all their immunizations, all their shots, it's not like they're disgusting, filthy birds," Danielle Lyman said.

The chickens lay eggs every day.

"[They lay] organic brown eggs. To buy them in the store, they run about $4.50 a dozen; we get them free once a week," Bill Lyman said.

The Lymans and one other resident told to get rid of chickens will push for a change in the local ordinance making it similar to one in neighboring Middle Township where chickens are permitted on smaller lots.

"I'm going to recommend to council that we send this issue over to the planning board, because we've had a couple of these chicken issues the last few months, to review lot size and get something back to council because council has the power to change the ordinance," Lower Township Manager Michael Voll said.

Brianna has a 4H Club friend with a larger property who will take Marie and Sharon. Brianna can visit anytime, but it won't be the same.

If down the road, the ordinance is changed she might get the birds back.

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