What are the local rules, by-laws or regulations concerning having chickens and roosters on residential property?
Agriculture, including the raising of chickens, is allowed, by right in any land zoned agricultural-residential in Halifax. There may be some restrictions if it involves structures over a certain size (a building permit may be required and setbacks may be involved). If there are noise problems, complainants should contact the Police Department. Halifax does not have a noise ordinance and therefore noise falls under State statutes.
dealing with "disturbing the peace" or "nuisances". If there are problems with chicken poop, that would be an issue with the Board of Health. If there are concerns about animal welfare, those matters should be brought to the Animal Inspector. In addition, you may file a complaint with the Building Inspector/Zoning Enforcement Officer stating that the use is preventing you from the normal use and peaceful enjoyment of your property. The Building Inspector can then follow-up on the complaint and determine whether it is a prohibited use or if is a permitted use, but one that must follow certain guidelines or restrictions in order to be allowed. For more information consult the Poultryman's Handbook or the MA Dept of Agricultural Resources regulations concerning poultry.