A POULTRY fancier from Antrobus has been advised to get rid of some of his most treasured birds because they get up 10 minutes too early each morning.  

Farm worker, Luke Ormond, breeds and sells chickens as a hobby and a sideline from his rural home, where he keeps up to 100 birds, including cockerels, at any one time.

Back in 2021, the 28-year-old learned a neighbour had lodged a noise complaint with Cheshire West and Chester Council, on the grounds some of his cockerels were crowing too early, but this was resolved.

But in July earlier this year, another complaint was raised, leading to council officers installing noise monitoring devices at his neighbour’s home, which recorded a cockerel crowing at 6.50am.

Then in September, Luke got a letter claiming his cockerels do constitute a noise nuisance.

It included several recommendations, including wrapping his coops in plastic to keep out light, but also getting rid of some of the problem birds.

The council does have the power to make him get rid of the birds by issuing a noise abatement notice, but so far, it is yet to take this step.

Northwich Guardian: Luke with some of his chickensLuke with some of his chickens (Image: Luke Ormond)

Luke believes if his birds had crowed just 10 minutes later, at 7am, there would be no problem.

He says he thinks it’s ‘absolutely crackers,’ and shows poor engagement on the part of the council with the country way of life.

He’s even started a petition on Change.org to protect the right to keep cockerels in the countryside, which at the time of writing had attracted 280 signatures.

“The working day begins at 7am, according to their rules,” he added.

“In my opinion, in the countryside, that’s absolutely crackers.

“The council recorded one cockerel crowing at 6.50am, which they say constitutes a statutory noise nuisance.

“I can’t control what noise a living, breathing animal makes, or when it makes it.

Northwich Guardian: More of Luke's treasured birdsMore of Luke's treasured birds (Image: Luke Ormond)

“Maybe I’m desensitised to it, being a poultry fancier and living in the countryside all my life. But my neighbours are in the same boat.

“I can understand if someone lives in a terrace house with neighbours playing music until 1am, but this is the country.

“We have animals – it’s just our way of life.”

Luke says he’s been caused a lot of stress by the investigation, which has involved him taking five days off work and losing pay to meet with council officials.

“It’s all taking a massive emotional toll,” he added.

“One of the things really upsetting me is my neighbours who made the complaint used to keep cockerels themselves.

“We used to be on great terms, going round to each other’s houses on Christmas day. We even used to exchange hatching eggs in spring.”

A spokesman for CWAC said: “Our Public Protection team is investigating a noise complaint relating to cockerels belonging to Mr Ormond as a possible statutory nuisance case.

“No abatement notice has been served, but Mr Ormond has been advised that if we consider a statutory nuisance is occurring, we are required to serve an abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

“Mr Ormond is aware of the above and officers are working with him to make changes to prevent a nuisance from occurring.”