Judge says crowing Oregon rooster must go

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Posted: Nov 20, 2014 7:36 AM
Judge says crowing Oregon rooster must go

CORNELIUS, Ore. (AP) — It was just the first of Mr. Rooster's problems that he was first believed to be a Ms.

His crowing has given him away, though, and his owner in Cornelius has been dinged six times in five months for violating city ordinances.

On Wednesday, a judge ordered Megan Keller to find the bird a new home — within a week, KPTV reported. She could also be facing some hefty fines. Three of the noise citations could cost Keller as much as $3,000, although the judge indicated the fines could be reduced if Mr. Rooster finds a new abode.

Keller said she thought she was buying two females at Easter time in 2012 for her granddaughters to show at 4-H. But one proved to be a male.

Keller told The Oregonian that the birds had arrived during a tough patch in her life, and "those two brought me a lot of comfort."

Cornelius is a western Portland suburb of about 12,000 people and is proclaimed on its website as "an agricultural paradise, where rolling hillsides, vineyards and farms abound."

The town doesn't, as other cities do, ban roosters outright. But it has an ordinance against animals that annoy or disturb neighbors.

In June, a neighbor complained about Mr. Rooster. In August, a judge handed down a $250 fine and ordered that the bird get a new home.

Keller sent Mr. Rooster to a farm owned by friends. Along went the other bird from the 2012 shipment, known as Mrs. Rooster.

Keller said that didn't go well: The birds lost their feathers, and then a hawk attack left Mrs. Rooster dead and Mr. Rooster injured.

So she retrieved Mr. Rooster.

As the injured bird rested his head calmly on her shoulder recently, Keller said she's sure she did the right thing: "Who would I be if I would have left him up there?"

Keller outfitted the bird with a rooster collar, a snug-fitting band that restricts vocal cord movement and turns his crow into an elongated belch. Mr. Rooster has been exiled to an upstairs bathroom during prime crowing time. But he still crows outside a few times a day.

Neighbor Rose Iverson has been keeping tabs on the crowing, KATU reported. Iverson showed her log to the judge in court Wednesday, and that seemed to be the deciding factor.

"It's not about her, it's about the ordinance," Iverson told KPTV. "I feel bad. It's not that I don't like chickens, hens, and roosters and stuff. I just don't like them in the city; they don't belong in the city."