Uncooped: Why Poolesville’s chicken ban being lifted is a good thing


Image from CrushPixel

Aarsh Raja, Copy Editor

*Opinions expressed in this article represent the views of the editorial board and not necessarily those of the school population or administration.

In February of 2023, Poolesville reversed a nearly 40-year-old ban on backyard chickens, which was not enacted in any other part of Montgomery County. This may surprise many since Poolesville is often associated with farms and agriculture, something that the chicken ban went against.

The logic behind this ban was that backyard chickens would cause too much of a disturbance to those in the surrounding area. Furthermore, concerns were raised about the chicken poop and the sanitary conditions of the chickens. 

“I do understand that chickens can be noisy if they are kept too close to the house or next to neighbors,” said senior and chicken owner Lexie Burdette. “But I feel like if homeowners in town had the proper space to own chickens, they should have been able to.”

Despite all the perceived concerns that come with keeping chickens in backyards, there are many ways owners of backyard chickens can keep neighbors happy and keep the chickens in good condition. To ensure responsible ownership of chickens, the town of Poolesville agreed upon a set of regulations and restrictions, including obtaining a Backyard Chicken Keeper certificate, a limit of six chickens, a complete ban on roosters, and a few requirements on how the coop should be kept. 

“As long as there are parameters and knowledge about how to keep the chickens,” said teacher and chicken owner Mrs. Jessica Hoyle. “I don’t see why it couldn’t work.”

Keeping backyard chickens, and taking care of them properly, allows owners to mitigate the rising cost of eggs, something that the entire country is currently experiencing. According to the 2023 Producer Price Index, since January 2022, there has been an almost 210% increase in the cost of eggs.   

“With the price of eggs these days, I think it is great that the ban is being lifted,” said senior and chicken owner Sydney Rorke, who lives in the rural parts of Poolesville and owns five chickens. 

Not only are chickens great as sustainable egg sources, but keeping them is also a hobby that many enjoy as they are relatively easy to take care of. For Rorke, the chickens no longer provide the benefit of laying eggs, but she enjoys keeping them as pets and states that they have lots of personality. As for Hoyle, her husband enjoys spoiling his chickens by giving them toys and treats. They even have swings for the chickens and a xylophone to keep them happy and healthy!