Re: “Rooster causes uproar in Cape Elizabeth neighborhood” (Sept. 8):

There are many good reasons to permit small-scale homesteading in urban and suburban areas. It would be a shame to limit these pursuits, as is being considered in Cape Elizabeth.

We’ve had hundreds of roosters over the years. I enjoy hearing roosters crow, but it’s a different story if the rooster isn’t yours or you are trying to get a full night’s sleep, get a baby to take a nap or catch a nap yourself if you are working second or third shift. Roosters crow any old time, not just at sunrise.

While you can get lots of eggs by raising hens without roosters, anyone wanting to produce chicks must also keep a rooster (or two or more).

There is an alternative. You can enjoy eggs from your own hens, produce young ones, avoid the crowing and help biodiversity by raising endangered breeds of egg-laying ducks.

Male ducks do not crow; they murmur and mumble. Female ducks are more vocal – the duck character on a popular commercial for an insurance company is a female duck, and she does a good rendition of female quacking.

There are lots of endangered duck breeds to choose from: Khaki Campbell, Welsh Harlequin, Magpie, Ancona and Appleyard. In addition to laying large eggs, these are beautiful birds, and families could get their kids involved in showing them at Maine’s many country fairs.

Jo Ann Myers


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