A municipal court judge ruled Thursday that Victor Alfieri is not guilty of violating a town law by keeping three hens on his property. Judge Lawrence Katz's ruling represents a months-long battle between Alfieri and town officials over the rights of residents to keep hens on private property.
“This whole thing has been very stressful for my wife and I,” said Alfieri, an advocate of sustainability. “I’m glad it’s over. It’s a great victory for health and sustainability.”
“Raising backyard hens has improved my life and it’s just wonderful now that all Wayne residents can start to enjoy the same benefits,” Alfieri said.
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“The myths have to be debunked,” Alfieri said. “People associate chickens with farms and having a lot of them in a small area and that’s not what I want. Most of the people who complain about chickens have never owned them. The only thing they know about chickens is what they see on television.”
“Eggs from hens raised in backyards have more Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Beta Carotene, and Omega Three fatty acids,” Alfieri said. “Eggs sold in the supermarket can be labeled ‘fresh’ up to 45 days after they’ve been laid. Who wants to eat food that’s 45 days old?”
“It helps make Wayne a more sustainable town and will improve the collective quality of life here,” said Alfieri, who helped write the legislation. "I'm very pleased with the ordinance."
Each of Alfieri’s hens lays approximately 300 eggs a year. He uses eggshells and manure to fertilize several vegetable gardens on his property. He said the animals make a minimal amount of noise and are not dirty.
“I think the town has lagged behind with regards to sustainability,” Alfieri said. “This ordinance is a great start to helping make Wayne a more sustainable place to live.”