An elderly German couple are taking to court the owner of a cockerel which they say crows 200 times a day and is tantamount to ‘torture’.
Friedrich-Wilhelm K., 76, and his wife Jutta, say Magda the rooster begins cock-a-doodle-dooing from 8am in the morning and doesn’t shut up for the rest of the day.
The pair want the bird removed from their next-door neighbour’s home in Bad Salzuflen in western Germany, and in preparation for court made daily logs recording each time Magda crowed.
‘We can’t use the garden and we can’t open any windows,’ Friedrich-Wilhelm told German television.
‘He doesn’t start until 8am because he is locked up at night but then he crows 100 to 200 times throughout the day. It’s unbearable.’
Jutta added: ‘It’s hard to talk about torture, but that’s what it’s like.’
Magda the cockerel (pictured) is said to crow up to 200 times every day, driving some neighbours to move and others to take its owner to court
Friedrich-Wilhelm K., 76, and his wife Jutta, say Magda the rooster begins cock-a-doodle-dooing from 8am in the morning and doesn’t shut up for the rest of the day
‘A cockerel doesn’t belong on a quiet housing estate,’ said the couple’s lawyer Torsten Gieseke, while Friedrich-Wilhelm pointed out that one neighbour moved away two years ago due to the unbearable crowing.
But Magda’s owner, Michael D., 50, argued that it’s essential to keep the rooster to ensure his hens stay in line.
‘The hens need the rooster, otherwise they would pluck each other,’ the owner protested.
Michael bought five chicks in 2018 for his garden with the intention of harvesting their eggs.
But one of the chicks turned out to be a rooster and quickly began angering local residents.
After several years of enduring the daily crows, Friedrich-Wilhelm and Jutta have reached the end of their tether and are set to face Magda’s owner Michael in Lemgo District Court.
‘We really did a lot of tests. Our kids tried, our neighbours tried,’ Friedrich-Wilhelm said.
‘The neighbour doesn’t give up his rooster and we have to either live with that, or we have to win in court.’
Magda’s court battle on the other side of the pond echoes the struggles of several families in Britain who have complained that noisy roosters in residential areas are destroying their home lives.
Council officials in Worcester are investigating one household after exhausted neighbours said their lives had been made ‘a nightmare’ by a noisy bird who wakes the street at 4am each morning.
Disgruntled locals in May demanded the council remove the bird from the house in Arboretum, Worcester, claiming the animal, who is being kept as a pet, had caused them ‘eight weeks of broken sleep’.
Exhausted residents in Worcester say their lives have been made ‘a nightmare’ by a noisy cockerel crowing at 4am every day
Council officials have launched a probe into the noisy bird (pictured centre) which was taken in as a pet over Easter
Disgruntled locals are demanding the cockerel is removed from the property in Arboretum, Worcester after it gives unwanted wake-up calls at 4am
Sonya Vickers, 48, who lives several doors down from the house in question, said: ‘Some of us have gone round and politely asked to at least keep it in the dark coop until 8am, before letting it out.
‘But nothing has happened. We have asked nicely several times. It is antisocial. It is making life a bit of a nightmare for some down here.
‘We heard it might be breaking a bylaw to keep the cockerel and the hens they have.
‘It starts crowing at 4am. Sometimes it’s 5am, but it’s every day.’
Another resident, who works from home, said the cockerel had been disturbing his zoom calls to his boss.
He said: ‘It’s very hard to concentrate and sound professional when it sounds like your office is in farm.
‘My colleagues have started calling me Old MacDonald because our morning meetings are constantly being interrupted by cock-a-doodle-dos.’
It is not illegal to keep hens or cockerels but anything which creates a loud noise could constitute a nuisance under the 1991 Environmental Protection Act.
Meanwhile, one Blackpool-based couple were ordered by a judge in December last year to rehome their four cockerels which for three years ’caused misery’ for their neighbours.
Lorraine Burgeen, 58, and her husband Alexander, 69, left their neighbours in Blackpool, Lancashire, feeling like they were living through a ‘nightmare’. Stock picture
Residents on the street (pictured) say they had asked the couple to remove the birds three years ago but had been met with aggression
Lorraine Burgeen, 58, and her husband Alexander, 69, left their neighbours in Lancashire feeling like they were living through a ‘nightmare’.
Residents said they had asked the couple to remove the birds three years ago but had been met with aggression.
One neighbour said: ‘It has been a nightmare. You can’t sit in your garden, you can’t open your window.
‘It has been a horrendous noise, and they just don’t seem to care.’
After pleading guilty to noise abatement offences at Blackpool Magistrates Court, the couple were ordered to find the birds alternative accommodation.