A Suffield woman, who’s been raising chickens at her South Stone Street home for five years, is fighting town efforts to shut down her operation.
Kathleen Mormino, a former lawyer now stay-at-home mom, is the focus of the lawsuit filed in behalf of Zoning Enforcement Officer James Taylor who’s been trying to enforce the minimum five-acre zoning requirement since 2013, according to The Journal Inquirer.
Mormino owns two acres of land and leases three adjacent acres to raise about 40 free-range chickens for their eggs. Taylor contends town law requires a person to own a minimum of five acres, not lease the land in order to raise the chickens, according to the report.
Even though Mormino, who calls herself the ‘Chicken Chick,’ reportedly is trying to buy the additional land, the town filed a lawsuit against her earlier this year in an attempt to shut down her operation.
According to her Facebook page The Chicken Chick, Mormino is “an advocate of backyard chicken-keeping, shares practical information, tips, photos, DIY projects and the antics of her backyard chickens to educate & cultivate an appreciation for chickens as pets.” Mormino’s wildly popular — her Facebook page has more than 350,000 likes.
In addition to raising chickens, hers is a cottage industry that includes custom-printed egg carton labels, Henbag purses, Spruce the Coop Herbal Fusion™, chicken coin purses, vinyl window decals and tee shirts. Her website, The-Chicken-Chick.com is filled with a variety of information regarding the raising of chickens, equipment needed, do-it-yourself projects and recipes.
And Mormino has launched a fund-raising effort called “Operation Home to Roost.” In a Facebook post, Mormino writes, “Without my chickens I would have no blog or Facebook page & could not continue to bring you the experiences, photos, information & chicken-related entertainment you have become accustomed to seeing from me.
If you would like to help me wage the battle for the right to keep my chickens, a donation of ANY size would help.”
According to the Connecticut Judicial Branch website, an order finding Mormino in default for an appearance in the case was filed in May and in June, she filed documents to represent herself. No new court dates have been scheduled.
Photo: Kathleen Mormino from The-Chicken-Chick.com.