Ask SAM added to shell 110518

Q: In our neighborhood on Janita Drive, we have a neighbor who has ducks as pets. There’s no law that states how many pets you can have. These ducks are very important to this man. There was a complaint about the ducks, so the city sent someone to tell him that he could only have five ducks. I think the city mixed up the ducks and about 60 geese that are messing up our neighborhood. Why don’t they relocate these geese where there are no houses and leave the ducks alone?


Answer: These are two separate issues. David Morris, head of Animal Control, said that your neighbor’s issue with the ducks is an ongoing case.

While the law does not limit most other types of pets, it does limit the number of fowl in the city. City Code, under Section 6-6, covers chickens, pigeons and other fowl in the city limits, and it does specify that “The maximum number of chickens or other fowl that can be kept on any residentially zoned property within the corporate limits of the city shall be five.”

The city code also spells out requirements for coops, setbacks, sanitation, permits and other factors.

As for the geese, the city can’t make them move. “They are migratory birds that are federally protected,” Morris said. “There are several lakes in the neighborhood. Geese are going to be there.”

Ron Morris (no relation), who writes the Birds-Eye View column for the Journal, said that a large expanse of lawn adjacent to a pond or lake is an ideal habitat for Canada geese.

The geese wind up being a nuisance by leaving their droppings on lawns and pathways,” he said. “They can also be very aggressive when their nests are approached too closely.”

The most effective way of dissuading geese, he said, is to make the habitat less inviting. That can include reducing the amount of lawn available to them, or making access to water more difficult. “Geese prefer walking into water, so planting a dense border around the pond can greatly reduce the number of geese. A low fence around the border of the pond will have the same effect.

“If the lawn area and pond are shared community spaces, it may be necessary to encourage other residents to refrain from feeding the geese, since feeding them will only make the area more attractive to them and will make them bolder.”

He said there are several goose repellent products on the market designed to make lawn grass inedible, but they have drawbacks, including the cost if the lawn area is too large and the fact that they are often washed away by rain.


P.J. and A.C. wrote in to thank a fellow patron at Kermit’s Hot Dogs who, on Friday, April 26, “held the door open for us ‘slow-moving’ old ladies to enter. After eating our hot dog, we went to pay and the cashier said that he had paid for us. Thank you kind sir and bless you!”

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Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

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