IN YOUR CORNER: Neighbors ruffled over peacock farm in city limits

In Your Corner

NEWCASTLE, Okla. (KFOR) – Neighbors, fed up with a growing pride of peacocks across the street, called In Your Corner hoping to apply pressure for change.

Barbara Kalkbrenner and Adonna Hudson have lived out on South Rockwell for around 45 years combined.

But around a decade-and-a-half back, their quiet cul-de-sac welcomed some new neighbors.

“Nobody wants to do anything to help,” noted Barbara.

They say they’re helpless against a pride of peacocks, reportedly 300 deep across the street.

The birds are owned by a man named Randall Schmidt.

“It started out small, and in the last year, I’d say, it’s just exploded,” said Adonna. “During the daytime, during the nighttime. It’s all you hear, sounds like cats crying.”

“When it rains, it smells horrible,” added Barbara.

Their neighborhood is nestled squarely inside Newcastle city limits. But they say little help comes from city leaders.

“County health department referred [us] to the environmental department, they in turn referred [us] to the sheriff, the sheriff in turn referred [us] right back to the city,” explained Adonna.

“I thought this street was residential,” said Barbara. “So how can he have 300 peacocks over there?”

Randall Schmidt is well within his rights to have the peacocks.

State officials leave peacock ownership rules up to cities.

“As far as peafowl goes specifically, there aren’t any rules or regulations that we regulate,” said Morgan Vance, Public Information Officer with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry. “I would recommend reaching out to your local municipality for any of those issues.”

Just northeast of Newcastle in Moore, city leaders say you’re not allowed to have fowl unless you’re properly zoned for agriculture.

In Oklahoma City, city leaders told KFOR that fowl aren’t allowed in most residential areas. According to Kristy Yager, City of Oklahoma City Public Information Officer, you have to own at least one acre of land.

There are no such ordinances, though, in Newscastle.

“I’ve been to the city with a complaint,” said Barbara. “I’ve called animal control and nothing happens.”

We tried for weeks to work with city leaders. Newcastle’s city manager informed us possible action could come, but he was awaiting word from the city attorney.

We still are waiting to hear what that action may be.

We approached Mr. Schmidt outside his home, to get his side.

He was quick to point out a large number of chickens/roosters at his neighbors house, indicative again of the lack of ordinances.

But before we could press him further, he closed his garage door in our face.

This was a calm response given Schmidt’s history. This year alone he’s been arrested for allegedly trying to run over his neighbor in his own yard, and for brandishing a gun around a group of kids.

“He pulled a gun on my grandkids,” said Barbara. “Told them they would be dead.”

Adonna and Barbara only hope this story applies pressure to make these birds of a feather flock outside their town.

According to Newcastle’s city website, the next City Council meeting is set for July 13.

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