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post #21 of 25

What a great bunch of information! I'll bet it made a superb presentation indeed.

I agree RE: mousing. You'll have to keep us posted! I'm not sure what to do w/the vacation situation.

post #22 of 25
Please let me know what they said please oh keep me posyed
post #23 of 25
Originally Posted by dessny View Post

Update- My first City Counsel meeting tonight. I gave them each a nicer looking copy of this:

Backyard Chickens

City Benefit

Lower tonnage to landfill- weeds, grass clippings, hedge clippings, food scraps, paper, etc. All can be used as food or bedding and composted.

Less chemical run-off- cleaner sewer system

Potential publicity- There seems to be a story every week on the news or in the paper about chicken ownership in Pittsburgh.

Increased funds- Some cities require a permit to raise chickens.

Happy residents who appreciate the cities actions to encourage a greener lifestyle

Suggested Ownership Guidelines

Limit of 4 hens

No roosters

No disturbance- odors to neighbors property, excessive noise

Coop and run area must be clean and well-kept

Secure containment- Chickens must be kept in, and predators kept out.  Food and bedding must also be contained in a rodent-proof container.

Coop set-back 20 feet from doors and windows of neighbors homes.


The cost of food has risen dramatically, including the cost of high‐quality protein‐rich nutrient‐dense food such as pastured eggs. Pastured organic eggs cost $4 a dozen. In comparison, four or five backyard hens will require a total of about $60 in feed each year and lay about 120 dozen eggs between them, depending on breed and age. Thats a savings of over $400 a year. In addition, an egg provides about 7 grams of protein, which means those 120 dozen eggs - obtained at a cost of $60 per year ‐ will supply the complete protein needs of the average woman. The ability to raise some of your own food can help provide a greater sense of security in insecure times.


Chicken keeping offers suburban children the opportunity to learn where their food really comes from and about healthy, sustainable, nutritious food. They will see first hand how kitchen scraps become garden fertilizer which in turn produces beautiful vegetables. Instead of simply hearing, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, they will actually experience it. Suburban kids can participate in 4H or FFA programs through keeping chickens in a suburban yard.

Emergency Preparedness

Many governments are asking community members to prepare for emergencies, whatever the cause. Backyard chickens provide a constant stream of fresh eggs without regard to the availability of electricity or refrigeration. Backyard hens will help our community be more food self‐sufficient under any circumstances.


The average chicken keeper is also a gardener, and (unlike the feces of dogs and cats, which carry pathogens and should not be composted) chicken droppings represent an excellent source of free organic fertilizer when composted. Gardeners using commercial organic fertilizers are very likely to be using chicken‐manure based products.

Chickens reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides by eating bugs and weeds. By their very presence, chickens discourage the use of chemical lawn and garden sprays by their owners. Chicken keeping is likely to represent a net improvement in water and runoff issues rather than the opposite. Issues of manure runoff from egg‐producing chickens are associated with huge factory‐style egg farms that generate tons of manure each day in a very concentrated area.

Grass clippings, hedge clippings, dry fall leaves, wood shavings, pine needles, coffee grounds, news paper and shredded paper can be used as bedding and composted.  Chicken compost and manure is often found on craigslist for sale.  Straw and hay can also be purchased for use as bedding, but this seems like an excellent opportunity to lessen garbage for neighbors also.


Increasing numbers of us are interested in living more sustainably, and many communities are encouraging citizens to reduce waste and consumption of resources. Backyard chickens allow us to reduce our carbon footprint by producing some of our own food. Every food item we can produce organically and on our own property is one less item that must be shipped to us and shopped for. Every item of food we raise ourselves represents a step in living a greener, more sustainable, lifestyle.

People who have backyard chickens are less likely to use chemicals and pesticides in their yards and gardens because its healthier for their chickens. In return the chickens eat weeds and bugs that normally plague unsprayed yards. Composted chicken manure is one of the most efficient natural fertilizers and is provided for free with no need for transport. Backyard chickens eat grass clippings which might otherwise end up in the landfills and food scraps which might end up in the garbage and sewage.


The occasional clucking of hens is generally not audible beyond 25 feet. Some hens give a few squawks while actually laying an egg or bragging about it afterward, but this noise is  from inside the coop and very short‐lived and much quieter than barking dogs, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, passing trucks, children playing, and other common neighborhood sounds.

Roosters are the noisy ones who crow.  They are not necessary for hens to lay eggs.


Chickens themselves do not smell. Any possible odor would come from their droppings, but 5 hens generate less manure than one medium‐sized dog (.2 ‐ .3 pound of droppings per day, as compared to the average dog which produces 1 pound, according to the National Pet Alliance.)  Chicken droppings are inherently smaller than that from larger animals, which allows them to dry out sooner.  Proper bedding dries it out sooner also.  Dry droppings smell less.

Unsanitary conditions can result in a buildup of ammonia in large‐scale operations, which is why commercial poultry facilities often smell. This is not the case for small backyard flocks.


Most often, dogs socialized with chickens pose them no threat. But it is not uncommon for a small flock of chickens too be lost to a dog. Cats and hawks pose little threat to adult chickens and show little interest in them. Raccoons and opossums would love to get their paws on chickens and their eggs. This is one reason why chickens must be securely contained.


Wild bird feeders are more of a draw to rodents than having chickens. Chickens should be fed within their enclosed area, where rodents cant access. It is also wise to feed early so no food remains at night. Overall, chickens help keep the area clean from what would have otherwise been an attraction for mice and rats.

(And gave them 3 picture sheets, one showing beautiful chickens, another showing they are personable (pics of chickens w/ kids etc.), the other of beautiful coops.)

A couple of weeks ago, I posted that I dropped off a packet (which I posted on here) for them to read, which they were very impressed with and discussed between themselves privately ahead of time. They emphasized that I have really done my homework, I really don't think they have seen anything this well put together before. But they are concerned this will make more work for the already overworked code enforcement officers (only 2 on staff). Makes total sense for this to be a concern for them. But, they encouraged me to pursue this and not give up.

The City Solicitor (who a neighbor warned me would be awful and belligerent, and of course he was very nice to me) suggested I go to the Planning Counsel. They all seemed to like the idea, but worry about liability.  So I have to convince the Planning Counsel and it's in the bag. So here is where I get optimistic... the City Solicitor said "Mr. Bruni" is in charge of the Planning Counsel... this would have to be someone who I already know and like.  One "Mr. Bruni" is an attorney and works in the office where my dad used to work and still calls me "sweetheart".  His nephew bought his house from my family, 2 houses away from my house (next door to my mother).  We get along very well.  He has 2 brothers, but I have this feeling the man who is in charge of this is his father.

Here is my hang up, Planning Counsel meets Tuesday next week, I WILL BE IN LAS VEGAS! I don't want to wait a whole month just to meet with them. Then its always a week after city counsel so that would make me have to wait till SEPTEMBER to take it to City Counsel again at the soonest! So I think I am going to bug my Bruni neighbor, find out who's in charge, and see if someone will possibly please present my info for me.

Now I have to try to find info to feed the new group of people, more on how many complaints do cities typically get about chickens, etc. 

ANYONE WITH ANY SUGGESTIONS? I know I have read articles with great info on this, but must have forgotten to bookmark or print.
post #24 of 25
May I use your letter (with tweaks) for my own fight to change an ordinance in central PA?
post #25 of 25

May I use your letter (with tweaks) for my first meeting at the end of May? I'm trying to change an ordinance in Pine Creek Township, PA.

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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change them) › POST YOUR "DEAR MAYOR" LETTERS HERE ! ("DEAR TOWN BOARD", etc.)