Pennsylvanians!,is it worth keeping chickens in Upper Bucks County,PA?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by circa1929, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. circa1929

    circa1929 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2010
    Is it even worth deciding to keep chickens in a smaller living area (approx. .26 acres) here where I live??

    I'm just wondering,.... as I've been wanting to keep chickens for eggs here in Upper Bucks County, PA.
    I know that things keep changing around here, everywhere really, but I was wondering if anyone else here is from the same area and is keeping chickens?
    If so, ever have any issues with the locals, ordinances, etc.??
    I've been so daunted by some of the local government's "good intentions", "ordinances", etc. that I've lost a majority of my spirit to do a lot of the things that I've (we've) wanted to do here.

    I know in Easton, PA they make you an outlaw for keeping chickens!
    I personally can't wrap my mind around that kind of thinking, but as time goes forth, old time traditions are popping up as oddities to so many people anymore???

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  2. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Once you wade through all the legal hoops and get it figured out, if it is legal they are worth keeping. I had many ducks on my .27 acre and it was great. As long as you can keep after their mess and can let the chickens have some room to get out to eat bugs and grass it is really worth it. It's not just the eggs, which if your chickens get natural food (grass and bugs) the eggs are so much better for you. It's the sheer enjoyment of watching them forage, teaching them to come when you appear with the food bucket, seeing hoards of grasshoppers and japanese beetles get devoured, and the manure for your garden. Chickens can make great pets which just so happen to also provide your breakfast.
     
  3. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    We're smack in the middle of Dallas/Ft Worth. Our city says no more than 4 hens (no roos) on 1/2acre or less so that's what we've got and to me it is absolutely worth it. We had fresh clean SAFE eggs when everyone else in town was freaking out and tossing theirs with that latest salmonella scare. That alone was great. But we also LIKE our girls. They're quirky and fun to watch and also friendly enough as well. The kids have a blast telling their friends about them... they love getting to go get the eggs... not a chore.

    Overall very happy we made the jump. Hopefully someday we'll be able to do more, raise meaties, etc but we're very happy to have our four girls.

    If they hadn't been legal though, don't know that I'd have risked it. Would have been a major bummer, but I try my level best not to set myself up for trouble... or for disappointment. So, I would have had to start working to have it changed so I could have my girls... but I'm too chicken to outright break a law. Very glad I didn't have to.
     
  4. circa1929

    circa1929 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2010
    Thanks for the replies thus far you two,.... much appreciated!

    We're praying that we might get a very small farm locally, if they'll come down on their price and we can sell our home as well, this way we can just have as many chickens and whatever else we so desire without lack of space, and any possibly issues with anyone here,... (neighbors, etc.)

    Thanks and keep us in your prayers about us finding another home, we're gonna be expecting our first little one next year, so I'd like some room to stretch out our legs for our newborn.

    Again, thanks!
     
  5. Long Last Farm

    Long Last Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is absolutely worth it! You didn't mention whether or not your locality has any laws for or against chickens, so if you don't know, maybe you will be pleasantly surprised...
    We are in our first year of having chickens, and we have enjoyed them so much! We got them all as 2-3 day old chicks, so we have seen them grow up. It will be a great experience for your child when he or she is old enough...My kids are full grown and they are fascinated by it---wish I had done it sooner...Good luck!
     
  6. shortstaque

    shortstaque Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    I'm in town in Dublin and the only animals I found mentioned in their ordinances are dogs. Where are you? A simple online search is how I did my research. Also, I have a friend who is a zoning official, and she said its sometimes best not to call the borough/township or whatever. Its the old "It's easier to grant forgiveness than permission" thing. If you wanted to get around asking the local municipality you could always ask the folks at Moyer's chicks on Paletown road. I bet they might know the restrictions regarding chickens in some of the local townships. Another good place to check is with people selling eggs at your local farmer's market, since they are also growing eggs locally.

    I am so pleased that I got chickens, but I'm still waiting for my first egg. If you are impatient for the eggs you may want to buy pullets instead of day old chicks.

    Two hens per person is supposed to keep your family in eggs, I say go for it!!!
     
  7. shortstaque

    shortstaque Chillin' With My Peeps

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    BTW after doing more research here is Quakertown's code, usually the boro's are stricter than townships, unless you live in a development where there is an association that forbids chickens.

    G. Keeping Animals or Fowl.

    (1) Number. No more than four customary household pets or domestic animals (e.g., dogs, cats, etc.) and no more than 14 fowl (e.g., chickens, turkeys, etc.) may be kept.(2) Commercial Use. Commercial breeding or use of these pets shall not be permitted under this use.
    (3) Large Animals and Fowl. Large animals (such as cattle, horses, goats and pigs) and fowl (such as chickens and turkeys) shall be stabled or housed in buildings at least 100 feet from any lot line. Large grazing animals may be kept only on lots 1 1/2 acres per animal in size.
     
  8. circa1929

    circa1929 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Well, it figures they'd stand in the way of something that makes so much sense (ie. keeping a few hens for eggs!)
    Unfortunately, I couldn't physically make a hen house far enough away from the end of our yard/lot line!
    Heck, a neighbor down the street got shot down on a fence he sought to put up,... taller than allowed by the local fence ordinance,... a fence he wanted to put up due to people throwing garbage, beer bottles and other terrible things in his yard,...the variance board felt it would "detract" from the street causing a "corridor" effect, (sad thing is, there's nothing on the other side of the street where he's at to actually cause any sort of "corridor" effect in the first place?)
    So, I don't think the notion of trying to keep 2-3 chickens would go over very well with the local officials on the variance board no matter how much I tried, (sad to say).

    It's seems like there's always "something" you're held back from doing here that would better your life or property. This is just LOUSY!!!!
    I suppose I'll just have to hope that sometime soon we'll be able to move?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  9. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2010
    Constantia, NY
    Quote:Well, it figures they'd stand in the way of something that makes so much sense (ie. keeping a few hens for eggs!)
    Unfortunately, I couldn't physically make a hen house far enough away from the end of our yard/lot line!
    Heck, a neighbor down the street got shot down on a fence he sought to put up,... taller than allowed by the local fence ordinance,... a fence he wanted to put up due to people throwing garbage, beer bottles and other terrible things in his yard,...the variance board felt it would "detract" from the street causing a "corridor" effect, (sad thing is, there's nothing on the other side of the street where he's at to actually cause any sort of "corridor" effect in the first place?)
    So, I don't think the notion of trying to keep 2-3 chickens would go over very well with the local officials on the variance board no matter how much I tried, (sad to say).

    It's seems like there's always "something" you're held back from doing here that would better your life or property. This is just LOUSY!!!!
    I suppose I'll just have to hope that sometime soon we'll be able to move?
    [​IMG]

    Aren't they saying you CAN have up to 14 chickens as long as they're 100 ft away from neighbors?
     
  10. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not 100 feet from neighbors, 100 feet from any lot line. I have a property that is over an acre and I would have a hard time siting a coop to be 100 feet from any lot line so someone with a smaller property would be totally denied the ability to have any chickens. The lot line even includes the line at the front of the property where it abuts the road.
     

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