What part of PA allows you to raise chickens?

earthlydelights(6 pushing 7)January 13, 2007

Wondering where. I would love to, my area does not allow it, as do some other places i have check in to. i'm not looking to become the next perdue chicken farm, God forbid. i just would like to have some.



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chescobob(z6b SEPA)

Chicken farming is certainly allowed out here in SW Chester County. Many farms have signs claiming "fresh eggs" out here.

That reminds me. The pig manure will soon flood the corn fields out here. Nothing like pig manure to grow great corn.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 1:12PM
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chescobob(z6b SEPA)

Even out here I think the zoning must be appropriate. In my small development, you cannot raise farm animals.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 5:37PM
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earthlydelights(6 pushing 7)

thanks bob. that much i have found out about quite a few places. they are really beneficial animals - their waste is excellent fertilizer, they eat non-essential bugs - fresh eggs...what more could i ask for? maybe i'll stay put and sneak a few in, after easter, and act all innocent :-)


    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 4:18PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

The rural part.

Most urban areas have zoning and agricultural is one of the classifications that is seldom used. Some cities forbid barn animals, and I wouldn't classify chickens are barn animals but I am not a lawyer.

Even in rural Pennsylvania like where I live are classifications such as forest reserve which would probably forbid a commercial chicken farm but permit chickens for private consumption.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 1:21PM
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karen_b(6a s.c. PA)

My inlaws live in suburban Allentown (within a small subdivision, they live on 1/4 acre lots) and their neighbors tried chickens. It took years for the city officials to enforce the no farm animals ordinance. But another thing to take into consideration...how well do you get along with your neighbors. After you get chickens they may not be so friendly. I live in the mountains and my neighbor, an acre away, has chickens, roosters and guinea hens which frequently visit my yard. I didn't used to mind it because they supposedly eat bugs & ticks but now he has over 15 and they are beginning to dig up in my garden & flower beds. This doesn't make for neighborly neighbors. I've also had to get used to the rooster at 4:30 AM year round. So before you consider your wishes consider your neighbors too.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 11:38AM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

The small town I used to live in (Frenchtown NJ) prohibited "noisy birds". I had hens there, but no roosters. No one ever complained. Of course I kept them in my yard, they never wandered onto anyone else's property. Karen b, your in-laws neighbors sound like the type who ruin it for everyone.

I live on 5 acres now and still only have hens. I don't want to be woken up either!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 2:53PM
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earthlydelights(6 pushing 7)

i would not have a rooster especially if i was to "sneak" in the chickens. he would make too much noise. there was a family a few blocks away that had two roosters, i would always hear them. never bothered me, but i'm sure it did their immediate neighbors. i don't think i would go over a dozen and i certainly would have a contained area for them, not let them wander all over the place. not only would i worry about predators, but i am not a disrespectful neighbor.

karen, i certainly would be annoyed if a neighbor's animal of any sort wreaked havoc on my property. bothers me terribly when people don't clean up dog waste.

thanks again for all the responses.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 6:37PM
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pequafrog(z7a/Long Island)

Will Chickens still lay eggs without the Rooster being around?


    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 3:28PM
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Yep, they'll still lay. You only need the rooster if ya wanta' turn those eggs into viable baby makers! LOL! Roosters are okay if you are where you won't annoy the neighbors but if you live close to others, I wouldn't recommend them. Sometimes the hens are happier without them too. I quess it just depends if you have a nice rooster. I had a beautiful gold Buff Orphington rooster who was the perfect gentleman -he called the ladies when there was food and let them eat first and watched out for them. Then I had another one who pushed in front of them so he could eat first! The roosters job (besides baby fertilization) is to protect his hens and take care of them. Luckily, I live far enough out in the country that I can raise whatever chickens I want.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 11:38PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

In fact if you do have a rooster, you may have embryos or blood in your eggs. It is best to not have a rooster. The process of candling eggs checks to make sure there is no embryo or blood in the egg.

Here is a link that might be useful: Handling of Eggs

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 9:53AM
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earthlydelights(6 pushing 7)

so karen, do share. what area are you in? maybe that's where i need to be - far out in the country!!!!!

i didn't want a rooster, only because he would be loud, but i was certainly glad for all the additional information.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 4:36PM
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earthlydelights -Hello! I live in NW Pa. I'm about half way between Erie and Pittsburgh (maybe slightly more towards Erie) and only about 20 minutes from the Ohio line. Of course, I am in a very rural area with lots of farms so chickens are not a problem. Truth be told, I could probably raise any animal I wanted here - well except maybe the wild type that you need a license to raise. We moved to this larger property a couple years ago and I don't have any chickens at the moment but hubby promised to build me a coop this Spring so I can get some more. Before we moved, the few I had left went to spend their retirement at my parents farm where they had lots of space to run free. I think they've all passed on (including my lovely gold rooster) except for one poor lonely rooster who wonders around by himself. My parents have quineas but they don't really socialize with the rooster. LOL! We do have a very old, decrepit horse of my daughters. You can't ride him and his teeth are all shot so we have to buy him senior food -of which he goes through a 50 pound bag in about a week! It's about all that keeps him going. He has grass in his pasture but his teeth are so worn down that he can't chew up hay very well, even third cut hay. He does pretty good though and still has a lot of spunk. His name is Buster and we love him. Hopefully someone takes care of all of us when we are to old to chew our food properly! LOL!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 11:47PM
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I live in Beaver County and have chickens, I love my chickens. They are a lot of fun. I have 5 RIR, 6 LH and 1 Bared rock rooster in one coop and I have 9 silkie hens and 2 bantom hens and 4 silkie roosters in another coop, 3 of them have to go, all they want to do now is fight with each other. I really want to get rid of all the roosters. My Barred Rock rooster does not like me and I raised him from the time he hatched out of his shell. I collect eggs every day and don't worry about them being embroys and a little blood is not a bad thing. Most of my eggs are perfect and wonderful to eat. We also have bob white quail(to many) but my DH gives them to people who hunt them with there dogs, and 4 pheasants. We really enjoy hatching eggs and watching them grow up, everyone thinks I need some grandchildren, I talk about my chickens all the time, LOL. Oddley enough my neighbors like to here the roosters crow, I asked them if he bothered them with his crowing and they don't mind at all. One of my elderly neighbors loves to listen for him to crow and comes to visit, reminds him of his childhood.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 12:33PM
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Hi Everyone...
Karen, if I may ask...how are the winters there (if you've gone through a whole winter yet)? We're scouting out rural areas to move to, and I just love PA, Centre county and more west. The only problem is not only the snow, but I've heard that the winters are the truly depressing type of ones. I think PA has the Craftsman type older homes that are hard to find elsewhere, and the properties are inexpensive. PA is an outbound state and is losing population every year. We may end up leaving PA, but staying here is a slight consideration still. I just have to get over the shorter growing season and bleak winters of mid to western PA. Wherever we end up, I'm going full force with my chickens (which are now illegal in the city here since last year).

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 9:14AM
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earthlydelights(6 pushing 7)

trish, i'm always looking to relocate. if i remember correctly, i'm not too far from you, i think you are around the corner, near the FCF off pine?

i've looked into several areas and haven't quite found exactly what i wanted, that's why i've stayed put this far. a few years back i even went over the boarder into NY, but changed my mind because i really wanted to stay in my state.

i just wish i could make up my mind. have you done any physical looking in centre county? have you narrowed it down to a town? will you dig your garden and take it with you? i think about the work that would take. no way could i just leave it all behind.

even the pocono mountains have changed so much in the last decade, nothing like it was. i always wonder if the other more rural counties/areas will change as well.

i certainly wasn't aware that PA was loosing population. but i sure know that there's a rapid boom in NC.

best of luck in whatever your decision,

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 5:30PM
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Hello! Yes, I can answer your question about winters in western PA. I have lived in this area my whole life (except the 3 years hubby was in the service). I love it here and hope never to move. That being said, western PA does get less sunlight in the winter then the eastern side of the state. As we get towards February, we start seeing more sun however. I think that December and January are probably the most cloudy monthes, but of course even they have sunny days. Where I live, in lower Crawford County, we get some lake effect snow (from Lake Erie). That adds up to more snow fall then even 30 miles south of us. The last couple of winters I would consider pretty mild for us. We have snow now, but maybe only 6 inches at the most. The snow dosen't bother me to much. It keeps the plants insulated in the winter and they survive pretty well. I think we are considered zone 5b - because some things I have grown were supposed to be only zone 6 hardy. About 3 winters ago though, it was pretty cold all winter. Right now it is about 25 degrees. Friday it is supposed to be only about 7 degrees that night. The beginning of January was pretty warm though. It is like anywhere else -some winters are better then others. Everyone here is used to it and it dosen't slow us down much.

Property prices are pretty reasonable where I live. Three years ago when we bought this home we paid $69,000 for the property with another $20,000 added into the loan for renovation. It's not real big at 1,700 ft. and there's no basement. BUT, the house sits on 20 acres. So we paid $89,000 total for the house with 20 acres. And they are really beautiful acres! We have about half wooded and half open. The front lawn is very large, there is a small pasture, & another former farm field down the road, which my husband keeps brush-hogged off so it dosen't grow up. One of the best features is the stream that runs behind the house. When I wake up, as I look out my window by my bed, it is the first thing I see. I sleep with my window open 3/4 of the year so I can listen to it at night! My taxes on the house with 20 acres are less then $600. Although all this sounds great, the area is very rural so you need to have a decent job. We are about 45 minutes to an hour below Erie and a bit more then that to Pittsburgh to the south. I am in an agricultural (farms everywhere) area,so I don't have to worry about any animal issues as far as what I can raise. Of course, I was raised on a farm so it is second nature. The area has a lot to recommend it but like anything, research is invaluable.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 8:25PM
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Me again - just wanted to say, I'm not sure what your growing season is there, but I noticed you said "short growing season" for mid to western PA. I grow just about anything I want, vegetable wise, anyway. Our last frost date is around June1 -some years our last frost is as early as May 15th. We usually have our first frost sometime in late September. Of course there are variables from year to year. I set my tomatoes out at the beginning of June and by then already have in some of the hardier crops. Everything always seems to have time to mature before frost. I grow all kinds of perennials and herbs. I'm an avid gardener and find I can grow most things here. Of course that is said with years of knowing I was a zone 5, so never lusting after any other items! LOL! Hope this helps. ;)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 8:33PM
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