Urban chicken, anyone?

Over the last month or so, Staffski started seeing articles about city chickens everywhere! At first, she thought that the articles were about that delectable treat of the same name. She was wrong! Really wrong! Along with urban farming and eating weeds, many folks are interested in raising chickens in their backyard! I, for one, am solidly behind this since I am a great fan of the egg.

There are a number of resources out there for the chicken farmer —

Penn State Department of Poultry Sciences: Poultry Extension

The City Farms: City Chickens

Virginia Cooperative Extension: Raising Fowl and Small Animals in Urban Areas

TheCityChicken.com: Web site to encourage city folk to take the plunge into poultry

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: Bio-security for Birds Campaign

But if you really want to lay into some new ideas, talk about the trials and tribulations of all things chicken or just get some basic information so that you can start your own backyard project, you might want to check out Penn State’s event —

Thursday | October 15, 2009
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Penn State Extension
400 N. Lexington St., 3rd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
For more information and to reserve a seat
call: 412-473-2540

9 thoughts on “Urban chicken, anyone?

  1. A chicken that eats knotweed would be particularly useful in Polish Hill. I’ll take a flock of those if anybody knows where to get them.

  2. I would love a creature to live in my backyard and eat the bugs off my plants. and maybe scare off the rabbits. Plus turn grain into fertilizer, eggs and meat. What could be better.

  3. I have looked at the Pittsburgh zoning laws and am somewhat confused by the fact that they seem to state that poultry is an agricultural use, allowed on residential zoned land (R1, R2, etc) only with zoning admin approval on land of 5+ acres, with coops at least 200 feet from the property lines, etc… am I missing something? Are chickens an exception to the agricultural rules, or are we in violation of the zoning laws by raising them in our back yards? I want to buy property here and raise them (I currently rent and I think the landlord would draw the line at chickens), but not if it’s going to cause trouble with the zoning commission!

  4. Thank you 🙂 For reference, the zoning laws are here:

    and the particular section regarding agriculture is with the use tables for all zones under chapter 911.02, 911.04.A.2 details guidelines for agricultural use as a ‘primary use’ of property. I couldn’t find anything under “accessory uses” that could cover raising poultry, although one would think that a residential property wouldn’t need agricultural zoning allowances to raise a pair of hens…

  5. Since this has not been answered and the question is still relevant I’ll share what I found on a newspaper site (might have been the Post-Gazette) a few weeks ago. The zoning commissioner was quoted as saying that we need to have an allowance made to raise chickens, and prove that any exceptions to the 200′ rule, etc are done in such a way that they won’t bother the neighbors. Talk to your zoning office to make sure, but this doesn’t look good for those of us with smaller yards or lots that aren’t even 200′ across…

  6. Hello Dawn,
    I am sorry that we were not able to get an answer for you. The contact that we had was working on this issue but left her job shortly after we sent this request. Thank you for posting this follow-up information. – Staffski

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