Webinar to provide advice for raising, regulating urban poultry

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Urban poultry production -- raising chickens in the backyard -- will be the topic of a Web-based, land-use-planning seminar offered by Penn State Extension.

To be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. July 24, "Coping with Coops in the Neighborhood: How Chicken Conflicts Are Being Addressed" will be aimed at both municipal officials and residents contemplating raising chickens in the backyard.

Today, many nonfarm residents raise chickens in urban and suburban settings. However, keeping chickens in developed areas poses challenges that are different from raising poultry in rural environments. While some cities and municipalities have restrictions on raising chickens or prohibit it completely, those interested in keeping a backyard flock are questioning these ordinances.

The webinar will cover issues that local appointed and elected officials should consider as they deliberate ordinances regulating backyard poultry. It also will identify challenges faced by the urban poultry grower.

The webinar will feature four expert presentations, allowing time for questions from viewers.

Philip Clauer, senior instructor in animal science and Penn State Extension poultry specialist, will provide information on acceptable practices for raising chickens in an urban setting, including practices related to housing, care, waste handling and nuisance issues.

"In addition, I will discuss general versus specific ordinance provisions with regard to raising chickens, as well as common misconceptions about keeping poultry in an urban or suburban area," he said.

Ross Pifer, director of Penn State's Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center, will discuss what ordinance provisions municipal officials need to consider to protect neighbors from potential negative impacts of poultry flocks as well as to protect the health of the birds.

Extension educator Neal Fogle will discuss the purpose of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and the relationship of the code to agriculture practices, agricultural definitions and community objectives expressed in the code.

Also, Jim Morrison, chief administrator for Murrysville in Westmoreland County, will discuss his municipality's experience with regulating backyard poultry operations.

"Coping with Coops in the Neighborhood: How Chicken Conflicts Are Being Addressed" is being offered through Penn State Extension for a fee of $20.

Register for the webinar.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400, ext. 1445, or by email at ptw3@psu.edu.

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Last Updated July 02, 2013