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Request to raise chickens in Easton has officials scratching their heads

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: May 08 2013 10:37:02 PM CDT
EASTON, Pa. -

A city council committee is going to look into the possibility of allowing people to raise chickens in Easton.

Annie Porter, of 162 Pennsylvania Ave., asked council Wednesday night to put an exception in the public health standards ordinance to allow people to keep chickens in their back yards, and Mayor Sal Panto referred the request to the planning and health committee headed by Dr. Roger Ruggles.

Panto told Porter the committee would likely report to council on June 11.

Porter said she believes people concerned about "sustainability" and "being accountable for the source of their food" would be interested in having chickens.

"A small flock of hens could keep a family in eggs indefinitely and ... could be a family hobby," said Porter, who was accompanied to the meeting by her husband and daughter.

Porter pointed out she did not want the exception to include roosters. "We're not talking about breeding chickens, and you don't need a rooster for eggs," she said.

Porter told WFMZ.com after the meeting that she's learned about raising chickens through her job as a teacher at the River Valley Waldorf School in Upper Black Eddy, Bucks Co.

"We have chickens at the school. They roam around the grounds," said Porter. "There are four or five of them, and the third-graders are in charge of them."

Porter added that she keeps two hives of bees at her College Hill home.