” . . . Bwak, bwak, bwak, bwak, bwak, bwak.” Ten bwaks, or whatever sound it is that chickens make. Ten is the number of chickens allowed at Joshua Farm. I discovered this today when a friend gave me a copy of the Harrisburg City Ordinance (just a small portion of it–if you want to read more ordinances, you have to go to the city government center, since they’re not available online or in any easily accessible format.) I’ve been wanting to keep chickens for years, and had inquired about the possibility some time ago. I was told, by what I presumed to be an authoritative reference, that farm animals were not permitted within city limits. Wanting to be a law-abiding citizen (and aware of Joshua Farm’s prominent public status), I’ve held off. But the squeal of delight when my kids heard the news means I’ll be spending the next few evenings browsing plans for an appropriate chicken coop. Bwak, bwak, bwak, indeed!
In case you’re curious, the relevant Harrisburg City provisions are as follows (emphasis mine):
3-509.7 RESTRICTIONS ON FARM ANIMALS
(a) Unless otherwise permitted by the Chief of Police, the keeping or maintaining of any farm animal, with the exception of poultry, shall be permitted only on land of sufficient area so that there shall be sixty thousand (60,000) square feet for the first animal with twenty thousand (20,000) square feet for each additional animal. . .
(b) The keeping or maintaining of poultry shall be permitted only on a lot within a land area equivalent to forty thousand (40,000) square feet or more. In no event shall more than ten (10) poultry birds be permitted on each forty thousand (40,000) square foot area. The pen, shelter, or enclosure shall be set no closer than seventy-five (75) feet to any side or rear line.
(c) Poultry is defined as ducks, chickens, swans, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, pheasants, pea fowl, and pigeons.
(d) The owner or person(s) responsible for the care and keep of such animals shall be responsible to prevent or eliminate all odors, animal waste and insect infestation caused by the maintenance of such animals.