Forget baking bread. Raising backyard chickens is the hot new pandemic food hobby. Egg-laying urban chickens have been in vogue for at least a decade, and this year sales have soared as much as 500% at hatcheries across the United States.
In Bridgeville, however, it’s currently illegal for residents to keep chickens. Specifically, borough code prohibits “animals customarily found on a farm,” including chickens and pigs.
That could be changing.
After a request from two residents earlier this month, council voted unanimously to recommend that the borough planning commission “revise and amend” the ordinance banning chickens in Bridgeville.
“This issue has come up before and we’ve had some preliminary discussions about it,” said council president Bill Henderson. “I’m in agreement with you. I think there’s room for discussion.”
If the borough planning commission proposes a change that allows chickens, the updated law would come back to council for final approval—possibly later this year
Throughout Allegheny County, rules regarding chicken-keeping vary from community to community.
In Pittsburgh, residents with at least 2,000 square feet of land (including the house footprint) can keep a small number of hens, goats, and beehives after receiving a permit. Roosters are prohibited.
Carnegie’s code also prohibits residential chickens, but borough officials would be open to reviewing animal regulations if residents so desired, according to manager Stephen Beuter.
South Fayette residents are permitted to keep chickens in areas zoned R1 and R2, but you will need a relatively large backyard—the coop must be at least 200 feet from any property line.
Collier’s animal laws don’t specifically ban chickens but do address potential nuisances like roosters annoying neighbors.
Some municipal officials that we contacted weren’t exactly sure about their chicken laws because the issue had never come up.