East Pennsboro Township Commissioners consider allowing backyard chickens


ENOLA, Pa. (WHTM) – Backyard chickens are allowed, under certain conditions, in many parts of Central Pennsylvania. This includes Silver Spring Township, South Londonderry Township, and Hopewell Township. Now, East Pennsboro Township leaders are considering doing the same.

“I’ve always been wanting to have backyard chickens,” said Lexi Abeln, who lives in the township.

Abeln is hopeful the feathered birds will be clucking at her home.

“When we found out that this was on the table and something that our township was considering moving towards, I was really excited,” Abeln said.

Abeln and her 16-year-old son River Sferlazza came a public meeting earlier this week after learning East Pennsboro Township Commissioners would look at changing an animal control ordinance to allow backyard chickens.

“Chickens are prohibited by residents of the township unless you’re living in an agricultural zone. We only have one farm left in the township, so 99 percent of our residents would be prohibited from having any chickens,” said Lt. Mark Green, with the East Pennsboro Township Police Department.

“They’re very easy birds,” Sferlazza said. “They’re very affordable, and they can be very social too,”

The mother and son have several reasons for wanting their own chickens.

“We go through about two dozen eggs a week,” Abeln said. “It’s an incredibly nutritious food and an easy food.”

“They’ll eat all kinds of bugs, especially the nasty ones like ticks or fleas,” Sferlazza said.

Many people have heard of therapy dogs, but the two said chickens can be therapeutic.

“When some of us are going through a dark time, we find the presence of others to be very helpful, especially animals, and in this case, chickens,” Sferlazza said.

“My six-year old son, he has some special emotional needs as well, and I noticed when my older son was working on a farm that when we went to visit, my six-year-old just had unleashed joy,” Abeln said.

East Pennsboro Township Commissioners are expected to vote sometime this summer.

“The trend across the country is to allow backyard chickens, or even some cities are allowing people to have them in the cities,” Green said.

The Camp Hill Borough Council looked at a similar ordinance last year, but it did not pass.

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