Irwin family wants to keep pet hens
An Irwin family loves the 10 hens they keep as pets in their backyard so much they want the borough to allow them to keep the animals at their home.
Abbe Hood of Cedar Street told borough council Wednesday that their hens — no roosters — are kept strictly as pets and not as a food supply.
“We collect their eggs. We have no intention of eating the chickens because we are raising them as pets,” Hood said, noting they have been in the family since March.
The hens are pleasant and there is not an odor from the animals, which have a large coop in their backyard, Hood said.
“The coop we have is the penthouse of coops,” Hood said.
Bryan Rosatti, Hood’s husband, said the hens are not a nuisance. In fact, they eat the weeds in the yard, Rosatti said,
The issue of Hood and her family keeping chickens at their home came before council after the borough’s code enforcement officer, Justin Kachmarek, recently issued them a warning notice that the chickens could not be kept on the property because it is an area zoned residential and does not permit farm animals.
Hood told council she would ask the borough zoning hearing board for a variance so they can keep the hens on their property.
Zachary Kansler, borough solicitor, said that while Hood’s chickens are well-tended to and do not cause problems, others may not be as responsible owners.
Hood told council she does not intend to expand their brood of backyard hens but, if they had more space, they probably would get more hens.
The borough’s zoning hearing board does not have a regular monthly meeting date, said Shari Martino, borough manager. The zoning hearing board would set a meeting to hear the request for a variance once Hood files for a variance, Martino said.
Other municipalities in the region also have dealt with issues regarding traditional farm animals being kept as pets in an urban area.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .