COOP (Chicken Owners Outside Philadelphia)
COOP (Chicken Owners Outside Philadelphia)

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COOP News V.1 No. 5, April 29, 2008


Debbie and Dave successfully argued for their variance before the Upper Dublin Township Zoning Hearing Board last night. They made a great presentation, with copies of letters of support from their neighbors, photos of their yard and of their future coop (Ron's beauty with the stained glass window), and backup from six COOP members. They now have a permit for chicken occupancy not to exceed 5 hens on their 3/4 acre property.

Although we think they had the Zoning Board's approval once they saw the stained glass window, it was an interesting process with one disbelieving officer, a solicitor who had raised chickens on a farm as a child, and one officer who brought up the Avian flu issue. Debbie and Dave gave a well-prepared presentation and had all their ducks, er chicks in a row. Ron also got up and spoke during the public comment period about the desire to raise animals humanely, about the fact that Pennypack Farm would take any old chickens (to be "processed"), and how his township commissioners LOVED eggs from his hens. :)

The Zoning officer for the township also said that there was talk among several commissioners about actually creating an ordinance for chicken raising and so it's possible that thanks to Debbie and Dave, and to Harm before them, it will be possible to raise chickens in Upper Dublin township without the need to spend $500 for a zoning variance.

Way to go Debbie and Dave!


Sherri and Steve had a wonderful meeting at their house on Sunday. They already have their coop — it's a Ron Denzel special, complete with stained-glass window. We missed Lisa and Laurie and Margot and Andrea but were very pleased to meet Andrea's husband Bob. Andrea and Bob already have their chicks. We have a few pictures that will go up on the website soon. In addition, despite the large number of broccoli dishes present, the food was fabulous. Thanks again Sherri and Steve.


It was decided at the meeting on Sunday that we feel comfortable with the farm in Lancaster that doesn't have its official organic certification but does sell organic chick food and is considerably cheaper (about $12 for a 50 pound bag). Steve and Ron and Nancy are going out there on Friday morning to pick up five 50-lb bags of chick starter along with some oyster shell. The feeling was that it would be okay to use up the 50 pound bag even as the chicks got bigger. For those with chickens already, if you want us to get a bag of layer feed also, just let one of us know before Friday.


The chicks will be delivered to the post office either Sunday or Monday. I have everyone's phone number so we will call and email when they have come in. Either Laurie or I will pick up the chicks and get them their first water (with Grow Gel!) and get them in a brooder under a nice warm lamp until everyone comes to pick their chicks up. So, chick pickup will be either at 25 or 29 West Mill Road on Sunday May 4 or Monday May 5. If you are getting a bag of food you'll pick it up then as well.


Ron offered to make wood chips for anyone who wanted to use them in their brooder. He said to bring him a 2 x 6 pine board and a big brown lawn bag and he'd fill it up. The Upper Dublin COOP supporters went out to dinner after the successful ruling and decided we needed a logo. Kristina knows how to silk screen and offered to make up t-shirts. Doug came up with a dandy logo idea fashioned after the LOVE statue. More to come on this.


The next meeting will be on Saturday, June 14th, 5pm at Debbie and Dave's house on Camp Hill Road in Fort Washington. I'm not sure of the house number. Debbie — please send out your address and a phone number to everyone.

Yours in COOP-dom,

~3:> Nancy