PRINGLE — Some backyard chickens are at the center of a controversy in Luzerne County and one homeowner is crying “fowl.”
After planting a garden in her backyard in Pringle, Christine Dixon got an idea from a neighbor across the street to get fresh eggs every day.
“It was a logical extension of growing my own food and knowing where it comes from,” Dixon said.
But Dixon never expected Tilley, Scout, and Mauve to create such a stir. There’s no ordinance banning backyard hens in Pringle but the borough is one of 23 communities that follow Luzerne County zoning ordinances.
Dixon found out that backyard hens are banned after one person called in a complaint.
“My immediate neighbors love them. They come and bring them treats. They send their grandchildren over to visit.”
Some neighbors who did not want to talk on camera are not thrilled about having hens living next door. But other neighbors say they don’t mind.
“No. They don’t do anything!”
“I love the chickens next door. They have been my friends.”
Irene Kaschak says the chickens don’t cause any trouble and she enjoys the free eggs when she watches the hens for Dixon.
“I can tell they’re difference, especially when I’m baking. I tell a big difference, and also when I’m cooking,” Kaschak said.
Dixon applied for an exception to the Luzerne County zoning ordinances but it was denied. Two weeks ago, she received a citation in the mail.
“The fine, if I’m found guilty, is $500. That’s a lot of money.”
Dixon pleaded for officials to reconsider and now Luzerne County Council is reviewing a proposal that would allow a backyard chickens in residential areas.
Dixon is now looking for a temporary home for her hens and her citation will go before a district magistrate later this month.
Dixon is holding out hope that the rules will change so Tilley, Scout, and Mauve can return to the roost.