Lower Paxton Township: Make duck keeping more accessible

Lower Paxton Township: Make duck keeping more accessible

76 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
Petition to
Lower Paxton Township, Board of Supervisors

Why this petition matters

Started by Allison Maurer

In 2021, Lower Paxton Township, PA changed their ordinance to keep chickens and bees. However, the ordinance was not updated to keep ducks. While 4 hens can be kept on 1/5 of an acre in residential areas, ducks still require 1 acre. This seems like an oversight on the part of the Lower Paxton Township board rather than a thoughtful decision to keep us from keeping ducks.

Ducks are similar to chickens in their upkeep and requirements. They require slightly more space but can be kept easily in fully enclosed areas with small pools for the occasional dip. They are wonderful egg producers, some breeds often producing even more than chickens per year (many produce over 300 eggs per year!). They are more disease resistant than chickens while providing the same benefits. Duck droppings, rather than requiring six months of composting like chicken droppings, are able to be used immediately as fertilizer. When allowed to forage, ducks are gentler to plants and very efficient at removing harmful pests, including spotted lantern flies. They are often friendly, and some breeds are quieter than chickens (there is always an exception with individual ducks with some being chattier than others, but they are in general not considered a noise nuisance). 

In addition, duck eggs are an amazing source of protein with larger yolks. They are better tolerated for many people with chicken egg allergies. They provide more volume in gluten free baking (as well as regular baking). Ducks should not be excluded from backyard fowl keeping. Especially when we live in a time of shortages and supply chain problems, having access to fresh eggs makes life just a little more stable. 

I propose a change to the chicken keeping ordinance to include ducks. My proposal is that the same requirements for chickens will be in place for ducks: they must be kept fenced, must have access to clean food and water, etc. In addition, I would specify that ducks may only be kept on 2/5 acre or more since they may require better drainage and slightly more space than chickens. Just as with the current ordinance prohibiting roosters, my proposal would prohibit drakes (the primary purpose of duck keeping being egg laying, drakes are not necessary). I would alter the current ordinance for chicken keeping to allow for more birds depending on the size of a property: 1/5 acre allows 4 chickens (no ducks), 2/5 allows 5 chickens and/or ducks, 1/2 allows 6 chickens and/or ducks, 3/5 allows 7 chickens and/or ducks, 4/5 allows 8 chickens and/or ducks. The reason for this change is simply because there is quite a difference in the amount of chickens or ducks each property can keep depending on its size. Ducks are social creatures and require friends (ideally no less than 5 birds to a flock). 

Let’s tell Lower Paxton Township that ducks should be allowed on backyard homesteads!


76 have signed. Let’s get to 100!