Across the country, cities are passing new laws to allow backyard chickens.
Cities across the country have shown new leniency in the urban chicken arena. Ann Arbor, Michigan, South Portland, Maine and Fort Collins Colorado, have all voted in the past year to allow backyard chickens. They join the growing number of U.S. cities to make legal the raising of poultry in the backyard.
Illegal or not, city chicken flocks are more popular than ever.
Though some worry that backyard chickens might carry and transmit avian flu, advocates of urban chicken farming claim that farming poultry on a small scale presents less of a risk of disease than large-scale production.
Some cities, however, are less concerned about disease, than they are about noise, and nuisance, and have put limits of the number of roosters one household can keep in their yard.
Making backyard chickens legal is a good move for cities interested in reducing their ecological footprint. Urban chickens provide a local source of eggs, meat and manure.
And don’t worry. If you’re squeamish about chopping off chicken heads, there’s a new business popping up in mobile slaughterhouses. “It’s no longer huge slaughterhouses doing millions [of birds],” Smit said, “It’s a guy driving around on a truck, visiting neighborhood to neighborhood,” “And it’s not chickens only…. Duck, turkey, and quail are particularly attractive.”
What’s your city’s ruling on chickens? To find out, check out The City Chicken.
Source: Worldwatch Institute
Photo: from flickr.com under a creative commons license
Meg Hamill has been working in the environmental non-profit field in Northern California for the past six years. She currently works as a naturalist for LandPaths (in partnership with the Open Space District) in Santa Rosa California. She teaches poetry in the public school through California Poets in the Schools (CPITS) and has traveled extensively throughout South and Central America, picking up Spanish along the way. In 1999 she completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Meg holds an MFA in Creative Writing and has published two books of political/environmental poetry. Read more, buy books and e-mail Meg at www.meghamill.com.