Community & Culture urban chicken

Published on October 6th, 2008 | by Meg Hamill

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New Cities Join The Urban Chicken Movement

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October 6th, 2008 by


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.

urban chicken photo

Illegal or not, city chicken flocks are more popular than ever.

“It’s no longer something kinky or interesting,” said Jac Smit, president of the Urban Agriculture Network. “The ‘chicken underground’ has really spread so widely and has so much support.”

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

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About the Author

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.



  • Ingrid

    Even in Australia the trend is eggs-ploding. Check out http://www.citychicks.com.au based in Brisbane to see what bling, nappies and gourmet treats you can get for your feathered friends!

  • Uncle B

    Sign of the times! We soon will be forced to feed ourselves, now that everything is gone to Asia! Back to the land, Civil codes repealed one at a time, to keep good folk from Tent Cities, Hoovervilles, Shanty Towns, Tar paper shacks! America you are going down! The division between the “Haves” and the ‘Have-Nots” is growing at an alarming rate! Capitalism no longer serves all the people all the time! It has been short-circuited by Asian imports. New York city issues one-way bus tickets to good American folk, to get rid of them! Goddammit! This is our America, not the corporatists private property? what went wrong? Why are our schools rated 32nd in the world? Not first? American? How Cum? Be prepared! Read up on humanuring, composting, veggie gardening on the net! Learn how to grow basics, corn, potatoes, Squash, turnips, carrots! Learn to preserve them yourself – the jobs are all gone to Asian semi-slave labor, and against them we cannot survive! We are not superior, We are not infallible, We are not the greatest labor force on earth! That was corporate propaganda to keep us coming as long as ROI’s were favorable! Now, bigger dividends are available on the Beijing, Shanghai and Hang Seng markets in Yuan, and even our dollar has taken a beating and is falling like a stone! Gold, up over $1000.00 an ounce! Oil $80.00 bbl and rising!Second round bail-outs not likely possible! This next normal down cycle in the capitalistic economy likely hides the greatest depression of all time in its troughs! The rest of the world is bracing for our downfall! Bankruptcy in America! Will we follow the U.S.S.R. into the abyss? Plant gardens not lawns, learn chicken farming as fast as you can, study these things, free on this net for now, and get self sufficient as possible sustainable as soon as you can! Buy super-insulation for your dwelling and brace yourself! Just in case!

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