In the meantime, check out the blogs of some of the other chicken farmers I follow:
- Urban Hennery
- the Wooly Daisy
- One a Day
- SoPoChickens (help them get zoned for chickens!)
Many newcomers are from rural areas in Mexico and Central America, where chickens roam without fear of zoning inspectors. County officials and residents say they are sensitive to this fact and do not want to disparage others' cultures and customs. "I'm Hispanic; I understand," said [Virginia] Paris, a native of Uruguay. "We're open-minded. But this is an urban environment."That's exactly what urban chickens are about... bringing what used to be a common practice (keeping your own backyard flock) back to the future. A lot of folks have their preconceptions about chickens (dirty, messy, smelly, ick) thanks to passing by the agri-business chicken plants where thousands of birds are raised in less-than-ideal conditions.
Officials say health concerns about the birds outweigh possible disruptions to a community's peace and quiet. "You could conceivably keep a pet chicken in sanitary conditions, but more often than not, people aren't scrupulous," said county environmental health manager John Meehan. "A lot of what they eat is not digested, so it can become food for other animals. If you're feeding chickens corn, that would be a very ready source for rats."Why single out chickens like this? When I lived in Virginia, I don't recall as much concern being expressed about how folks were tending their cats or dogs or rabbits. We had a hard enough time keeping the mice out of the dog food in a brand new housing development (no chickens to be found). Perhaps Mr. Meehan has recently seen Ratatouille and is still suffering the images of all those messy rats making a fine meal in the kitchen.