Tuesday, January 6, 2009

one woman's journey into urban chicken farming

Discovered a delightful mini-biography blog post this morning titled The Most Expensive Kind of Chicken by Gina.

In it, you can read how her early childhood experiences led her into finally becoming a chicken owner decades later, and the lessons she learned along the way.

As with all good stories, she's got a wonderful summary of what to do and what not to do at the end:
Most cities allow chickens, you just need to follow the specific regulations. I discovered this while working at an animal shelter. I read the laws (many of which are online) and found out that chickens were legal in my city. In areas where chickens are prohibited, well, times-they are a changing and now is the time to bring this up with your local powers-that-be. Start a local chicken fan blog or forum. Stack the numbers of pro-chicken fans to not. Write out a detailed plan outlining all the benefits of keeping these garden friends (fertilizer, pest control, food source, depression buster…) and present it to city councilmen or housing addition leaders. Around the country (and even in other countries) anti-chicken laws are being questioned and changed. It really was not that long ago that chickens in the city were a common sight. My mother, in the ’50’s & 60’s, lived quite urban-ly and her family kept chickens and rabbits in the garage.

If the laws are already in your favor, be a good neighbor-with-chickens. Do as I suggest, not as I do, and research breeds, care and the ins-and-outs of urban chickens before you get the chickens. Keep your chickens’ area clean. Watch out for poisonous plants and chemicals. It’s pretty easy to keep a chicken happy and chickens can certainly make others happy given the right conditions!

I couldn't agree more with what Gina says. And she makes me wonder what my little girls will take away from their childhoods-with-chickens as they become independent women of their own.

(BTW, great to see the article on urban chickens in USA Today last week. Maybe 2009 is the year we build the momentum necessary to go mainstream in 2010!)

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