Thursday, October 15, 2009

urban chickens help with climate change

It's not hard to see that keeping urban chickens are part of at least two of the solutions published in Scientific American's 10 Solutions for Climate Change.

Consume Less: cutting back on consumption results in fewer fossil fuels being burned to transport products around the globe.

By keeping hens in your own backyard, you're able to cut back on the transport requirements from manufacturer to your house for several items at once:
  • eggs: instead of trucking and refrigerating eggs en masse from the farm to your table,  you simply walk across the yard and collect your own. Bonus: yard-collected eggs can sit on your counter at room temperature until ready to use (within a month of collecting).
  • herbicides and pesticides: if you're letting your hens free range around your yard, you no doubt have discovered how good they are at eating many weeds and bugs that you'd otherwise have to spray to control.
  • fertilizer: with hens in your yard, you've got prolific nitrogen-producing machines that'll get your compost bin producing rich fertilizer in overdrive.
Eat Smart, Go Vegetarian? Organic produce is often shipped from halfway across the globe. And meat requires pounds of feed to produce a pound of protein. Choosing food items that balance nutrition, taste and ecological impact is no easy task.

By keeping chickens in your backyard as part of a larger gardening experience, you know exactly where your veggies have come from (and where the fertilizer is sourced, too). Moreover, you've got a great source of low-cost high-quality protein produced for you almost every day: the egg.

No need to go vegetarian to lessen your impact on the climate, and no need to eat the birds themselves. A couple backyard hens can produce a dozen eggs a week for you which provides plenty of protein as part of a sensible diet.

As part of Blog Action Day, take a look at the rest of the 10 Solutions for Climate Change and add to the comments any ways you find urban chickens are part of on of the solutions.

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