5 Reasons Why Chickens Belong in Your City, Town, or Neighborhood

By Leah Zerbe
Rodale Institute

Backyard hens not only provide high-quality eggs, but also serve as master gardeners, organic pest exterminators, and unpaid city workers. Figure out if you have what it takes to raise chickens—they’re harder than cats but easier than dogs. If you do, choose location-appropriate breeds.

With the massive egg recall still in progress, you’re probably pondering egg carton claims in search of the healthiest eggs. One surefire solution: raising a handful of your own backyard chickens, giving you complete control over egg quality. Home-raised chickens may not be an option for everybody, but they are more of an option than you may think. Even if you live in the city, once you realize the myriad benefits a small flock of three or more hens can provide, you’ll start thinking of your non-chicken-keeping neighbors as the strange ones.

“Most people are going to get chickens because they love eggs, but then they’re going to find out how useful they are in other ways,” says Patricia Foreman, author of City Chicks: Keeping Micro-flocks of Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Makers, Bio-reyclers, and Local Food Producers (Good Earth Publications, 2010).

Read full post at Rodale Institutemething to cluck about!

6 responses to “5 Reasons Why Chickens Belong in Your City, Town, or Neighborhood

  1. Chickens get such a bad rap. I’ve even heard very well-informed, intelligent people question if backyard chickens weren’t contaminating the water supply. I love the Belgian example; I’ll be quoting that, for sure. So much to be gained, and so little to lose. I, for one, would welcome the entertainment next door of a few busy, clucking hens.

    • yeah! what a great idea!

      While living in crowded Cleveland, Ohio, I once heard a rooster for about a week… it woke all of us up, but it didn’t annoy me. It gave me a kind of joy to hear a farm animal. Much preferred to a car alarm system waking me up because a cat sat on the car’s hood.

  2. The problem with my having chickens is that I could never bring myself to kill one and eat it. 🙂 How can you eat a pet?

    • We raised 200 white broilers this summer along with our regular chickens (the egg layers). Even though their lives were short, they got to have all the regular chicken fun, scratching for bugs and worms and little seeds and such, and having their little rooster squabbles with each other, as roosters will do. There are still 5 or so of them running around, but the rest are either in our, or somebody else’s, freezer. Good home-raised, free range chicken is good food!!

  3. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Food Freedom | Decentralize, Grow Your Own, Buy Local.

  4. Gunnar Wordon

    I keep chickens in a city, and i get beef from government officials…….. do i care? of course not! long live freedom!

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