Chickens in the City

A Look The Cultural Shift That Allow Chickens In Urban Communities
The chickens have officially come home to roost! A number of cities around the country now allow residents to own chickens and raise them at home. Cities like New York City, Cleveland Heights, Portland, Oakland, and Chicago now allowing residents to raise chickens.

Chickens are Residents Too!
Each city has slightly different rules about how they must be maintained and the number that a single household can own. Generally, residents are allowed to own hens, but not roosters due to the noise that they create as well as the fact that some people use them to engage in cock fighting. Some local ordinances do not allow people to slaughter the chickens or they may restrict the way that their eggs can be sold.

Generally, the only thing that most cities ask is that the chickens are cared for properly and that the chicken coop is always clean and sanitary. A small chicken coop is quite affordable and require a modest amount of effort to maintain. Obviously, the chicken should have some room to roam in the yard, but they cannot disturb the surrounding neighbors in any way.

The consensus about why some cities are starting to allow urban poultry is because they would like support more sustainable food practices to increase access to local food and to protect the environment. It has been noted that locally grown chicken tend to be more healthy than most of the chicken found in grocery stores. Free range chicken can also improve the environment as they naturally eat small pests and they can fertilize the lawn. The way that the chickens are raised determine the flavor of both the meat and the eggs.

How to Get Started
People tend own get into the industry for varying reasons. Some people own chickens because they enjoy the companionship of having farm animals. Other people may use them just to lay eggs, get meat and earn money. Starting a small coop will take a small investment of at least a couple hundred dollars to purchase the chickens themselves as well as the housing, food, and necessary equipment.

The recommendation is to start with a small coop of 2-3 hens to see how you can manage them and then purchase more later on. Many of the beginners will start with breeds that are easy to manage like the Rhode Island Red or the Barred Plymouth Rock. It is essential that you thoroughly research the breed you are interested in purchasing because they have different characteristics depending on what you are trying to do.

The reality is that having chickens is just like having any other type of pet. They need attention, care, and affection just like a dog or a cat would. Carefully evaluate your reasons for getting a chicken before you make the purchase. Also try to talk to some of the other owners in your area and visit their chicken coops to see if you would like to have one in your home. It may turn out to be an emotionally and financially rewarding experience, so you never know!

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