There has been a lot of backyard chicken talk over the years. It seems in certain circles, chickens are all the rage. Sadly, my neighbors recently decided to end their urban chicken care-taking, so I no longer sip my morning coffee to the sound of the birds murmuring and ruffling their feathers. While most homeowners would consider the maintenance required for keeping chickens more work than its worth, those who have them beg to differ. For example, chickens can be fed just about any old scrap from the kitchen table, and in fact, the more variety in their diet, the more nutritious the eggs they lay.
Nobody seems to have exact numbers, but Backyard Poultry, a Wisconsin based magazine, boasts upward of 80,000 current subscribers (up from 15,000 four years prior) and numerous chicken websites are gaining surprising traffic, such as backyardchickens.com and urbanchickens.org.
Let’s face it, nobody refutes the superiority of a fresh egg to the alternative, and considering that recently Wright County Egg, an Iowa company, had to recall 380 million eggs in August for salmonella issues, keeping your own chickens just might be worth looking into.
Given the level of interest, I’m surprised that we haven’t seen any urban Chicken Coop Co-ops sprouting up. Seems like a perfect way to share in the labor and the egg-bounty. Any community organizers out there up for the challenge?