Feeling Clucky with Backyard Chickens


A friend of mine in Berkeley kept chickens in her backyard. I was devastated when she moved to Seattle before I could have a look. But then, cluck was with me, because I moved into a new place in San Francisco, and my downstairs neighbors had chickens!

Urban chickens were in our midst. The myth became our truth. And thus, my chicken lessons began. The baby chicks were originally born in our apartment laundry room, so the grown chickens liked to return to their first roost. This meant shooing away chickens off our third story deck as they tried to sneak into our place. Clucking surreal! Who knew chickens would even walk up and down stairs?

The luster began to fade when I found myself stepping in chicken poop every time I went to water my deck garden. Really? I wasn’t even enjoying the benefits of fresh eggs! OK, my neighbors have set me up once or twice. Wait a minute – could I somehow benefit from this poop? Fresh poop for fertilizer?

We recently had family in town visiting, and on our way to nearby Glen Canyon Park, we heard an animal sound. Could it be? It was.

Up on a neighbor’s front porch. Urban goats.

If you’re thinking about raising your own urban chickens, find out more from this chicken expert interview.

Image: Emily Mills