City Chickens

Photo from Planet Save

Photo from Planet Save

The idea of urban homesteading and green living is obviously becoming more and more appealing to people living in cities around the world. The first step in self sufficiency is usually a vegetable garden. The hot trend now is the addition of a chicken coop. Chickens are totally the new pug. I’ve hung out with my fair share of chickens (my mom works on a small farm), and the concept of a few laying hens in the backyard is appealing. Two of three hens would provide lots of fresh eggs, fertilizer, and insect control for the garden. My favorite urban chicken coop design is the swiss army knife of coops.

Photo by The Open Piehole
Photo by The Open Piehole

There are issues of legality in some cities – some choose to ignore or change these rules. Planet Save has noted that,

“Illegal or not, city chicken flocks are more popular than ever.

“It’s no longer something kinky or interesting,” said Jac Smit, president of the Urban Agriculture Network. “The ‘chicken underground’ has really spread so widely and has so much support.”

Though some worry that backyard chickens might carry and transmit avian flu, advocates of urban chicken farming claim that farming poultry on a small scale presents less of a risk of disease than large-scale production.

Some cities, however, are less concerned about disease, than they are about noise, and nuisance, and have put limits of the number of roosters one household can keep in their yard.

Making backyard chickens legal is a good move for cities interested in reducing their ecological footprint.  Urban chickens provide a local source of eggs, meat and manure.”

Photo by Philip Ferrato on Flickr

Photo by Philip Ferrato on Flickr

Since the potential risks are so low and the benefits are so high, it only makes sense that people are flocking to build coops and gather the hens!

I’d love my own, but with no backyard I think that apartment-chickens would be stretching it a bit far and not particularily fair for the chickens themselves. Not to mention, by roommate would probably freak at the idea! Although, I should note that there ARE people out there raising chickens in their apartments.

Martin, over at Rocks & Water, has been keeping tabs on Vancouver’s city chickens laws.

Originally posted at



Filed under Urban Agriculture

2 responses to “City Chickens

  1. Here are some urban chicken photos –

    There also are a couple of urban chicken photos in this Flickr photo “pool” –
    At least one more of those photos should be added soon.

  2. urbanwren

    Oh! They’re so cute! Great city chicken pictures.

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