Seems like the backyard chicken trend is making the news more and more.
The Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon ran a story about the growing urban chicken market, reporting that since 2007 the demand for chickens in urban areas has grown 20 percent annually.
Some say it’s driven by economic fears; in the story, Bud Wood, president of the Iowa-based Murray McMurray Hatchery, says, “Historically, any time the economy has been bad, poultry has always been good.”
For others, like me, it’s a way to connect with their food, a trend fueled by books like “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”.
If you’ve been thinking about getting chickens, first call your town or city office and ask about their codes for keeping fowl. In the village where we live, it was pretty easy. I had to get a permit for the number of chickens I was going to keep, and the building inspector had to come out and inspect our coop. Even though it wasn’t required, I kept them in the loop every step of the way; right now I’m the only licensed poulterer in town, and I don’t want to screw it up for anyone else who might be interested in keeping chickens.
Depending on where you live, it might be a good idea to talk to your neighbors. It’s not required, but my thought is that it’s easier to head off a problem if you have good communication with the people who live in close proximity to you and your flock. I talked with the neighbors I knew would have to look at the coop, and made sure they knew I wanted to hear if they had a problem or concern about the birds. And make sure to offer them fresh eggs!
Once you’ve got the OK to go ahead, get yourself a copy of the book, Raising Chickens for Dummies. In it you’ll find everything you need to know about chickens, coops, and raising your birds.
I personally go right to Joyce at MyPetChicken.com whenever I have a problem. She definitely knows her chickens.
So there you go. Backyard chickens aren’t just for crazy neighbors anymore!