A story from today’s Christian Science Monitor, “Whole lotta clucking going on in cities” suggests that more Americans raising chickens in their backyards. Keeping chickens is part of a larger urban homesteading movement and is popular with folks who like to “eat local” or who are concerned about factory farm conditions, according to the article.
Angelina Shell of the Seattle Tilth Association, a group that offers sustainable-living classes, suggests that more people will be keeping chickens as the recession gets worse:
“If our economy continues on the downward spiral,” says Ms. Shell, a third-generation poultry hobbyist, “you’re going to see a lot more people raising their own chickens in their backyards and starting up vegetable gardens.”
Some communities are not so keen on the idea:
“Still, chickens aren’t always popular with neighbors in city and suburban neighborhoods. Chicago Alderman Lona Lane proposed a citywide chicken ban late last year after constituents bombarded her office with complaints about noise, odor, and rodents. But chicken enthusiasts from other parts of the Windy City cried fowl, stalling a final decision. After the holidays, Ms. Lane plans on introducing a new bill to ban chickens in just the neighborhood she represents.”
What about Savannah? Is it legal to keep chickens here? Robin Wright Gunn wrote about urban chicken keeping for Connect Savannah back in August in a piece called “The Big Chicken.”
“At least three friends are the proud owners of chickens that are scratching and laying and living their chickeny lives smack in the middle of town, beneath heirloom camellias in Parkside, or strutting among tasteful lawn statues in Baldwin Park. Each urban chicken flock boasts five hens, the maximum allowed by city ordinance. Rhode Island Reds and Leghorns are among the favored breeds. I love the idea of having friends who have chickens.”
Is this correct? Are Gunn’s friends in Parkside and Baldwin Park in compliance with city ordinances? Is Baldwin Park the hotbed of chicken-keeping it is purported to be? Will the chicken people organize to promote this practice? Are neighbors’ feathers being ruffled over the chickens next door? Please share your answers in the comments section.
Photo credit: Sarah Gilbert via Flickr.