Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Urban Chicken Farming



Although Mr. TA makes fun of me for it, I can't wait to some day have chickens of my own. Not only to harvest my own eggs, and because I love chickens, but to donate the extra to shelters and food banks - supporting a people who live too often off of canned goods and processed garbage. Newsweek recently did an article on urban chicken farming, a subject near and dear to my heart. Even if you're not interested in it yourself, I urge you to check out the article and accompanying video. It's quite an interesting trend, one that I hope really catches on.

For too long Americans have happily distanced themselves from food production, happy to believe meat comes from a Styrofoam package wrapped in plastic and fruit is perfectly colored and unblemished. Get a life people. Agriculture is smelly and loud and hard work. Quite copping out and buying your food from CAFO's and happily munching away at meat from animals who are abused and exploited, fruits that have been sprayed with chemical pesticides, and vegetables that contain more nitrogen than friggin' fertilizer.

Buy a damn chicken and get eggs you know have been raised properly. Or, at least don't get pissed off at your neighbor who does.

9 comments:

Drew Kime said...

I'd love to grow my own chickens, but if my skill with gardening carried over, I'd be lucky to keep them alive 'til they're laying.

I'd also have to figure out how to keep them warm through a Cleveland winter. I'm sure it's possible, but I don't know if you can do it in the space I have available in the back yard.

cookiecrumb said...

I haven't investigated whether it's allowed in my neighborhood. I have the funniest feeling it isn't, because this is the land of 80-year-olds, who hate any memory of the Depression and "dirty" food solutions. My mom can't stand homegrown grapes, for instance. (???)
Still, wow. Will you do it?

Sweet Bird said...

Drew: This probably sounds counterintuitive but chickens are probably a little easier to grow than peppers in the shade in Ohio. Keeping them warm through the winter might be difficult, just let 'em roost in the garage!

Cookiecrumb: Hells yes I want to do it. If my husband makes me live in some stupid loft in some big dumb city like he wants to then I'm sure as hell going to annoy the hell out of everyone around me with my chickens. I'll be the crazy chicken lady...

fiona said...

came over on a link from How To Cook Like Your Grandmother....your photo's are fab...would love to have them on my gallery!!!

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

It seems like a fantasy at this point. And yes, we can barely keep plants growing...

Kristin said...

I really, really love the idea of annoying city neighbors with chickens. I hate having neighbors, generally speaking. Ours aren't far enough away. Our neighbors are pretty cool, but people up in my living space? Nuh uh.

But I swear that I'M a good neighbor. The animals (barking dogs, maaing sheep, crowing roosters) may not be so popular, however.

ThomasK said...

Do it! keeping a couple urban chickens in your backyard is so much easier than you could ever imagine (no matter how close your neighbors are to you). We've had our girls for a year and a half now and I could never imagine going back to store-bought eggs now that we've had backyard-fresh for the last year.

Sweet Bird said...

fiona: That's because Drew's so nice, taking pity on me and sending me some of his readers. I checked out your site, it's pretty snazzy!

ts: raise those chickens! C'mon, you know you wanna!

Kristin: I think we should team up and annoy city people together. It'll be fun.

ThomasK: Thanks for stopping by, I love your site! I absolutely will get chickens - some day. The husband and I move too often. We won't even get a house cat, let alone some laying hens, until we're somewhere stable. But I can't wait!

Drew Kime said...

I've actually been thinking about this for the last few days. I'd really like to do it except for one thing: Who takes care of them if we go away for a weekend? Or a whole week for vacation? Yes, my in-laws are across the street, but we vacation with my in-laws.

How long can chickens go without someone paying attention to them?