City chickens.

Alexandra alerted me to an article in today’s New York Times -yes, chickens are again on the front page, or some page, of that venerable, sneakily-well written yet (as far as the Chicken Emperor is concerned) politically mischievous paper. They say newspapers are headed for permanent delete and this is probably true, but I do love my Sunday NYT.  It’s worth the subscription cost just to read the weekly “Modern Love” essay in the Sunday Styles section, not to mention the Book Review.
Photo accompanying today's NYT article

Photo accompanying today's NYT article

Today’s article, entitled “Keeping Their Eggs in Their Backyard Nests” ties the current surge in chicken-keeping to a search for self-reliance in tough economic times. Well, maybe, except that everyone interviewed admits you can buy eggs and chickens cheaper at the store than you can raise them. Personally, I think it’s more of a psychological secession from the recession and all else that reminds us that the Universe is happy to body-slam us into submission at any given moment. Some people take drugs, others keep chickens. A fair number of people likely do both…

Urban Chickens (Growing Gardens, Portland, Oregon)

Urban Chickens (Growing Gardens, Portland, Oregon)

My favorite factoid from this article is that the US Postal Service has shipped 1.2 MILLION pounds of packages containing chicks this year. At approximately one ounce per chick, that adds up to millions of chickens, ducks and turkeys. By no means are they all headed for rural barnyards. The article cites a gentleman in Brooklyn who has 25 laying hens and is raising 49 broilers. (The fact that it’s not 50 leads me to suspect that one unlucky chicken already met its fate in the stew pot. )

An earlier NYT article on September 19, 2009 discusses the urban chicken, noting thatchickens are also permitted in Oakland, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Seattle and Portland, Oregon.  There’s even a  web site guide for city folk raising poultry,  called The City Chicken

If it’s good enough for Gotham, it’s good enough for me. I’m off to give the girls some meal worms…

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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One Response to City chickens.

  1. Santa Barbara Chicken Czar says:

    I guess that what it takes to halt all chickenwork at our home is to host a wedding. Although it was great fun to help give Julia and Grant a good send-off into the Land of Marital Bliss; the poultry citizens voted “No” to any further events that might delay the timely delivery of their mealy worms and fresh grass. Too bad for any other other couples out there thinking they might tie the knot here…..Just another example of what we all now know to be true: Chickens do rule the roost, even if it belongs to you.

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