Keeping Chickens in the City – The Urban Poultry Trend

Urban or backyard poultry flocks have become an increasing trend within the locavore movement. Flocks typically comprise of hens for egg production without any male birds present to roost or cause trouble.

Cities often impose health and zoning regulations regarding chicken ownership, such as noise, odor, pests and waste management regulations. Furthermore, managing backyard flocks necessitates significant knowledge in disease control measures.

1. Economical

Many of those who raise hens do so for economic reasons. A hen’s costs are only marginally above commercial feed costs, enabling her eggs to be sold at a reasonable price and she often provides enough food on her own for you.

A chicken coop can serve as an invaluable garden tool by enriching soil with beneficial organisms like worms and insects, while its manure provides an ideal natural fertilizer for vegetable gardens.

As much fun as they may be, chickens can also make for great additions to any family. Just be aware that it takes around six months for a fully mature and productive hen (roosters never lay!) to begin producing consistently, thus rendering starting a flock financially inadvisable – even in cities with permissive zoning laws that permit it. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying!

2. Environmentally Friendly

World War I marked the first time citizens were encouraged to raise hens as food sources for soldiers and civilians during wartime, which contributed directly to national food supplies and increased national food security. It marked an unprecedented call-to-arms that encouraged citizens to raise food independently for national purposes and increase food security.

Backyard flocks of hens have quickly become part of the locavore movement and are quickly growing more popular across America as people strive to become more self-reliant. Common backyard chicken flocks (also referred to as urban poultry or neighborhood chickens) consist of only laying hens without roosters for increased self-sufficiency.

For maximum environmental friendliness, use recycled materials when building your coop. Materials like lumber, wire and cardboard from recycling will cost less while helping the environment by cutting down on plastic waste and chemical usage. Composting old newspapers or leaves as bedding material is another effective way of decreasing your flock’s environmental footprint.

3. Healthier

Chickens are social creatures, preferring to live amongst other hens in order to establish order through pecking orders and establish dominance by pecking other hens in their pecking order. One hen may become dominant and thus peck at other hens to demonstrate who is boss – she may also protect any chicks she thinks may be in danger from harm by pecking or pecking back aggressively at them!

Backyard poultry flocks, also referred to as urban or neighborhood chickens, are becoming an increasing part of the locavore movement, which aims to decrease food miles while supporting local agriculture [14]. With their increasing popularity comes more human contact with birds that may carry infectious diseases like bird flu or other illnesses including Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter or West Nile virus infections [15-16].

Hens are the most common choice when it comes to raising chickens as pets and for eggs. Cockerels may also make an interesting addition, providing you with daily entertainment (although many cities prohibit their noise ordinance violations). Adult pullets tend to adapt better than chicks to life in an urban environment.

4. Social

Keep chickens is an exciting hobby that brings people together – not only because it provides fresh eggs for more sustainable food sources, but because their care requires only basic resources like bedding, feed and water. A flock of chickens provides both tangible benefits as well as learning experiences; you don’t even need a coop! They make for easy care as long as their needs are fulfilled in terms of space, layout and design – plus fresh eggs make a nice change!

Chicken keeping has proven particularly socially advantageous for low-income communities and rural areas, especially as people move into high density living spaces where knowledge of agricultural practices often falls by the wayside. With poultry back into urban settings, knowledge about agricultural practices is being revived as people learn new practices relating to food production (Nemoto and Beglar 2014).

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