NPR: Backyard Coops a Growing Trend

Posted on May 30, 2009

NPR is reporting that backyard coops are a growing trend. The concept of victory gardens has been a growing trend since the recession hit. This takes the idea another step farther by adding your own hens.
Allison Adams, writer and avid organic gardener, has a flock of seven hens in the backyard of her home in Decatur, Ga., not far from Atlanta. A few years ago, Adams saw an article about raising chickens and then approached her neighbor with the idea.

"I love fresh eggs. I love having fertilizer production right in the backyard, so I thought, 'Well, if it's legal, I should probably investigate it,' " Adams says.

Adams and her neighbor, Bill DeLoach, converted a lawnmower shed into a chicken coop and got some baby chicks. Their seven chickens are now 4 years old and produce about 30 eggs a week.
The cleanup and maintenance may make owning your own chickens too big of step for some homeowners. For many it may be easier to just to buy eggs at the grocery store. It is also illegal in some cities but the NPR story says that more cities are starting to allow people to keep hens.

Andy Schneider, known as the "Chicken Whisperer" of Atlanta, tells NPR, "When we go to cities, a lot of times we'll ask them, 'Why don't you want your citizens to lead a more self-sustaining lifestyle? Why don't you want your citizens to save some money in this hard economic time by allowing them to raise backyard poultry?' And I'm telling you, Animal Control, I'm sure, gets way more calls from barking dogs and dogs running loose and cats than they ever have from backyard poultry."

NPR says some cities that allow people to keep hens include Seattle; Madison, Wis.; and Raleigh, N.C. NPR also chickens are so popular that there is a shortage with people watching up to six weeks for chicks.
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