Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Urban Chickens Are Taking Over Oak-Town

As we finish packing up to move, I've noticed that the item we own most inquired about by friends and neighbors are our five chickens. Rosie, Clementine, Crystal, Snowflake and Isabelle have absolutely no idea how popular they are. They even were requested at our moving\garage sale even when not present!

Increasingly people are seeking (in Oakland and elsewhere) to adopt chickens as pets, egg-producers and garden-enhancers. We got hot on the idea after reading foodie-fun and world-revolutionary-through-daily-action-books such as Omniovre's Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. In our neighborhood the chicken owners all know who each other are. The eggs are fantastic: much better than cheaper industrialized pseudo-farming ones. I've noticed a large increase in wildlife attracted to our yard since the girls moved in. Plus the manure|compost is awesome. Rosie, one of our five, actually acts like a dog, running up to me and following me at my heels as I walk around the yard. Here's some pictures of our coop.

Urban chickens are also in the news. Last week a
video segment on NYC coops ran on Nightline, a large article in the Oakland Tribune. There's even an "urban chicken" group on facebook, based off the blog urbanchickens.net. I myself like mypetchicken.com. They take up little space - they actually are content to dig, scratch, dirt-bath and eat - eat - eat - did I say eat? - in appropriately sized urban spaces. I find in the inner East Bay that Mike's Feed in San Leandro has a good array of food, supplies and even coops for sale. Urbanchickens.net posted about a coop made from Ikea products this week, if you're looking for inspiration.


Anonymous said...

I love chickens. I would so have them if I didn't have 2 uncooperative dogs, who fancy themselves as rulers of the roost.

Monte said...

You never know they could grow on each other...or at least develop a new sort of pecking order :)

susannah said...

matt is so grieving that we can't (per our landlords) have chickens- yours or otherwise- in our backyard.


dbanoff said...

The deed to our Oakland house has a restrictive covenant prohibiting the keeping of farm animals. Every property owner in our tract (subdivided in 1939) has the right to sue to enforce this covenant.

I wonder how many residents even know what's allowed in their neighborhood.