Opinion | Sexuality

The Urban Chicks Movement

Living out faith can include 'just food.'

"What are you building?" the cashier asked as we paid for several sheets of plywood and some 2×4s. When we told her she said, "a lot of people are building chicken coops this summer."

City ordinances are changing to allow for backyard chicken keeping. From Portland to New York City, ordinances are being revised, spelling out what will be allowed as cities respond to pressure from residents for permission to raise chickens. (See ordinances for information about your city.) Most cities prohibit roosters (this video shows why) and backyard slaughtering, and limit the number of hens allowed and the placement of coops near homes and property lines. Many prohibit backyard chickens altogether, though if neighbors don't complain residents raise them anyway.

Urban chickens were common in the 19th century, and helped supplement family diets and budgets during the Great Depression. While the current urban chicken movement did not emerge in response to economic woes, it may play a part in reshaping ...

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