Posts Tagged ‘keep’

Chicken Ordinance Report


In February of 2010, students of Dr. Hugh Bartling at DePaul University conducted a survey of more than 20 U.S. municipalities that allow chickens. The survey focused on how the laws were implemented and the issues that arose. Read the original report here. 

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Columbia College Student Covers Home to Roost in a Documentary Film


Check out the humorous, witty, and cinematographically pleasing results of hours of being followed by a camera and hooked up to a microphone! Mary Horan, a Columbia College student followed me for a few months to get a variety of footage, most of it involving urban poultry!

As it turns out, my wacky sense of humor comes out, as does my passion for chickens!

Judge for yourself! You’ll find the video at the bottom of the page on this link! Spend some time looking at the other films on the page, too!

Chicks in the City

By Mary Horan

Home to Roost on Keeping Chickens – on YouTube


Learn more about why people in cities across the U.S. are raising chickens! Check out my YouTube post!

This video was created by Mary Horan, a film student at Chicago’s Columbia College! A huge thanks to you, Mary!

It was a lot of fun to be part of this video-making process! Mary approached me a few months ago and asked if she could follow me for a film class. I said sure!

April 10, 2011: Chicken-Keeping Class


Join Home to Roost at the Animal Care League in Oak Park for a class on basic chicken keeping.We’ll meet some chickens and talk about how to keep them healthy. This class will help you get started with chickens and provide resources for caring for them.

Register today for the Chicken Keeping Class, April 10, 2011, 3 PM to 5 PM at the Animal Care League, 1013 S. Garfield, Oak Park.

Cost: $20 per person. 20% of proceeds goes to to the Animal Care League.

Space is limited, so register by leaving us a comment or give us a call at 708-524-5038.

*Childcare care will not be available for this event.

Reasons to Raise Chickens


Why raise chickens?

Well, being a chicken fancier, I’d say the answer is obvious. But if you need some convincing—better yet, if your spouse/significant other/parents need some convincing!—here’s my list of answers to that question.

  1. Eggs. ‘Nuff said. Actually, they’re fresher, tastier, and look better than store-bought eggs. The yolk will be perky and a deep yellow from natural compounds called xanthophylls that the hens get from corn, alfalfa, or other greens. For more info on eggs and egg-carton labels, see my post Egg Labels: What’s in a Name?
  2. Education. Kids as much as adults need to realize that a good answer for the question, “Where do eggs come from?” is not “The store.” It’s a great educational process (as well as an exercise in responsibility) for kids (and adults) to care for another living creature.
  3. Health. Yup, those backyard eggs will most likely be salmonella free! Hens that are well kept will not succumb to disease and will most likely not harbor salmonella bacteria. For more info, see my post The Scoop on Salmonella in Eggs.
  4. Self-Sufficiency. The closeted pioneer in all of us swells with pride when we see a source of food running around in the backyard. Whether folks choose to eat just the eggs or to eat the chickens, too, we feel we’re pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps, contributing to a larger good for the health of the world.
  5. Animal Welfare. If you’ve not seen pictures of laying hens in battery cages, Google it. It’s not a pretty sight. For every hen in someone’s backyard, one less battery hen will be tortured for her short (2 years max) existence. We all get that one.
  6. Composting. So if your kids won’t turn your compost pile, the chickens will! Lots of tasty creepy-crawlies live in compost heaps. Hens want these delectable sources of protein—so they scratch and dig for them. They also love to dustbathe, which involves kicking up all kinds of dirt.
  7. Poop. Mmmmm… Nitrogen-rich fertilizer! What could be better for the garden? Chicken poop has lots of ammonia, which decomposes into nitrogen. Caveat emptor, however: chicken poop is hot compost and should be properly processed before applying to plants. For more info on this see The scoop on poop, or how is poop like raku pottery?
  8. Personality. Yep, chickens have them—in abundance. You’ll discover the mischievous one, the singer, the clown, the psychopath, the leader, the sweetheart. They’re all out there,  waiting to meet you!
  9. Simplicity. There is something sacred and unique that ties people with animals with the land. Keeping chickens is a celebration of something less hurried, more wholesome, and timeless, a kind of ecological synergy.
  10. Fun. I’ve always had fun with chickens, since I was 10. Baby chicks are about the cutest things you’ll ever see, next to… well, I can’t think of anything! It’s great to watch them grow into awkward teenagers, with their gangly legs and changing voices. And getting your first egg is really something to crow about! The ladies are endlessly entertaining as they pick up their skirts and chase some tasty tidbit or come in for an afternoon snack on the porch.

Have some reasons of your own? Please feel free to post!

Chickens now allowed to roost in Evanston!


Hats off to the Evanstoners who worked so hard for the right to the pursuit of avian happiness in their own backyards!

On September 28, 2010,  Evanston city council voted 6 to 3 to allow residents to have chickens, overturning a 36-year ban on chicken keeping. Residents will keep hens for eggs, fertilizer, and as pets.

There’s a catch, though: residents will have to pay a $50 licensing fee to keep hens.

Concerns included noise, small, rodent infestation, and predators; however, chicken supporters surveyed officials in 20 locales where chicken keeping is legal, and officials reported satisfaction with the existing laws.

A proud cock-a-doodle-doo for the Evanston Backyard Chickens group!

To read the Tribune article, click here.

Chicagoland’s Chicken Population: For the ‘Burbs?


Hens are legal in Chicago, but in the suburbs, it’s a bird of a different feather. Some suburbs allow hens, while others do not. Evanston residents are trying to get an ordinance on the books that allows chickens.

The issues surrounding backyard chickens in the Chicagoland area were covered recently by Kay Severinsen in the Chicago Sun-Times.