Chicken Rave: In the City?

My husband and I wanted to start raising chickens a few years ago, so we started doing our research. After finding out that we could, realistically, have chickens in the city limits, we were told if there were any complaints or if we had a rooster – the chickens would have to go. Then we figured out that chickens just wouldn’t work with our pets: one dog and 2 cats. So we let our chicken idea die.

Raising chickens are the big rave lately. I have several friends whose experience has mostly been pleasurable, who enjoy about 6 eggs per day, one friend 10-12!

I’ve asked what they do with their chicken manure. Easy answer: Put it on the vegetable garden! I know what I would do if we had chickens. I’d be composting it in our $5 compost system!

One of our friend’s sons is in charge of chicken duty each day, and gets to keep the proceeds from eggs sold to family and friends. Great idea for a 10 year old boy.

I was really delighted when my friend Barb was creative enough to send fresh eggs across the country in the mail! Yes, she sent eggs wrapped in lamb’s wool (in a carton) in an overnight box. How creative and fun. (And crazy! Thank you, Barb!)

And enjoyable as we made sure and made something yummy with the eggs, as we were all fighting over the farm-fresh eggs.

Do you raise chickens, or do you only buy farm-fresh eggs from the market?

OK, a little story about me. When I was 6 my family moved to the country. We got baby calves, ducks, rabbits, horses, cats and dogs. My job was to help my Dad make the formula, and then to feed the baby calves (above photo). But we never raised chickens …

24 comments on “Chicken Rave: In the City?”

  1. Pingback: Expiration Dates: Are You Rigid About Them or Do You Fudge a Bit? — Reluctant Entertainer

  2. Recently, in my city, a motion was set forth to allow chickens to be raised in the city. The person who began it wanted to raise chickens to feed his family. However, the city declared them too dirty. I, personally, think it’s like having any other pet (or child!), you clean up after them and take care of them, and it won’t be a problem. There are things far dirtier than a few chickens!

    (p.s. this is my first time on your blog, I came here from Organizing Junkie. So far I have bookmarked several of your recipes!! :) )

  3. Wow…can’t believe those eggs survived the trip! Lambs wool sounds a lot better than bubble wrap! :)

  4. I grew up in Minneapolis and we had chickens in our back yard! YES! In the city! They were mail-ordered and we got 36 in a box we had to pick up at the post office. We had to have a permit, the limit was 10, and no roosters, so once they were bigger we brought most of them to a friend’s farm. We had a number of different breeds including 2 that laid colored eggs- light blue and olive green. Naturally we had an excess of eggs (which had a richer yolk color than store bought eggs) so mom would sell them for 20 cents less/doz. than the grocery store. I loved the experience; the chickens were a lot of fun to have around and very pretty. About the only annoying thing they did was get into the garden at times when we’d let them roam outside of their pen. (they had a large insulated coop for the winter months)

  5. I too have considered having a couple of chickens…but while we live outside the city limits, we also live in a neighborhood with covenants. While there is nothing in the covenants specifically about not having chickens, I have several neighbors very close that I KNOW would have a cow if I brought home chickens.

    We also have 2 cats…Uh-Oh and Beneigt would LOVE it if I brought home chickens :( so I’ve been trying to find someone close by to buy eggs from.

    The rural area I live in is inundated with the poultry industry…most small chicken farmers are not small anymore…they raise chickens to turn right back over to the big poultry companies. Therefore, fresh eggs have amazingly been difficult to find. I’m still looking though :)

  6. Chickens! We have 12, have had up to 20, and we love it. My husband’s parents and grandparents always had chickens—we’re talking thousands. They’d sell the eggs for $$. We have them because we have acres and acres of land and a love of gardening and all things fresh. My daughter says, “the eggs are so fresh they have poop on them!” I think it’s great if you have the space and time. It’s not really that time consuming but I’m comparing it to beef cattle or dairy cows. Chickens are easy. Try to get the Araucana chickens because they lay blue/aqua eggs! We have lost two to our lab so now our eggs are just brown, light brown, and white. I miss those blue eggs. Good luck!

  7. haha Adelle, one of my kids hates eggs. She has pushed them out of her mouth since the first time she tried them. We’ve even tried cheesy eggs (cheese is her fav flavor) but still no luck. The rest of the family loves eggs. P.S. don’t be afraid of bird, really they won’t hurt you. Geese are mean though,—chickens, harmless.

  8. We have several friends who raise chickens – it’s not been an easy process but they enjoy their fresh eggs.

    My two biggest reasons for not raising chickens myself:

    1. I am secretly terrified of birds. They are so pecky and those wee beady eyes… I was chased by geese as a child…

    2. I can’t stand the taste of eggs. I enjoy them in many dishes, but they must be heavily disguised with things like cream, cheese or chocolate.

    My children, however, love them. I happily buy mine three dozen at a time and they wolf them down!

  9. My dad grew up on a major chicken farm back east. I would love to raise chickens, but as of now, not happening. Fresh eggs are the best!

  10. I would love to raise chickens, but we have an incredibly tiny yard, and we prefer to use the little amount of square footage we have for flowers and veggies :-) BUT, we do buy chickens fresh from the farm about 3 blocks away from our house. Cheaper than store, and they taste WAY better!

  11. so interesting – 3 of my closest friends got chickens THIS YEAR, on their city lots!! it is definitely a growing trend. it’s been fun watching things unfold … chicken coops, etc =)
    we buy eggs primarily from a local farm stand … fresh, bright orange yolk, so nutrient-dense and delicious!

  12. what a great picture & how much fun for a kid to have all the animals that you had.

    when i was little, it seemed like everyone had chickens running around in their yards out in the country.

    we’re so blessed to have a friend who has a friend who has chickens & she acts as her friend’s “selling agent”. we get 2 dozen huge brown eggs every other week & they are fabulous. our grandkids eat scrambled eggs like crazy! the yolks are soooo yellow & they are the best.

  13. We actually raise chickens and have for just over a year now. I love having fresh eggs right at my fingertips! They have been a great lesson in responsibility for the kiddos as well. We do put the compost to good use; which is about the only thing keeping my garden growing this summer! If you can fix you up a space for four or five hens I highly recommend it.

  14. I too had a vision of raising chickens, so sweet and you get eggs too boot! Well my wife was not so keen on the idea so it never happened. Until one day about 6 years ago I looked out on my patio and low and behold a beautiful chicken, a nice plump fat Rhode Island Red. I was so happy , my wife could not say no to a “found” chicken. Well I ran down to the feed store and bought some chicken feed and started feeding my new found pet. After about three days of chicken poop everywhere, on my patio, my patio furniture and their cushions, this new found pet lost its appeal! I mean I had to hose off the furniture just to sit on it, so imagine my delight when I went out after about the 5th day and that darned chicken was GONE!!! So the moral of my story is be careful what you dream about because the dream can be so different from the reality. And if I ever get another chicken it will have to have a coop to live in! Now I just buy my eggs from a family up the canyon from us, $2.00 for a dozen of beautiful brown and green eggs, ahh the country life!!
    Blessings to you and yours Curtis and Sherrie

  15. We’ve thought about chickens ourselves but the concern with dogs, cats, and now coyotes always cuts that conversation short.

    Cute little Sandy there!!!

  16. We have started work on converting our backyard wooden shed to a chicken coop! We will be raising chickens for eggs and eventually for meat.

    I’m so excited!

  17. We have 5 lovely ladies in the backyard coop. They enjoy a 2 hour jog around the back yard each morning and provide lots of great entertainment for the family. We sure love having the chickens.
    Katie Jean

  18. I’ve often thought it would be fun to have chickens or a mini farm, but life just doesn’t seem to make way for it…we’re not home enough to care for it. I usually just buy from the store. We do have friends who have chickens and sometimes I’ll buy from them as well.

  19. There’s a farm 2mins from our house which sells fresh eggs, when you make scambled eggs or omlette from them the colour is so bright, so much better and tastier than the supermarket eggs!

  20. One of my best friends raises chickens. Actually, it has been her son’s project since he was in middle school. He tends the chicken and sells the eggs. I love to buy my fresh eggs from him.

  21. We live in an area where it is OK to have chickens AND a rooster, but it is just on the outskirts of a small college town. We currently have 9 layers and a rooster. I recently went from genetically modified laying mash to organic so my costs for feed tripled. The only way I could feasibly do this was to now charge $2 dozen for the eggs I sell to a couple of friends. They are more than happy to pay so little for the eggs, as my chickens are free-range on our farmette from early morning till dusk, and now are being fed organic mash. It’s a win-win for all of us. But…these are things that need to be considered before investing in your own flock. As for the manure, if you “free-range” it is literally all over the yard. I don’t mind, as we don’t have little ones running around anymore, but still, something else to consider. When I clean out the hen house, I put all the straw/manure in a compost pile for NEXT years garden. It has to sit for pret’ near a year before using.
    All in all, I LOVE having chickens!

  22. Would love to raise chickens… haven’t yet… even though we live (rent) on a farm. Someday. In the meantime – I continue to buy farm-fresh eggs – basically next door. I only love the brown eggs (don’t ask, I just do) and in fact, I’m off to get some later today.

    I loved this post. You’re continuing to encourage the dream…

  23. This post brought back many dreams of raising chickens! The wonderul orange yolks that vollumize when whisked, the manure for composting, the joy of collecting the eggs!
    I have often thought of raising chickens.

    But they are also a lot of work! So I’ll just drive down the road to my Amish farmer friends and but theirs!
    The picture of you when you were little is just adorable!
    You must have a wonderful friend to send you those “overnight” eggs!

  24. I think that even the eggs in the stores here are closer to farm fresh than in the States- many don’t come in cartons so you have to have your own or bring a basket! You can buy eggs on the side of the street or in the markets. My housekeeper used to buy eggs for me and she always got the ones with double yolks!

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