Residents of Austin, TX are risking violation of city ordinances forbidding loud animals to raise chickens in their central city neighborhood backyards. It's partly a way to cut out-of-pocket expenses.
"At Callahan's General Store in Southeast Austin, sales of chicks and layer hens have roughly doubled from last year, manager Mike Young said. With grocery store egg prices rising - up about 50 percent from two years ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics - most people buying chickens say they're looking to save a little money by growing their own, Young said.
Some chicken buyers say they are seeking a local, sustainable and safe supply of eggs. Others just prefer the taste of fresh eggs.
Though roosters aren't specifically banned within Austin's city limits, the ordinance against animals that make "frequent or long, continued noise that is disturbing to a person of normal sensibilities" effectively bars rooster ownership for all but those with the most easygoing neighbors."