Urban Fold

Chickens Aren't Just For Countrysides Anymore

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."

Full Story: Austinites' backyard chicken flocks grow



clinging to the 'burbs

This is really annoying. Austin should just ban all forms of detached housing within the city limits to increase central city density. As gas prices continue to escalate people will voluntarily relocate from the suburbs into the city proper. As people relocate the suburban band surrounding the city can be dismantled and the land can be returned to what it was 50 years ago; small farms supplying the city with locally grown food.

Screw raising chickens and vegetables in your backyard. In the long run that won't cut it. There is no way to grow enough food for a family on your standard 1/4 acre suburban lot. To even grow enough food for one person requires a minimum of 1 acre of land and that is under optimal conditions. Vegetable gardens/chicken coops are merely a temporary measure that will occur before the more drastic steps which I have outlined. It's like people really think that they can keep their suburban lifestyle by just turning their yard into a garden and trading their SUV for a Prius. Sorry, but it just doesn't work that way.

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