Keeping Chickens in New York City

egg and urban chicken coopIf you visit new York City, especially the South Bronx, don't be surprised to see the odd Urban Chicken Coop on your travels. Keeping chickens in New York City is legal and it is becoming more and more popular especially in these difficult economic times.

A recent article in the NY Daily News online by Nicole Lyn Pesce, discusses a community project called the City Chickens Project which was started in 2005 by Owen Taylor. The project covers all aspects of urban chicken farming from training, materials and chickens. The aim is too make food which has been grown locally available to New Yorkers.

Taylor's philosophy behind this project can be summed up in his own words: 

"Raising chickens in New York City is not unusual," says Taylor. "It's legal, it's sanitary, and if anything, we're going back to normal, to the city's agricultural roots, when everyone used to own their own chickens."

There are now fourteen chicken coops in various parts of New York. The number of people interested in urban chicken farming has increased considerably and there are more than 500 members of the online Chicken keepers Meet-up group.

Most of the hens in the the Project are a cross between White Leghorn and Rhode Island Red. These birds were hatched from eggs and looked after by school students. The chickens were a project of the Queens County Farm Museum, which is a fantastic farm just 30 minutes from downtown Manhattan. Watch the video below.

It is felt that raising chickens and growing vegetables in New York is a great way for children to learn the benefits of producing their own fresh and healthy food. 

It is hoped that the hens will end up laying approximately 4,300 eggs a year and that these can be given out to members of the community.

One of the hoped for benefits of this successful project is that abandoned and burnt out lots in parts of New York, especially the South Bronx,  may have the potential of being turned into gardens and small urban chicken farms. This is somewhat similar to allotment farming except that here there is the potential for many members of nearby communities and their neighbours can get involved as well. With so many people living in apartments, urban community farms are a fantastic way to get city dwellers to experience the fun and satisfaction of producing their own food.

This project in New York is something which can surely be emulated in many other cities. Perhaps before too long the urban chicken coop will become a familiar site all over the country. Original Article.




URBAN CHICKEN COOP           two story coop

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