19 Jul '12, 11am

Flying the coop: The scrambled world of backyard poultry

Flying the coop: The scrambled world of backyard poultry

Jennifer Keeler feeding her chicken. Here are a few things you should know about keeping backyard chickens: Poultry are “poop machines” — but cleaning up after them is “less maintenance than a cat’s litter box.” You can let them range free around the yard — just watch out for predatory eagles (and your garden: “Chickens will annihilate it.”). Chickens are “not pets,” except when “they’re very much our pets.” Clearly, fowl guardianship is a highly personal endeavor. I gleaned these scraps of wisdom last Saturday, when I attended a citywide open house of sorts for backyard chicken enthusiasts. On Seattle Tilth’s annual Chicken Coop & Urban Farm Tour , the keepers of the local flocks open up their coops and let the curious poke around. Of course, I was among them. I’ve been taken with the fantasy of backyard chickens for awhile now — waking in the morning to soft bawk-bawk-ba...

Full article: http://grist.org/urban-agriculture/flying-the-coop-the-sc...

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