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Digital Subscriptions > Chickens > Urban Chickens 2019 > Pick Up Chicks in the City

Pick Up Chicks in the City

Your guide to mastering chicken keeping in the suburbs and even the city.

In my grandmother’s youth, a small family flock of chickens in the suburban yard was commonplace. It wasn’t a hobby so much as a way of life. In tandem with a garden, putting food on the table directly from the land was how it was done. After World War II, a massive shift in the way Americans eat began to take place.

With the advent of highway systems and the growth of cities, food was more easily transported, and grocers could stock their shelves with exotic foods grown some distance away. Eventually, food was mass-produced on large farms and trucked to local grocery stores rather inexpensively. Acquiring food in this way soon became incredibly convenient for the typical American family.

Trade artisans, such as bakers and butchers, began to disappear, as it became easier to stock a kitchen or pantry with everything from under one retailer’s roof.

Santirat Praeknokkaew/SHUtterStoCk
Make sure you know your city’s rules and regulations before starting your flock.
SHERSS/SHUTTERSTOCK

Know The Law And Your Rights

To find out about your city’s chicken laws and ordinances, go to the website backyardchickens.com.

There, you can search by state to learn all about chicken L.O.R.E.

(Laws and Ordinances and your Rights and Entitlements): backyardchickens.com/atype/3/Laws

Almost simultaneously, many suburban and rural communities created regulations against the keeping of domestic chickens. Some cities outlawed the keeping of chickens within their limits altogether (although others, such as New York City, never changed regulations and still allow backyard flocks to this day). With the resurgence of self-sufficient philosophies and the reclassification of chickens as pets rather than livestock, many cities are now overturning their ordinances and allowing backyard chickens once again.

Are Chickens Right for You?

Almost anyone can raise chickens, but is keeping them right for you? Whether your city or town has recently overturned ordinances or never shed its rural roots to begin with, this article covers all of the concerns, costs and considerations you need to think about before embarking on backyard chicken ownership.

Your City’s Rules and Regulations

Contact your city’s health and zoning boards to see if chickens are legal within the city’s limits. If you’re lucky, your town may have municipal codes posted online for the public to read. Look under headings labeled “Animals” and “Zoning” — these two sections will likely provide some answers. If your online browser offers a search function, search for words like “fowl,” “poultry,” “livestock” and, of course, “chickens.”

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About Chickens

Urban Chickens 2019, Best Breeds for Small Space Living, Diet option for a City Flock, Free Range in your Yard, Your guide to backyard sustainability, And More.......