Site search



I Want Chickens, Too!

Would it be weird to buy a house just to have chickens in the backyard?

Over on I interviewed Jonathan Feist about the chickens, ducks, and geese he’s raising, and it reminded me that I really want chickens. I don’t have a yard, so I have no place to put them right now. But if I had the space I’d definitely have city chickens. Maybe I’d even buy them a cute little Eglu to live in. (Or maybe not. It would probably get claustrophobic during our long winters.)

Jonathan and Debbie, named after his boss, Debbie Gelinas. Flattering? Photo by Roseanne Saalfield.

Jonathan and Debbie, named after his boss, Debbie Cavalier. Flattering? Photo by Roseanne Saalfield.

My parents have kept chickens forever, and growing up I could always count on there being eggs in the fridge. Of course, they actually have a farm with lots of space for chickens to roam. Even so, they have the tiniest ones possible: bantams. Bantams are adorable, lay eggs that are pretty big relative to their size, and are small enough to make a backyard coop seem roomy.

It’s just the next step in urban farming, as people look to eat as locally (and humanely) as possible. Most cities allow keeping hens at least, if not roosters. It’s illegal in Boston, but Cambridge allows it if they’re kept as pets (not for slaughter). Same with beehives. Now that’s a thought….

Of course, we probably have a few intermediate steps between growing basil and parsley on our porch and raising chickens, but I can dream, right?


Comment from Danielle
Time September 24, 2009 at 2:20 am

You might want to check out a book I just read—Farm City, by Novella Carpenter (though it’s not exactly veg-friendly). Urban farming w/ bees, chickens, rabbits, and eventually pigs. I can barely keep MINT alive, but oh, a girl can dream. . . .

Comment from Debbie Cavalier
Time September 24, 2009 at 11:46 am

What the picture caption neglected to mention is that he named her after his boss because the chicken, like his boss, is perfect in every way. ; )

Comment from Jonathan Feist
Time September 24, 2009 at 11:51 am

Of course, Debbie the chicken is the smartest, kindest, and most beautiful chicken of the flock…. Practically perfect in every way, if you ask me.

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time September 24, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Thanks! I actually just read about Farm City yesterday and added it to my Amazon wishlist. It definitely sounds livestock-heavy, but it’ll be interesting to see her progression from guerrilla gardening to raising pigs.

Pingback from Pragmatic Environmentalism
Time September 30, 2010 at 9:59 pm

[…] One year ago: I Want Chickens, Too! […]

Write a comment