What came first, the recession or the chicken eggs?
Last week I blogged about the value of buying whole chickens at the supermarket instead of the boneless, skinless breasts that come prepackaged and cost more. Turns out there's a growing movement of people who are taking it a whole step further by raising their own chickens in cities across the country.
The Urban Chicken Movement, the Kansas City Star reports, is gaining ground in places where it's legal to own chickens, like New York, Chicago, Portland, Seattle and Madison, Wisc. But even in spots with laws against it -- like Kansas City, where chickens must be kept at least 100 feet from the nearest home or business -- folks have hen-pecked their way above the law, raising the poultry for eggs, meat and pets. The website BackYardChickens.com has 30,000 members and adds 100 more every day. "There's nothing better than a fresh egg," an animal control worker told the Star.
In Miami, I haven't heard about many people raising city chickens for foodie or budgetary reasons. But urban chickens are such a nuisance here that the city has a whole team assigned to rounding them up. It's quaint to be awoken by the sound of a crowing rooster, if you live on a farm...in a city, not so much.
I wrote about Miami's Chicken Busters, a successful crew that has chased down and bagged about 10,000 chickens, selling them to local farms and giving the money to city charities. "To catch a chicken, you have to think like a chicken," the lead chicken catcher told me at the time. I always thought it should be profiled on the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs.
Here's the video that ran with the Chicken Busters story -- it's one of my all-time favorites. Check it out. (All this chicken talk is making me think of Arrested Development's chicken-dance compilation.)