Thursday, April 19, 2012

Urban Chickens? Cock A Doodle Doo Yes!

On Saturday, my spouse and I were walking in Binghamton, an upstate New York city of about 47,000. residents, when we heard....

a crow.  A rooster crowing?

We heard it again. No doubt about it.  Years ago, we owned our own chickens, which we raised for eggs, for meat, and for entertainment.  We are quite familiar with crowing.

We walked by the house we thought the crowing was coming from and didn't see any easily visible evidence of chickens.

But chickens are in Binghamton, and they are legal.  As they are in a number of cities all over the United States, including some that may surprise you (New York City, for example).  Generally, ordinances permitting chickens will
a.  allow a maximum of 3 or 4 chickens per family;
b.  allow hens only, not roosters;
c.  require the chickens be confined to a yard or coop;
d. may or may not allow slaughter on the home premises; and
e.  many times will require a permit that you must pay for.

Are you interested in the nitty gritty of raising chickens? My experience is rural and not urban.  I've distilled some of my general knowledge which I am happy to share with you. 

Of course, I can't give advice on issues of how to build a coop in a city, or fence your feathered friends in.

As for that rooster in Binghamton....its legality may be somewhat questionable.  It seems the Binghamton ordinance doesn't outright prohibit them but does discuss the noise issue.

Our local paper (still mad at them, see my post of earlier this week) featured an article on urban chickens in today's issue. You'll enjoy the video interview on the website - made me a little bit nostalgic.  By the way, the featured people on "Margaret Street" are NOT where we heard the rooster crow.

Would we keep chickens today?  Probably not, as we are enjoying our empty nest too much to have to worry about chicken sitting when we are gone.  But maybe one day.....if we talk that talk of local food, we should walk that walk, too?

Do you keep urban chickens?  If not, have you thought about keeping some?

2 comments:

  1. Loved this, it's beautifully light hearted but so useful if chaickens are the way you want to go. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love this... The whole image of country in an urban setting has my imagination just rocking.... Rooftop gardens with chicken coops, a restaurant theme, a rap/country band... Ok, sorry, too much coffee this morn. :)

    ReplyDelete

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