Archive for September 29th, 2010

Are Hens Right for Your City? 5 Reasons for Urban Chickens

Evanston, Illinois, city official overturned a 36-year-old law that prohibited hens within the city limits. Residents cite eggs, companionship, and fertilizer as reasons to keep feathered friends. Leah Zerbe of provided 5 great reasons to keep chickens!

Reasons why chickens belong in the city

#1. Urban chickens are “cheep” backyard city workers. Hens help recycle food and yard waste, which in turn stays out of landfills. In fact, The BBC reports that 50 people in the Belgian town of Mouscron received pairs of chickens from the town as an alternate waste-management system. Those progressive Europeans…

Now who wouldn't want this in your yard!? This is Sassafras, a Belgian bearded d'Uccle (from

#2. City chickens are an organic exterminating service. Hens eat all kinds of bugs and weeds and will rid your yard of ticks and other nasties!

#3. Urban chickens as soil savers.
Chickens turn the soil by scratching, which can turn your compost heap, mix leaf litter with dirt to create fertile humus, and fertilize as they go!

#4. Heritage-breed city chickens contribute to genetic diversity.

When you hear chicken,  you probably think “white hen,” right? There are many heritage breeds that factory farms disregard as useless for their agribusiness operations. Keeping heritage-breed hens helps keep genes in the pool. (But breeding… that’s a whole nother can o’ worms…)

#5. Chickens make you happy! I’ve never met a chicken that didn’t make me happy! Except that fighting cock I met in Ohio who nearly tore off my upper lip… Animals (and people) we love contribute to our emotional well-being by causing our brain to release oxytocin, a feel-good hormone.

So there you have it! Take this list, go talk to your city council, and make chickens legal in your city!

For the full article, click here.

Chickens now allowed to roost in Evanston!

Hats off to the Evanstoners who worked so hard for the right to the pursuit of avian happiness in their own backyards!

On September 28, 2010,  Evanston city council voted 6 to 3 to allow residents to have chickens, overturning a 36-year ban on chicken keeping. Residents will keep hens for eggs, fertilizer, and as pets.

There’s a catch, though: residents will have to pay a $50 licensing fee to keep hens.

Concerns included noise, small, rodent infestation, and predators; however, chicken supporters surveyed officials in 20 locales where chicken keeping is legal, and officials reported satisfaction with the existing laws.

A proud cock-a-doodle-doo for the Evanston Backyard Chickens group!

To read the Tribune article, click here.