Archive for April, 2012

Chickens and Property Values

One of the common complaints of village boards when considering allowing chicken keeping is “But property values will go down.”

Urban Chicken Advocates of Nashville (UCAN) examined the property values of cities that allow chickens and determined that there seems to no direct correlation between chicken keeping and property values. To read the article, click here.

REMINDER! April 14, 2012: Green Metropolis Fair

Come out this weekend for the Green Metropolis Fair!

Join Home to Roost and Backyard Chicken Run at the Green Metropolis Fair. This fun, day-long event has something for the whole family! This year it is at the Green Exchange. Meet animals, learn about I-GO cars, ask a composting expert a question. For more information, head to the Green Metropolis website.

Northbrook, IL, Shoots Down Chickens

In a disappointing 5-2 vote last night, the Village of Northbrook, IL, razed hopes for backyard chicken keepers. Attendees felt the trustees had made their decisions prior to the meeting, rather than entertaining the evidence presented.

This, of course, overshadows the Cubs 7-4 loss over the Brewers.


Poultry at Feed Store, Harlem and 55, Summit, IL

As of April 10, 2012,the Feed Store (Harlem and 55) currently has

  • sexed ISA brown and black Australorp pullets
  • straight-run Javas and coturnix quail

Will be getting on 4/20

  • sexed ISA browns, buff Orpingtons, silver-laced Wyandottes, araucanas
  • unsexed bronze and white turkeys
  • mallard, Pekin, and blue Swede ducks

For a link to their location, see the Resources tab.

21 April, 2012: Earthfest in Oak Park

Join Home to Roost at Oak Park’s family-friendly green festival!

The Village’s third annual celebration of green living – Earth Fest – is schedule for 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sat., April 21, in the LEED Gold-certified Public Works Center, 201 South Blvd.

This year’s event will focus on the local, sustainable food movement. Chef demos, kid-friendly activities, a community mural, farmers, and eco-focused vendors will be included in the day’s events.

Chef demonstrations will be provided throughout the day by four local restaurants including Constructive Chaos in River Forest, Eyrie, The Perfect Dinner, and Marion Street Cheese Market.
In addition to chef demos, the nearly 50 vendors slated to be at Earth Fest will be providing plenty of hands-on activities and information for all ages. Some of the day’s scheduled highlights include:

  • Free composting and organic gardening consultation
  • Canning demonstrations
  • Recycled art projects for kids
  • Car sharing information
  • Shedd Aquarium’s Right Bite, with information about sustainable seafood
  • Energy efficiency tips
  • Information on co-friendly landscaping
  • Details on raising chickens in Oak Park

A new addition to this year’s festival will be Recycle Alley – an on-site opportunity for residents to bring items to recycle that aren’t part of the normal blue bin recycling program in Oak Park. Items to be recycled include: blue jeans, glasses and hearing aids, prescriptions medication, CFL light bulbs, cell phones, rechargeable batters, and corks.

For more information on Earth Fest 2012, call 708.660.1443 or e-mail Information is also posted online at

Annapolis, MD, Approves Chickens

After a particularly protracted debated, which lasted until 1 AM, Annapolis, MD, city council approved chicken keeping.

…the most recent bill allowed for up to five chickens per residence and requires a setback of 5 feet from the property line.  All coops must comply with building codes. There will be no roosters allowed, only chickens*. And this legislation has a sunset clause of three years. If the council takes no further action, chickens will once again be banished from the City.

To read more, check out the original article. 

*The author means hensChicken refers to both genders; hen is female, rooster is male.

The Atlantic on Chicken Welfare

This article addresses the new Egg Products Inspection Act, which it later refers to as “lipstick on a pig.”

In the industrial egg factories where most of America’s eggs are laid, the newly introduced Egg Products Inspection Act would, if passed, make life easier. The bill grew from a compromise between United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States. It would mandate replacing the nation’s 280 million chicken-sized battery cages as they’re called with group cages equipped with amenities like dust baths and perches, while banning some of the cruelest practices associated with egg farming.

To learn more about supporting this act, go to the Humane Society’s webpage. 

You can read the text of the bill here. 

To nix this bill (see Scott’s comment below), go to Stop the Rotten Egg Bill (

9 April, 2012: In Praise of Chickens author lecture and signing

 Special Lecture & Book Signing
Monday, April 9 at 7pm-8:30pm – $8 at Door Cash or Check to Wicker Park Garden Club
Jane Smith – Speaker 
Author – PhD. Northwestern University
Wicker Park Field House – 1425 N. Damen
Reservations Required –
PARKING: Parking on Damen, Schiller, LeMoyne, Wicker Park Avenue
Metered Parking on Milwaukee
CTA: BLUE Line (Damen/Milwaukee/North Ave Stop) walk 2 blocks south
BUSES: Damen Avenue, North Ave., Milwaukee Ave, Division Ave.

Reserve a Seat – $8 at door

Reserve a Book – $14.95 at door

In Praise of Chickens, a breezy tour of chicken wisdom from Aristotle to Mark Twain, with many beautiful antique illustrations, is now available from booksellers everywhere.

Ever wonder if chickens have their very own vocabulary, how to get hens to lay in winter, or why churches have weathervanes shaped like roosters? Can’t remember which royal court it was where the ladies hatched eggs in their bosoms? Whether you want the earliest recorded instructions on how to hypnotize a chicken (1646) or nineteenth-century tips on sending a year’s supply of fresh eggs to your child in college, you’ll find the answer here, along with portraits of prize-winning breeds both fierce and fluffy.

In Praise of Chickens is full of information both practical and frivolous (and who can have enough of either sort?), wonderful pictures, and ample poultry trivia for at least a year of dinner party or Chicken Meet-Up conversations.
Jane S. Smith writes about the intersection of science, business, popular taste, and social history. She received her B.A. from Simmons College and her Ph.D. from Yale University and has taught at Northwestern University on topics ranging from twentieth century fiction to the history of public health. She lives in Chicago, where she works in a very small room with a very large window.

Lead in Backyard Eggs

Yes, there is a small risk of lead in backyard eggs, especially in buildings constructed before 1978. For more information, see this article.

If you live in Chicagoland and are concerned about lead levels in your soil, contact Susan Kauffman, who tipped me off regarding the lead in eggs issue. She runs a soil analysis service and offers a soil sampling service.

Billings Blog Counts Its Chickens

We’ve all been wondering how many places are raising chickens. Well, the Billings Backyard Hen Initiative has tabulated them! Check out this amazing post!

(And, yes, it looks just like my blog, but, no, it’s not my blog. You still need to come here for the original Home to Roost Urban Chicken Consulting!)