Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Raising Chickens in Your Home: A Win-Win

By R. J. Ruppenthal

From the Community Blogs.

When I wrote the Fresh Food From Small Spaces book, I happily included a chapter on raising chickens on a small scale for fresh eggs. My hope was that we could get a few more people started with this, even as more readers probably had a greater interest in the gardening, sprouting, mushrooming, or perhaps fermenting aspects of the book. Even in some small homes with even smaller yards/gardens/lawns/patios, it is very possible to raise chickens on a small and humane scale and harvest some fresh eggs each week.

When I wrote the book, I had no idea that the chicken chapter would become one of the most popular parts of the book and one reasons a lot of people are buying it or seeking it out at their local libraries. There has been a huge trend toward more home food growing in the last year or two, and the chicken trend is proving enormously popular. Considering that chickens can peck up your insect pests, fertilize your garden or lawn, and produce fresh eggs at the same time, I think it’s a win-win situation.

The main obstacle for many folks is the outdated set of laws that may exist in their local communities. I go into this in detail in my book, while making it clear that people must check the laws in their cities or counties before doing something that could be illegal. Every time I give a book talk now, there is at least one person in the crowd who has a story to tell about changing local laws for the better. Once upon a time, these laws were motivated by health scares or worries about noise, but nowadays, people realize that hens are not that noisy, you don’t need roosters to produce eggs, and the health of home grown chickens is far better than those that are factory farmed. (Did you see the news report yesterday from Consumer Reports saying that 2/3rds of the factory farmed chickens they tested contained salmonella or campylobacter? Ick…). Anyway, I could tell you about two or three cities that have moved recently to change their laws to allow residents to keep a couple of egg-laying hens, and there is a definite trend in this direction. If your municipality does not allow this yet, go to a council meeting and tell them to get with the program.

Cluck, cluck. How would you like your eggs? Homegrown, please! Or at least local and organic…

A licensed attorney and college professor, R. J. Ruppenthal has never given up on his gardening passion, even when his day jobs led him to a more urban life. He currently teaches at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, California, and lives and gardens in the San Francisco Bay area.

We are Farmily: Everyday Life on Sole Food Street Farm

Food is the medium. The message is nourishment in its most elemental and spiritual form.That’s how author Michael Ableman sees the role of Sole Food Street Farm and the food it sells to markets, restaurants, and individuals.In the following excerpt from his new book, Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier, […] Read More

Who Produces More Eggs: Ducks or Chickens?

During our monthlong focus on homesteading in September, we received a number of great questions with several of them centered on … ducks and chickens.Here is one such question that came in via Facebook:“I have read that ducks produce more eggs over a longer lifetime of productivity than chickens, but recently talked with a farmer […] Read More

From Farm-to-Table to Farm-to-Everything

No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from hospital and office cafeterias to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants.Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Today, most of the food consumed in […] Read More

The Three Cs of Farm-to-School

Most people know about the three “R’s” – reading, writing, and arithmetic. But, have you heard about the three “C’s”?If you, or your kid, is at a school that takes part in the Farm-to-School movement, then you may already know about them.October is National Farm-to-School month, and in their book Farm to Table, authors Darryl […] Read More

Homesteading: Highlighting Our Need For Each Other

Homesteading isn’t meant to be a solitary adventure, or done in isolation.Building and living on the independent farmstead takes at least one partner, if not several. That’s the advice of authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty. In their book The Independent Farmstead, The Sow’s Ear model for regenerating the land and growing food covers everything from […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By