May 10, 2009

Backyard chickens a trend?

Some city dwellers in Arizona have formed a back-to-the-land movement of sorts, providing their own eggs from their own chickens.

Phoenix allows residents to keep chickens as long as they have permission, in writing, from everyone who lives within 80 feet of the coop, The Arizona Republic reported Saturday. Noisy roosters are more tightly controlled, but they are not necessary for egg production.

While no one keeps statistics on the number of small-scale chicken farmers in Phoenix, Rachel Bess, who keeps 10 hens, says the numbers are growing. She instructs local residents on Raising Chickens in Your Backyard through the Phoenix Permaculture Guild.

I thought I would teach a class or two, maybe 20 students in each class, Bess said. For the last year and a half, we've been teaching one of two classes a month, and it's at least 30 people per class.