A City Flock
Over the weekend NPR had a segment on urban livestock and the increased interest in it. You can listen to the short story here:
As you probably know Ann Arbor recently passed Ordinance No. 08-19 (Chapter 107 Animals) which allows you to purchase a permit to raise hens. Roosters aren't allowed but you don't need one to get eggs for eating.
However, raising animals may be a big step for some and AADL has some great resources to help you learn more:
- Living with chickens : everything you need to know to raise your own backyard flock - This book is easy to read, is very complete and includes an introduction from the American Poultry Association. Whether you want to protect your chickens from predators, pick a breed or even raise your hens all the way from the egg, this book has it covered. The author recommends getting heavy, small square wire for your coop as just because the predator can't fit though the "chicken wire", if a paw can then your hens are in danger (I'll leave out the gruesome details).
- Keeping chickens : the essential guide to enjoying and getting the best from chickens
- How to raise chickens : everything you need to know
You can also find some good books on MeLCat:
The Ann Arbor News also had a post in early 2008 about raising chickens, including this video of Jamie Innis a Dexter 4-H member:
If it still seems intimidating, some enterprising farms are beginning a "rent-a-coop" program. They take care of housing them and making sure the hens get everything they need. You visit as often as you want and pick up your eggs. Similar to a share program but also a possibility if you want to ease into things as you can take the chickens home once you become more familiar with the process. Once farm looking into this option is Destiny Farm Gardens near Brighton, who also makes coops and delivers them. If you know of other places near by that provide a similar service please comment.