Skip to comments.City Folk Flock To Raise Small Livestock At Home
Posted on 01/10/2009 1:10:37 PM PST by JoeProBono
If you picked up a carton of eggs at the store this week, they probably set you back about $1 or $1.50. The organic, cage-free kind costs more like $3. But some urban and suburbanites are skipping the store entirely when it comes to things like eggs and honey and turning instead to their own backyards. Whether from tighter food budgets or local-eating ideals, more and more people are petitioning their cities to allow small animal husbandry.
Urban chickens on Brad's sun porch.
We live in southwest Houston, and I’m not kidding: there are 3 hens and 1 rooster in the yard next door to us.
We hear them in the mornings — and I guess they are laying eggs.
My daughter told me yesterday “I don’t care — the next time those neighbors bring us BBQ chicken or chicken fajitas, I’M NOT EATING ‘EM!”
I had a couple of pet chickens. We didn’t eat them, but they are dumber than dirt and not the cleanest critters. If I lived in the country I don’t care what my neighbors have (ok, pigs next door might be less than desirable) but in the city, there’s a reason livestock is prohibited.
I also had rabbits (I convinced my parents we would eat them later—but of course, no, they never were a meal!) I wouldn’t mind living out in the country again and having critters (I think I could even eat them now).
I would rather raise rabbits than chickens. But I would rather eat chickens than rabbits. (and chicken eggs)
As far as food goes, it would most likely be easier to feed pigs than chicken or rabbits...in a city that is. Pig meat is likely more valuable than chicken or rabbit too.
I suspect that if you did a scientific study, rats would be the best option for city meat production. Try finding someone that will eat ratmeat though.
Seriously. People in the Andes eat them. They gain well on only a little bit of feed, they can stand cold weather, they pack on quite the little bit of meat.
Since urbanites don’t have feed growing naturally (due to the lack of land), they have to bring in all their feed. They should be most concerned about what farmers call “conversion efficiency” - ie, how many pounds of meat do you get per pound of feed in. Sheep have a higher conversion than cows, for example, and goats a tad higher than sheep, and chickens higher yet. You get the idea.
Moreover, they had no clue how to act like chickens, as they've been caged all their lives and never got the chance. They don't know how to scratch in the dirt, don't know how to take dirt baths, don't know they're supposed to roost at night, don't know they're supposed to dive in when we give them table scraps.
Luckily we have acreage and are going to be swimming in eggs in the spring, plus chickens are funny to watch.
Please don’t tell the chicken I had for lunch!
But sheep taste so much like mutton...
I’m just curious how chickens get rescued from a factory farm?
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