Pet Chickens

Urban Farming

Sustainable Living with Chickens

raising pet chickens for sustainable living in an urban environment



If the idea of getting a few pet chickens hasn’t quite struck a chord with you yet, consider this:


  • Millions of urban households have discovered they like the feeling of being largely dependent on themselves, by providing their own food through gardening in whatever space they have. When space is lacking they take to gardening in containers. Many raise from three to a dozen pet chickens . . . some even keep a miniature goat for milk. And, some brave souls are also raising bees for honey. One of those is an online acquaintance of mine from the Cape Cod area. She is really into bees as part of her and her family's sustainable living plan. Check out her website, at She has some great photos there,you'll enjoy it. 

 Many times, since their chickens are pets, they can remain within city zoning law guidelines and they’re able to share their bounty of delicious farm fresh eggs with their friends and neighbors, promoting a peaceful co-existence. Sometimes this acts as “hush money” if they have a rooster, too.  


  • If they have the land, they’re able to dig up a small area for vegetables, cultivate it and replenish vital soil nutrients by adding composted chicken manure and other household waste. Their chickens rid the soil of undesirable bugs and worms.  

Like Hula-Hoops, Bell Bottoms, and

“I Love Lucy” Re-Runs


In a poor economy, proud and responsible people prefer to contribute to their own food bank . . . and they love sharing their extra bounty.


Urban farming isn’t such a new concept, though. It’s a recycled idea from the past, recently popularized by the First Lady’s garden at the White House, and Martha Stewart’s highly publicized and charming flock of chickens. The government encourages this trend in a similar manner "Victory Gardens" were promoted in 1941.


And, this trend is increasing. Hobby Farm Magazine recently published the premiere issue of their new magazine called 'Urban Farming'. From planting to harvesting, through canning and freezing . . .  it’s all covered in detail, including the vital role of chickens. And the 'Chickens' magazine they put out a few years ago is now very popular, too.


When my grandparents (and no doubt yours, too, depending on your age) were young Grandma raised a few chickens, planted a vegetable garden, and when possible owned a cow. She canned fruits and vegetables and baked bread once a week. Housewives earned “butter and egg money”. They churned cream, which rises to the top of a bucket of milk, into butter, and gathered up extra eggs from the chickens, selling them to people in nearby towns.


Back in the 'olden days', the women insisted upon going with their husbands to the feed store to buy grains for the livestock, so they could select just the right printed pattern on the cotton feed sacks. The sacks, when washed, were sewed into dresses for little girls, or shirts for boys. Sometimes they dyed the cotton fabric if a certain color was desired.


Now, people who are able to are swarming to buy five or more acres and beginning a new life that largely mirrors that of their grandparents or great grandparents. Many have home based businesses, thanks to internet access. With modern farm tools, appliances, and modern animal husbandry processes, the workload is far less stressful.


Old time farming compared to today's urban farming and sustainable living


Farming in 1946. The Little kid is my Dad. The plow horse was named "Jimmy-Boy", he was blind in one eye, and refused to let anyone ride him. Their farm was in Illinois.




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