Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Urban Food Trends - City Chickens

Meet Miss Lucy. To the delight of eight kids under the age of 10 she was one of the hosts of the party I attended this weekend. To my delight, Lucy got busy and actually laid an egg while we were hanging out by the pool. A creamy orangish-brown globe, it was only slightly larger than the eyes of the kids as they all got to touch the still warm egg.

I've noticed that the Dallas Morning News has a columnist, Mariana Greene who includes her chickens in her articles about gardening. And another acquaintance (Hey Lynnette!), even has a blog about her Dallas city chickens.

When Miss Lucy was released from her cage, about half of the adults present said, "I want one", including me. After all, her owners Richard and Lisa Chamberlain have the benefit of a daily fresh egg, and Lucy takes her job seriously at insect control. Having said that, chickens can be tough on vegetable gardens in their search for tasty grubs, and my two (6 month old) puppies might find one just a little too entertaining (right Deuce, Tres?). A chicken coop or structure is necessary to protect them from predators and the elements, and you need to stock special chicken food.

David Holben, dad to Sterling (14), Avery (12) and Noah (7 and 3/4) has already been scoping out chicken coops. Growing up with chickens and rabbits, he wants his own kids to have the same experience raising food. "It's a great feeling to go out and collect an egg every morning, and really know where it comes from". They are starting with four chicks, not as pets, eventually the chickens themselves will be on the home menu.


Frankie said...

Lucy enjoyed the admiration! She is a fun addition to the family. My son, Stephen, wanted me to let you know that special chicken feed is not a requirement. You can feed them people food as long as you don't give them meat, tomatoes or root vegetables. Chickens like grains and fruit. Lucy's favorites are mandrin oranges and pineapple!

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