I love my town. I love being within walking distance of almost everything I need, including my job. I am so appreciative of being able to have enough land to grow decent amounts of food within a decidedly urban environment.
One of the only drawbacks of this combination is my city's current ban on livestock of any kind within city limits. Fortunately, many other cities are starting to get into this idea and allow families to raise chickens in a well-regulated manner. (Heck, they're GIVING chicks away in Atlanta!)
Why is urban chicken raising a good idea?
Here's some great info from urbanchickens.org
Local source of protein
We can grow fruits and veggies, but not protein!
Eggs from happy chickens taste better, and you get to put a face to your food.
Source of fertilizer
Chickens make poop, poop makes compost, and compost makes great gardens! (and it's FREE!)
Natural pest control
That's right, chickens eat bugs! The nasty ones that you don't want in your garden!
Chickens are friendly and make good pets. At the very least they're not jerks.
You can be a part of the local food movement!
In fact, you can help your friends and neighbors do so, too!
Ok, have I convinced you yet? If so, check out this website and see if your city has an ordinance against chickens.
If you live in Iowa City, PLEASE sign this.
I had always expected that I'd need to leave this city eventually, but being able to keep chickens would really extend my time here. It would improve the general quality of life and strengthen our community. See if you can do the same.
Any experience raising chickens? If you're looking for a cute story about the relationship between children and the chickens they raise, check out Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.