U.S. city dwellers flock to raising chickens.

Author:Block, Ben
Position:Livestock breeding in urban areas - Brief article

An "urban chicken" movement has swept across the United States in recent years. Cities such as Anne Arbor, Michigan; Fort Collins, Colorado; and South Portland, Maine, have all voted in the past year to allow residents to raise backyard poultry.

Raising backyard chickens is an extension of a renewed interest in urban farming. After the trend first gained popularity in London, England, large numbers of U.S. city dwellers began to raise chickens in Seattle and Portland, said Jac Smit, president of the Urban Agriculture Network. Within the past five years, the movement has expanded to Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. "Chicken has become the symbol, a mascot even, of the local food movement," said Owen Taylor of New York, who knows of at least 30 community gardens that raise poultry, mostly for their eggs.

Advocates say home-raised livestock or agriculture avoids the energy usage and carbon emissions typically associated with transporting food. Buying local...

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