How to Find a Flock Fit For Your Lifestyle
City urban chickens
Chickens can thrive in a city environment. As an extreme example, consider the family who raised two chicks to mature egg-laying hens in their Manhattan high-rise apartment (in the shadow of the Empire State Building).
The New York Times covered this family’s story in 2007, noting that, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, roosters aren’t allowed in New York City, but chicks and hens are. Always check first with your city’s codes, zoning, and regulations regarding raising chickens.
In cities, space is always a premium. Consider bantam chickens, the smaller-sized chicken breeds that require less space for a coop and an outside run. Smaller chickens can mean smaller size eggs, although some bantam chickens lay large eggs relative to their body size. Perhaps you might consider having 6 bantam chickens versus 3 large (standard) hens.
A pint-size flock of two to three bantams may fit comfortably in a narrow side yard, or you may want to trade your postage size lawn for a coop and outside pen. Also consider whether you have a space that could be cleaned up by the alley or off of your back porch. Chickens are entertainment and a fresh food source, all in one.
Chickens can free range in an urban environment if they are permitted first under zoning, and second, in a more limited way than in a suburban or rural environment. City lots are small, but can accommodate small flocks under close supervision. Community gardens, thrilled with working together growing food are joining forces and including a community chicken flock.
Perhaps you work long hours, eight hours or more each day. Because you aren’t around much during the week, and your lifestyle raising chickens may be one of a more contained chicken flock in a more protected coop and outside pen set-up.
On weekends, when you’re relaxing with the Sunday crossword puzzle, you can let your chickens out to free-range when you have more time.
Don’t be caught off-guard. Even in the city, plenty of predators are interested in your chickens. Predators preying on chickens can be found in a city environment, just as much as in a rural environment. Raccoons and dogs are main predators in a city environment.