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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

January 20, 2010


Business Week - Amanda Cundiff is among about 200 residents petitioning the District of Columbia to ease an ordinance limiting ownership of hens in the U.S. capital. To gather support for the rule change, she and other poultry backers are trying to convince neighbors that, unlike roosters, female birds don't raise a ruckus.

Cundiff belongs to a growing group of urbanites producing their own food in a quest for self-reliance and a smaller carbon footprint. Cities from Berlin, Maryland, to Brentwood, California, are rewriting rules so city dwellers can raise fresh eggs, much to the dismay of opponents who see the creatures as a noisy, unsanitary reminder of the countrys agrarian roots.

We need to get over this mentality that chickens are associated with poverty, said Cundiff, 31, who built a coop last February for her three Rhode Island Reds behind her home, a 10-minute walk from the Supreme Court.

As debates over health care and financial regulation engulf the capital, Cundiff and her allies are pushing for more avian rights. The locavores -- the name ascribed to members of the local-food movement -- insist hens coo quietly at sunrise and their manure makes great compost for a vegetable garden. . .

Janet Crouch, co-owner of Ideal Poultry Breeding Farms Inc., a Cameron, Texas-based hatchery, said the number of customers a decade ago who bought just a few chicks to raise their own eggs was less than 2 percent of Ideals sales. Last year, such retail sales grew to almost 35 percent of her business, she said. The company shipped 4.5 million chicks last year.


Anonymous eggsactly said...

Chickens are a lot smarter than you'd think. They're easily trained as opposed to rabbits which are quite difficult to train . Rhode Island Reds are bred for their large breasts, i.e. for meat and aren't the best layers. Do some research before you waste your money. You'll want a secure chicken pen or house and you'll need to keep your dogs and cats away from them. Anxious chickens are not good layers.The food value and taste of your homegrown eggs will be amazing.If you feed your chickens ground oyster shells with their chicken feed, cracked corn and veggie scraps are good, your eggs will have normal shells and not the pathetically thin and brittle while underlaid with a tough membrane that is so typical of commercially produced eggs.

January 20, 2010 7:41 PM  

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