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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Uncle Sam Expects You . . .

Small print:
"Even the smallest backyard has room for a flock large enough to supply a house with eggs. The cost of maintaining such a flock is small. Table and kitchen waste provide much of the feed for the hens. They require little attention--only a few minutes each day.

An interested child, old enough to take a little responsibility, can care for a few fowls as well as a grown person.

Every backyard in the United States should contribute its share to a bumper crop of poultry and eggs in 1918."

This another war effort to free food for troops. It is a patriotic act.

Today, there are HOA rules and city regulations and zoning ordinances. In earlier times there were not so many restrictions as to what a person could do in the backyard, especially regarding having chickens.

For me, raising hens for eggs is a means to get eggs from grass-fed hens, hens not brutalized in factories. I don't personally know anyone else who keeps hens. Vendors at the farmer's market sometimes do keep hens. But, the only personal friend who sells at the market does not.

Two hens per person is just about right. Since I put mine out of the house, the three of them don't lay enough for me. Of course, this is their third winter. They will be 3 yrs old in March.

Your turn
Do you live in a city and have friends in the city who keep hens? Do you keep hens?


  1. When I lived in Chicago, I found out that people can keep hens but not roosters (neighbors had them anyway) and also a pig or a goat. People tried to fight this ordinance to cancel it out but they never could get enough against because the livestock folks outnumbered the anti anything good folks.
    I still don't keep hens but you are convincing me to reconsider:)

  2. I love people who are passionate about chickens! Chickens are wonderful (and give food, fertilizer, pest control, and companionship!) I don't have any now because I rent, but when I get my house....hopefully this year...I will become a chicken lady in no time I am sure. I was told that of the top 10 largest towns in MT the place I live is the only one to ban chicken keeping. But, it is done anyways.

    Also, as an aside, Matt and I both adore these patriotic USDA ads encouraging chicken keeping, gardening, knitting, canning, conserving, etc. I wish the government promoted that agenda now. We have a war on and no one even knows about it because its all business as usual. It promotes independence when we've become so dependent. I think it would be a very good thing. And the art is always so wonderful.

  3. Oh, yes! And I really think everyone should be allowed to keep a flock. Our neighboring city doesn't allow chickens, and the feed store in town was actually required to post a notice that keeping chickens is illegal in that city when they were selling spring chicks. It's amazing how backwards we've become with certain things--of all the things to make illegal!

    As Beth said, I wish this was th agenda promoted by our government instead of Big Ag and the so-called "farm bill."

  4. LindaM,
    I totally understand the rooster ban!

    You will love keeping chickens, I promise. The art of these posters is captivating! You know, if we take care of ourselves as much as we can, someone else cannot make money from our labor, we mire ourselves in dependence. Plus, if we just ignore the war, it will allow governments to control our lives. Close your eyes; eat poisons in your food. Ngo, If some people had their way, it would be illegal to breastfeed in public. So, yes, Beth is right. Promoting instead of banning should be the government stance on chicken raising.

    Chicken lovers, UNITE!

  5. I'm part of a community garden in the cities Botanical Gardens.

    We have 3 hens and babysitting another 2. We are about 25 plots (so 25 families) sharing the eggs.

    We pay $3.00 for 6 which is 37 cents cheaper then the free range eggs at the store. And the money goes into quality hen feed and the maintenance of the chook house.

  6. FDU,
    The Botanical Gardens is babysitting hens? From where? I just cannot imagine a Botanical Garden here that keeps hens and has garden plots. At least you know where the hens are and what they are eating. It's fun to see your pictures and hear about your plot and Dolly working.

  7. We have two hens (chooks as we call them in Oz). We can keep up to six in the suburbs of Adelaide, but no roosters. I didn't want to buy six at once because then we would have six geriatric chooks in a few years and few eggs. My plan is to get 2 more every second year, which should keep egg production fairly high. Our two chooks provide a dozen eggs each week, which is most of what our family of six uses.


  8. Kate,
    Three years ago, I got ten chicks, gave away two roosters and four hens. That left me with my goal--4 hens. Now, only one lays about four times a week. However, besides age, I think the change from inside my house (night cage) to keep them safe for a year, they are cold and not accustomed to cold.

    I must say, that is a very good plan of yours. In the spring I plan to get one more pullet. Of course, egg production will increase. There is only me, so my egg needs are not high. For several years, i was giving eggs away. Thanks for the wise comment!

    Just curious, how old are your chickens when you get them?


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