Farm-Fresh Eggs in the City
Does the thought of really fresh eggs and milk appeal to you? Add the word organic and you have my interest! Have you ever thought about keeping chickens and goats in your backyard?
To tell the truth, I haven’t, but the residents of Denver have given this a considerable amount of thought. Monday night, the Denver City Council passed a proposal allowing Denver residents to have up to six food-producing animals on their residential property. Of those six animals, there can only be a maximum of two goats.
Tristan is amazed at seeing chickens in a Denver subdivision backyard.
I never thought I’d see goats or chickens in cities and subdivisions! The bill passed on a 7 to 3 vote.
Backyard Farms Across America
Backyard Farms are springing up all across America. This movement is about promoting agriculture in backyards, side yards, front yards and vacant lots. It embraces “sustainability,” which in this context means wisely using renewable natural resources.
Families keep a small clutch of chickens for eggs and/or a couple of goats for milk. They say these animals make great pets and are fun for the whole family, neighbors, friends and kids. I wouldn’t know, we had regular pets when our kids were growing up: dogs, parakeets, a cockatoo, guinea pigs, rabbits, mice (is a mouse a regular pet?) and attempted a kitten but allergies prevailed.
A backyard chicken coop in Douglas County.
Having a sweet, quiet, egg-laying hens (NO roasters, which crow at all hours) provides its owners with quality food and helps protect the environment. The mad dash to the grocers is no longer needed. For fresh eggs you walk over to the hen house in your backyard. How easy is that?
I’m still not sure how a pet goat is kept in a backyard, so I checked it out online. Goats are said to be easy to care for and relatively disease-free. Who knew? You need strong fencing and a pen with a shelter. Dwarf or small breeds can even use a doghouse!
For milk, goats need to be breed every two years. (That means a baby goat.) Goats eat hay or graze in a pasture. Now, that sounds really good to me. We live on a half-acre. I could see a goat providing a grass clipping service…just by munching.
Backyard Farms Growing
Denver is not alone. There are many other cities, which allow food-producing animals: New York City, what’s that? Yes, New York City allows them. Also, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle. In Colorado other cities include: Lakewood, Arvada, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. Douglas County allows four animals per home. That includes chickens and small goats.
Denver Backyard Farms says raising food-producing animals in your backyard is desirable for the following reasons:
* High-quality, fresh, organic (if desired) food supply raised without chemicals.
* Sustainability: fewer trips to the store and fewer deliveries from agribusiness means less fuel used, less air pollution, and less traffic congestion, i.e.: a lower carbon footprint. Chickens and goats eat your leftovers. Goats can clean up your weeds, and chickens can also remove weeds and insect pests out of your yard.
* Fun, fun fun. Chickens and goats are F-U-N. Their antics amuse and delight their owners. Neighbors all want to see them. Kids love them. Owning them creates neighborhood.
* Animal welfare improved. If you get all your eggs from a half-dozen hens who cavort in your backyard, that is six fewer chickens who will toil in tiny, windowless boxes until their value as producers is spent and they are killed for pet food, never having seen the light of day, a la the Matrix.
I would add two more:
* When you want it, backyard farm animals guarantee the highest quality food products: No GMOs and organic.
* Backyard farm animals provide a way to hedge coming inflation and possible food shortages.