My son and daughter-in-law live out in the country and they have 16 chickens. I’m so jealous, not of the effort that it takes to raise chickens, as little as it appears to be, but of the delicious eggs they have every day. I’ve been eating some of them and it’s quite an eye-opener. They’ve got really bright orange yolks and they scramble up to a warm, sunny yellow, unlike the anemic things you get at the grocery store. Moreover, I trust what these chickens have been eating: mostly organic kitchen scraps.
There are a host of reasons for the growing trend. “Locavores” hope to avoid the carbon emissions and energy consumption that come with transporting food. Chicken owners and poultry experts say eggs from backyard chickens are tastier and can be more nutritious, with higher levels of supplements like omega-3 fatty acids. Their production cost is cheap: you can buy chickens for as little as a couple of dollars, and three hens will likely average about two eggs a day. You can also use their waste to help revitalize a garden. “There’ve been recalls on everything from beef to spinach, and I think people want to have peace of mind knowing their food is coming from a very trusted source,” says LaBadie. “As gas prices go up, and people realize how food is connected to oil and transportation, they are bound to realize they can get a higher quality product cheaper if they get it locally.”
So here are my questions:
- Do you know anyone who remembers urban chickens during WWII?
- Do you know of anyone who is keeping chickens somewhere in Syracuse?
- Do you think it’s an idea whose time has come?