Chicks in the City
When we think of raising animals for food, we think of farms in the country, but some of this might be happening in your neighbor’s back yard! On This is Atlanta, we talked to some urbanites who raise goats for milk and chickens for eggs and meat right here in the city.
Many of them expressed an interest in knowing where their food comes from and a concern for what they put in their bodies. Animals raised on “factory farms” are often exposed to food additives, antibiotics, hormones, and even pesticides. But if you raise your own animals, you have control over what they eat. And the distance the food travels from animal to plate is no further than from back yard to back door, so there’s no environmental impact due to transportation. Raising your own food can be a healthier, greener way to eat. But none of the folks we talked to would do it if it wasn’t enjoyable, and the number of urban flocks keeps growing.
Because of increased interest in back yard flock keeping, the Oakhurst Community Garden has begun a class about raising chickens in the city, and Georgia Organics has organized a self-guided tour of urban coops. If you’re considering raising chickens (or goats) in Atlanta, these are great resources for finding out if the back yard barnyard is for you. But be sure you check into local laws and ordinances. They vary from county to county and town to town throughout the metro area.