Cooped up in the City

Cooped up in the City

I would love to one day have a hobby farm, but where our home is located, we are probably in the best place we could be for our family based on our neighbors and the convenience to many things in walking or biking distance.  According to a website called our exact address scores an 83, which is not far behind dense downtown places like New York City and San Francisco.  We will continue to make the best of it right here, growing whatever I can in the limited yard space we have.

Update July 2021: Walkscore has changed their methodology for calculating walkability. Our location now scores a 48. Big change! But we actually have more services and shops since I posted this a decade ago. We regularly walk to the library, Sprouts grocery, the post office, the drug store, our favorite restaurant across the park, the “kids” walk to LBCC and ride the bus to CSULB. What changed? Did they decide most middle aged folks won’t walk 0.6 of a mile?

We can’t legally keep most livestock on our tiny lot, but we can keep chickens.  Chickens are integral part of Permaculture in our small yard.  Here are the most common reasons people like us want chickens here an urban or suburban backyard:

  • Easy and inexpensive to maintain after the initial coop setup. (coops cost on average $200 to $2000 depending on what you want.)  I built our coop from mainly recycled materials.
  • Locally produced source of protein.
  • Fresh, great tasting, organic eggs (we feed certified organic chicken feed to ours.)
  • Chemical Free Weed and Bug Control.
  • Manufacture of fertilizer and compost additive.
  • Chickens can be fun, friendly pets with personality if you hand raise them.
  • Confidence knowing they are cared for in a humane manner, rather than in a battery cage or fed a poor diet.
  • If they free range and have a variety of foods, the eggs are far more nutritious than a conventional factory farmed egg.  See Mother Earth News.
  • They make less mess and noise than the average dog.  Unlike a dog, chickens don’t make noise at 2:30 AM, unless you have an illegal rooster.
  • Scratching in the mulch (micro tilling) and leaving behind droppings, they improve the quality of our soil.
chickens in cute coop
Cochins in our postage stamp size city backyard.

I would love to know what you think about this.

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