New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Livestock

Chickens for rent: Goffstown farm offers an easier way for home chicken farmers to take wing

Christine Templeton holds one of her Buff Orpington chickens, one of two breeds she and her husband, Brian, will rent for 26-week terms to customers who want to try home chicken farming without having to care for the birds through the winter. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

The Templetons are raising 120 egg-laying chickens on their 13-acre farm, two miles west of St. Anselm College.

By Michael Cousineau
New Hampshire Union Leader
Feb 10, 2018

Excerpt:

Lydia Sobocinski has wanted to raise chickens in her Windham yard since she moved from Massachusetts 15 years ago.

“I just kind of fell in love with the idea,” she said last week.

But concerns over how to raise them and what to do when winter arrives kept her wishing – until she saw a Facebook post on renting chickens.

[Read more →]

February 18, 2018   No Comments

Chickens are helping senior citizens fight loneliness in a major way

A few little chooks are making big changes in the lives of elderly patients, helping them fight depression and dementia.

By Jessica Salter
Telegraph
31 Oct 2014

Excerpt:

Owen Turnbull is giving a tiny five-day-old chick a bath in the sink of a communal launderette. The chick, which is chirping away as he talks to it, is one of four orphans. ‘Their mam died three days ago,’ he says, in his soft Geordie accent. ‘I found her when I went to feed them. I was sad about losing her – I do get attached to them.’

[Read more →]

February 17, 2018   No Comments

Canada: Quails – Big hopes for a small bird

Ben Glassen with one of the quail chicks he’s raising in an aquarium in his Port Moody home. He says the little birds have great potential for sustainable small-scale cooperative backyard urban farming to provide eggs and protein. Photograph By Mario Bartel/The Tri-City News

Glassen said the quail’s small size, quiet demeanour, low-cost care and maintenance, and short lifespan make them ideal for small-scale urban farming, avoiding many of the problems that can come with backyard chicken coops.

By Mario Bartel
Tri-City News
February 6, 2018

Excerpt:

The Port Moody resident envisions friends and neighbours in his historic Moody Centre neighbourhood turning over a small part of their backyards to raise the tiny birds for their eggs and meat.

Here’s his plan: Glassen would move his small, portable coops around the yards every day, and from yard to yard every week or so, caring for the birds himself by providing them with food and water. The homeowners would benefit from the natural pest control as the quail hunt and peck for grubs and insects while fertilizing the grass with their droppings, and they would have ready access to a supply of eggs as well as, when the males mature after two months, meat.

[Read more →]

February 12, 2018   No Comments

Chickens and Goats in the Backyard: Raising Livestock in Chicago

The publication Modern Farmer called Chicago “the only large urban area in the country that never explicitly outlawed the rearing of farm animals.”

By Evan Garcia
Chicago Tonight
February 5, 2018

Excerpt:

Some Chicagoans are stocking their kitchens with milk, eggs and honey from local sources—in some cases, as local as their own backyards.

Raising animals like chickens, rabbits, ducks, bees and even goats is perfectly legal in Chicago.

[Read more →]

February 11, 2018   No Comments

One West Central resident’s lament for her rooster, banned by Spokane’s urban farming rules

Mr. Roo, back when he was still allowed to roam free within the confines of West Central. Daniel Walters photo.

So for the past 20 years, she had the occasional rooster, partly as first-line of defense against an attack. Roosters are more aggressive, more willing to put up a fight to protect the hens against an invading army of chicken-killers.

By Daniel Walters
Inlander
Jan 29, 2018

Excerpt:

“It’s the natural order of the flock to have a rooster,” Lackaf says. “There’s a social balance there. They’re a good defense — even if they’re not strong enough to fend off a predator, they will sound an alarm.”

But back in 2014, the city passed new urban farming rules.

“We increased the number of chickens but got rid of roosters,” City Council President Ben Stuckart says. “Because they’re loud.”

[Read more →]

February 4, 2018   Comments Off on One West Central resident’s lament for her rooster, banned by Spokane’s urban farming rules

A Cleveland priest discovers one of the dangers of urban farming

“Contrary to what some of the media reported, this had nothing to do about the chickens or stealing eggs. It was a random attack and may have been gang related.

By Phillip Morris
The Plain Dealer
Dec 20, 2017

Excerpt:

I had to go see Father John Kumse’s black and white chickens for myself. Word on the street was that the birds almost cost the priest his life.

He was shot at three times last Monday night after retrieving eggs from the chickens, which he keeps in a fenced yard behind St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Collinwood. The story is beyond bizarre.

[Read more →]

December 30, 2017   Comments Off on A Cleveland priest discovers one of the dangers of urban farming

Chicken DIY: 20 Fun-to-Make Projects for Happy and Healthy Chickens

Forthcoming January 16, 2018

By Samantha Johnson (Author)
Daniel Johnson (Photographer)
Lumina Media – CompanionHouse Books

Farmer and author Samantha Johnson takes a practical approach when it comes to building environments for her chickens. “Chickens are generally easy to care for and inexpensive to keep,” she says. “The required infrastructure for a flock of chickens—housing, fencing, and feeding/watering equipment—is minimal and well within the reach of a DIYer who would like the satisfaction of building these items for him- or herself.”

[Read more →]

November 19, 2017   Comments Off on Chicken DIY: 20 Fun-to-Make Projects for Happy and Healthy Chickens

Canada: Forget backyard chickens, council shifts focus to food security in London, Ontario

“A small victory for chickens” says animal welfare group after council rejects proposal to allow backyard laying hens #ldnont

About a dozen animal welfare supporters poured into the city’s gallery to voice their disapproval

CBC News
Nov 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Londoners will have to hold off on raising backyard laying hens – and current coop owners will have to continue flying under the radar.

Animal Liberation Alliance London, From Their Facebook page:
“Small victory for chickens tonight as city council voted to remove back yard chickens from the cities agricultural plan. Small victory because they did it for all the wrong reasons. We are still not recognizing chickens as having a right to not be exploited by humans. Most of the councillors voted against it because they saw chickens in the city as an unnecessary burden or a nuisance.

[Read more →]

November 16, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Forget backyard chickens, council shifts focus to food security in London, Ontario

Those backyard chickens could give you salmonella, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says

Tanya Keith, of Des Moines, Iowa, and her daughter Iolana feed their chickens in the backyard of their home, in Des Moines. Charlie Neibergall AP file.

The CDC traced 10 outbreaks back to backyard poultry over the last year, the most ever recorded by the CDC. Seventy percent of those who fell ill reported contact with live poultry in the week before illness

By Joshua Tehee
Kansas City Star
October 20, 2017

Excerpt:

While backyard chicken coops have become popular in recent years, they aren’t always legal and there is an underground “urban chicken” movement in many major cities, according to World Watch Institute. Grassroots efforts in other cities have led to ordinances that allow for limited numbers of hens within city limits, according to the site.

Partly, the trend is an extension of the larger urban farming movement, Carol-Ann Sayle told World Watch Institute. She co-owns a five-acre farm in Austin, Texas that is walking distance from the state capitol, according to the website.

[Read more →]

October 26, 2017   Comments Off on Those backyard chickens could give you salmonella, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says

Canada: Saskatchewan family forced to sell goats after losing court case to town

The goats supply three litres of milk, per day, to the family. (Submitted by Miranda Friske. )

Arborfield, Saskatchewan, creates bylaw prohibiting owning livestock

By Samanda Brace
CBC News
Oct 16, 2017

Excerpt:

The family was recently told to get rid of the goats that have been living in their backyard after town council approved a new livestock bylaw, and a judge ruled against their goats being allowed to stay.

“They were worried the goats were going to cause problems, but they didn’t cause any problems and they still went ahead,” Friske said.

Friske and her husband purchased their goats, Abby and Azur, in October 2015 after they realized they were both intolerant to cow’s milk.

[Read more →]

October 26, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Saskatchewan family forced to sell goats after losing court case to town

Interview with Sundari Kraft: “People eat more veggies when they take part in gardening”

Kraft is the founder of Sustainable Food Denver, founding co-chair of the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council, and founder of one of Denver’s first multi-plot urban farms.

By Brian Frederick
Food Tank
Oct. 2017

Excerpt:

FT: One of your legislative successes is a policy to allow Denver residents to raise chickens, ducks, and dwarf goats within the city limits. How practical is this in an urban setting and how do you hope this will benefit individual health?

SK: Anytime someone is considering raising an animal—whether it’s a chicken or a dog—they need to make sure that they have the appropriate space, tools, and time to adequately care for that animal. That being said, city-appropriate food-producing animals can absolutely be raised successfully in an urban backyard. These animals are no more difficult to care for than the pets that we’re used to seeing in cities (like dogs and cats)—it’s just that most of us haven’t grown up with them and we’ve lost the knowledge of how to care for them. Luckily, there are a number of books focused on urban homesteading, as well as classes in some cities focused on backyard chickens or goats.

[Read more →]

October 19, 2017   Comments Off on Interview with Sundari Kraft: “People eat more veggies when they take part in gardening”

Farmers sign up to run world’s first floating farm in Rotterdam

Andrew Cobner, junior vice president of the British Cattle Veterinary Association, told DutchNews.nl that cows might feel the effects of a sea voyage, according to a 2015 article on vehicle motion and animal welfare.

By Sean Boztas
Dutch News
Oct 5, 2017

Excerpt:

The world’s first floating farm, to be built in Rotterdam, has recruited two dairy farmers and a herd. Albert Boersen and Myrthe Brabander will be the faces of an experimental Floating Farm and their Montbéliarde cows its moos.

The AD reports on Thursday that the grass is already growing for Dutch floating projects developer Beladon, which plans to build a 1,000 square meter floating platform on the harbour. The aim is to produce 800 litres of milk a day and, potentially, yogurt or Comté-style cheese.

[Read more →]

October 12, 2017   Comments Off on Farmers sign up to run world’s first floating farm in Rotterdam

Venezuela’s government tries to sell its hungry citizens on the nutritional benefits of rabbit

Lapping up lapin – Venezuela’s war on cuteness

The Economist
Sept 21, 2017

Excerpt:

But the hutch-based solution that Mr Maduro has hatched has run into a hitch, as Mr Bernal discovered when he visited the beneficiaries. “People were naming the rabbits and taking them to bed,” he told Mr Maduro in a cabinet meeting broadcast on state television. Some had put bows on them, Mr Bernal complained. “People must understand that a rabbit is not a pet, but two-and-a-half kilos of meat with high protein and low cholesterol.” Re-educating them is not easy. “We’ve been taught that rabbits are cute,” Mr Bernal lamented.

[Read more →]

September 27, 2017   Comments Off on Venezuela’s government tries to sell its hungry citizens on the nutritional benefits of rabbit

South Africa: Urban pig co-operative needs land to stay in business in Port Elizabeth

About 15 Motherwell residents have formed a co-operative to farm pigs. (Photo: Joseph Chirume, GroundUp)

“We formed this cooperative in 2016 after discovering that urban residents, especially those living in townships, were struggling to get pork.

By Joseph Chirume
News 24
Sept 13, 2017

Excerpt:

Mzimkhulu Ngece, 51, reiterates Nolutshungu’s point: “We need a better place to secure our pigs and equipment. We have many piglets that do not have a safe place to stay. They end up roaming the streets. Some are knocked down by cars. We also want to secure the structures to protect them from criminals. This would help us live peacefully with some residents who don’t want pigs near their houses.”

He says they are fortunate to have a communal water tap close to their pig shelters. “We use containers to fetch water and supply the pigs. However, the metro is experiencing a dry period with little water left in our dams. We would prefer to have a huge water tank to harness rain water as a way of saving municipal water.”

[Read more →]

September 22, 2017   Comments Off on South Africa: Urban pig co-operative needs land to stay in business in Port Elizabeth

Venezuela’s ‘Plan Rabbit’ encounters ‘cultural problem’

President Maduro said Plan Rabbit had encountered early setbacks.

The leader did say that the “rabbit plan” had not got off to a good start and the minister of urban agriculture, Freddy Bernal, said there had been a “cultural problem”.

BBC
Spet 14, 2017

Excerpt:

“When he came back, to his surprise he found people had put little bows on their rabbits and were keeping them as pets, it was an early setback to Plan Rabbit.”

“A lot of people gave names to the rabbits, they took them to bed,” Mr Bernal said.

The minister urged Venezuelans to start seeing rabbits “from the point of view of the economic war”.

[Read more →]

September 14, 2017   Comments Off on Venezuela’s ‘Plan Rabbit’ encounters ‘cultural problem’