New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Livestock

United Kingdom farm park attracts 100,000 visitors a year, with city dwellers learning about agriculture

dClick on image for larger file.

The thing about opening up your farm to the public, is that sometimes raising livestock isn’t as picture perfect as city dwellers think.

By Laura Poole
ABC Australia
Oct 3, 2014


Farmers know that sometimes new born lambs will die.

Despite the home truths, lambing time at Cotswold Farm Park in England, is one of its most popular times for visitors to come through the gates.

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October 11, 2014   No Comments

Silicon Valley Tour de Coop spreads enthusiasm for urban chicken farming


Hundreds of bicyclists toured 29 mini-ranches showcasing black Australorps, silver-spangled Hamburgs, golden sex-link and other breeds, as well as gardens and beehives.

By Sharon Noguchi
San Jose Mercury


Vanderlip began the annual tour three years ago, patterning it after the Tour de Cluck in Davis. Coop tours have sprung up nationwide, as a way to inspire urban dwellers to take up chicken farming, and to promote healthy eating, sustainable farming and building community. “There’s not a better way to connect with your neighbors and community than coop tours,” Vanderlip said.

Indeed, many tourist-cyclists found inspiration in the gardens they visited.

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September 29, 2014   Comments Off

Grand Rapids women appeal city crackdown on backyard farm animals

A pig named “Lord Bacon Dispenser the Third Duke of Hamelot” inside the “urban farm” behind Claire McGinn and Kendra Ritter’s Grand Rapids home on Coit Ave NE. The couple was cited for an odor violation and will appeal to the city next week. They have 10 chickens, five ducks, two bunnies, one turkey and one pig. Photo by Cory Morse.

Meet Spencer the pig

By Matt Vande Bunte
September 05, 2014


McGinn got ticketed this summer for violating city property maintenance code that prohibits livestock within 100 feet of any dwelling. She was also cited for “strong animal waste odor from the chickens, ducks and rabbit defecating in the yard,” according to the report of a city inspector.

McGinn appealed to the city’s Housing Board of Appeals, which started hearing the case last month and will reconvene 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, at the city’s Development Center, 1120 Monroe Ave. NW.

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September 18, 2014   Comments Off

Recording artist ‘Kimbra’ wrote and recorded at an Los Angeles urban farm

Kimbra taking a selfie with Ramses, the leader of Goudsmit’s flock. Just after this pic, Ramses lost his temper and chased Kimbra around the property. Photo courtesy of Kimbra and Rosa Goudsmit.

Kimbra said in an interview on Consequence of Sound that after the 2013 Grammy Awards, she needed a place without “too much stimulus” to write her new album.

By Jared Sichel
Jewish Journal
Aug 21, 2014


Kimbra said in an interview on Consequence of Sound that after the 2013 Grammy Awards, she needed a place without “too much stimulus” to write her new album. In Goudsmit’s words, Kimbra needed the laid back environment to “stomach the idea of living in L.A.”

Next thing, Goudsmit had a rising pop star in her house, writing and recording songs for her newest album, feeding her chickens, meditating and doing yoga in the backyard, and occasionally getting locked out of the house at night when Goudsmit forgot that her young housemate, unlike her, stayed awake past nightfall.

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August 28, 2014   Comments Off

Mayor of Calgary warms to urban chicken project

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he supports a trial for backyard chickens in a limited number of Calgary households to see how urban chickens might fare legally in the city.

Hughes, leader of the Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub plans to take more councillors on his tour of Calgary’s illegal but responsible coops.

By Jason Markusoff
Calgary Herald
August 24, 2014


Fortunes have improved for Calgarians who want to be legal hen-raisers, four years after council voted 11-3 against permitting backyard coops.

Only four of those 2010 skeptics remain on council, and one of them — Coun. Ray Jones — wants to help lead the way on resurrecting plans for an urban chickens pilot project.

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August 25, 2014   Comments Off

Animal Landscapers

animmowerTry animal calculator here.

A single cow can eat over 25 pounds of grass per day.

By Kate Folk
Move To Blog
July 25, 2012


The homesteading movement hearkens back to a self-sufficient, sustainable lifestyle that includes growing one’s own food, reusing greywater, and keeping livestock. Allowing animals to maintain the lawn makes a lot of sense. Instead of spending money on gas that pollutes the air and pesticides that poison the ground, homeowners can keep the grass trimmed while also feeding their animals.

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August 6, 2014   Comments Off

New York City Backyards Welcome Chickens and Bees

Photo by Ángel Franco/The New York Times. Link to slideshow.

Heard on the Street: E-I-E-I-O

By Ronda Kaysen
New York Times
July 25, 2014


There is no data tracking how many New Yorkers are tilling the earth — but it’s clear which way the wind is blowing. Last year, 5,000 New Yorkers attended educational workshops led by the New York City Compost Project, a program created in 1993. More than 250 honeybee hives are registered with the city, but beekeepers like Andrew Coté, the founder of the New York City Beekeepers Association, suspect the real number is higher. His association has 480 members, up from 25 in 2007.

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July 25, 2014   Comments Off

Challenges of the City Chicken in New York

Video story

By Sofia Perpetua
New York Times
July 25th, 2014

Robert McMinn, an urban homesteader in New York City, worked to be sure his neighbors and landlords were happy with his chickens.


July 25, 2014   Comments Off

Edmonton Urban farmer facing fine for backyard chickens


Kossowan doesn’t plan to fight the city about the complaint as he believes the bylaw will change eventually.

CBC News
Jul 21, 2014


“I apparently have three days to rectify the situation which I find a bit unusually short … or they will issue me a $500 fine for having hens in my backyard,” Kossowan told the CBC’s Tim Adams Monday.

City council will consider making changes this summer to the bylaw to allow people to keep backyard chickens. However, animal control officer Sabrina Bergin says until the changes are actually made, poultry is still prohibited within the city limits.

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July 22, 2014   Comments Off

Flint, Michigan tells city’s biggest urban farmer: Get rid of your chickens

Roxanne Adair holds one of her chickens, named Guinnevere, in a coop in the backyard of her Flint home. Adair is trying to get the city to change their ordinance against raising fowl within city limits. Photo by Samuel Wilson.

Adair has been one of Flint’s urban farming pioneers, helping to start the Flint River Farm

By Ron Fonger
June 16, 2014


The city’s largest urban farmer has been warned to send her small flock of chickens packing, but Roxanne Adair is hoping Flint officials change the rules against backyard fowl instead.

“I’m not going to willingly give up my birds,” said Adair, who has been given 30 days to relocate them from her home in city’s College and Cultural area after a blight ordinance enforcer cited her for harboring the chickens this month.

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June 24, 2014   Comments Off

Detroit Denies Last-Minute Reprieve for Goats

The hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel watched as some goats got to work in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit. Photo by Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times.

“Goats are an effective way to do landscaping.”

By Alexandra Stevenson
New York Times
June 10, 2014


The hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel has been denied a last-minute reprieve for his guerrilla urban farming project.

And now, the 18 baby goats that he brought to the Brightmoor section of Detroit, to help clean up the overgrown area blighted by the city’s financial crisis, will now be sold to the butchers.

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June 19, 2014   Comments Off

Right to Farm questions,’fiction,’ addressed by Michigan agriculture director

Katie Pearson raises chicken on Tabitha Farms in the city of Kalamazoo.

Raising chickens or other food for your own family’s consumption has never been within the scope of the Right to Farm Act and that has not changed.

By Rosemary Parker
May 14, 2014


Recent changes to the voluntary set of guidelines used to support the state’s Right to Farm Act have created a maelstrom of misunderstanding and misinformation about what the law does and does not do, including what protections it may or may not afford Michigan’s farming community. That misunderstanding continues to be amplified by social media reports which vastly misrepresent the facts and the potential impacts, especially as it relates to small and urban farmers.

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May 28, 2014   Comments Off

Food Safety News – Safely integrating urban agriculture

Frequent Watering of the Victory Garden Is Necessary During the Early Stages of Growth. ca. 02:1943
Watering the Victory Garden. 1943.

While growing food within city limits is exciting for urban dwellers, it also raises some unique food safety issues.

By Kelly Damewood
Food Safety News
May 2, 2014


To be clear, my opinion is that urban farmers and gardeners can absolutely keep livestock safely within the city limits. However, my experience has been that urban livestock keepers are also more likely to be novices. As a result, I have seen some unfortunate situations where people underestimate the amount of attention baby goats need or the dedication it takes to milk a goat every day.

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May 23, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver’s urban homesteaders go back to the land

East Vancouver’s Duncan Martin, of DailyEggs, has been installing two or three bylaw-compliant “Vancooper” chicken coops per month in city dwellers’ back yards. Phot by Trevor Brady.

“And when you make your own stuff, you’re in control of your own stuff.”

By Jessica Werb
Georgia Straight
May 14, 2014


When it comes to keeping chickens, the first name on Havlak’s list is Duncan Martin, designer and builder of the Vancooper chicken coop. Martin, an East Vancouver transplant from Vermont, builds the coops out of repurposed local cedar and sells them for $700. Since starting the business in 2010, Daily Eggs, Martin says, he’s been installing about two to three of them a month.

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May 22, 2014   Comments Off

Urban Agriculture as a Strategy for Animal Welfare

Around seven-tenths (69%) of EU citizens claim to have some knowledge of the conditions under which animals are farmed in their country. However, few are fully confident in the extent of this knowledge with only 12% saying they know ‘a lot’ on this matter. Rather, the majority (57%) say that they possess ‘a little’ knowledge with 28% claiming to know ‘nothing at all’.

Urban farms connect citizens to agriculture on a personal level, which may be a more effective means of generating interest in farm animal welfare.

By Lindsay Nakonechny
January 2014
Fellow, Animal & Wildlife Welfare


Now why is animal welfare important? Besides many ethical concerns, animal welfare confers many benefits including animal health, food safety and quality, reduced profit loss, and sustainable farming. Despite this significance, many consumers cannot afford time to research animal welfare standards, nor have access to farms where they can witness livestock care firsthand.

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May 21, 2014   Comments Off