Ann Arbor to allow chickens in backyards

3 06 2008

How bad do you want fresh eggs?  In Ann Arbor, you’ll be able to actually keep chickens in your backyard.  No roosters.  Just hens.  I know most of you city folk are scratching your head right now wondering how you can get eggs without roosters.  Unlike mammals, eggs are fertilized AFTER the hen lays them, so no rooster is necessary to actually lay the eggs.  Rooster’s are not necessary to produce the egg.  They are necessary to produce a fertilized egg.  The eggs you buy at the store are usually unfertilized eggs.  The only place you would ever get fertizlized eggs would be a farm.

I don’t know if this is a good idea or not.  The ordinance will not allow the slaughter of the chicken and there’s no way for your chickens to reproduce so it would be a challenge to actually save money by raising chickens.  Most likely, you’re going to end up losing money.

Still, there are those in Ann Arbor who are excited

“I’d like my children to understand where food comes from. This is Ann Arbor, we’re different and we like it. We have dairies that deliver and community gardens. I’d would love to have this local food connection,” said Jennifer Hall.

Other comments during the public hearing that preceded the vote focused on the value of locally grown food and compatibility of backyard chickens with broader ideas about environmental sustainability.

Take your kids to a farm then.  I just can’t see why anyone would want to raise chickens in an urban environment.  Yes, the fresh eggs would be nice, but you’ll never be able to afford enough chickens to meet your demand.

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2 responses

4 06 2008
Tess

Ummm…. no, not after the hen lays the egg. That would be fish or frogs.
chicken details: http://www.msstate.edu/dept/poultry/pubs/is1610.htm

For many years, Ann Arbor had many “islands” of neighborhoods and even individual lots that were not incorporated into the city. While they were physically within the boundaries of the city, they were not regulated by city ordinances. Just up the street from me was one such place, and the family raised chickens for years and years. Often they’d have a little sign at the end of their driveway to announce “fresh eggs for sale.”

Perhaps they will start again? I don’t think we’ll be raising hens, but it’s interesting that some folks will.

4 06 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

That’s what happens when I don’t proofread before I post. Thank you for the correction. It would be pretty hard for a rooster to fertilze an egg after it’s laid.

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