With the way the raising-chickens-in-the-city trend has taken off, we're expecting a whole new economy based on coop output. Any day now, kids selling eggs on the corner will replace lemonade stands.
Do you live in New York City, or Seattle, or Chicago, or London, or any other city where not so long ago it was necessary to visit a grocery store to get eggs? If so, you're probably up to your eyeballs in pickled eggs, deviled eggs, egg salad, egg creams, frittatas, and all the other stuff the neighbors are leaving on the doorstep. (Yes, these are the same neighbors who used to leave monster zucchinis in your mailbox.) If you want to retaliate by dropping off a dozen on the next-door stoop, here's how to get started:
Above: When Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs—the designers responsible for popularizing the puffy, tuffeted, Alice-in-Wonderland-at-a-tea-party aesthetic a few years back—moved to a ferry boat in New York City, they put a coop on deck. For $785, Victory Chicken will set you up similarly in New York City, delivering The Rosie Package—a coop, three hens, and a two month's supply of food— to your door. Photograph by Navid Baraty, via Flickr.
Above: What does it cost to keep chickens in the city? According to Mint.com, chicks are $1 apiece. Full-grown, egg-laying hens are $10 each. And costs spiral from there, from the price of organic chicken feed ($25) to investing in a coop (from $100 for a DIY version to thousands of dollars for a fancy store-bought run). Image via La Ferme de Sourrou.
Above: Is it wrong to get a chicken coop that's fanciful enough to be mistaken for a childen's playhouse? Not at all. You have to look at it, so it might as well be attractive. London's chicken farmers might want to consider the Marans Chicken Coop (for up to eight chickens); it's £299.99 plus £49.99 for shipping, from All Cooped Up. Image via Buttercup.
Above: In the Midwest, Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts—a network of backyard chicken farmers—offers advice on such topics as coops, food and supplies and "end of life" issues. Image via Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts.
Above: The Alexandria Chicken Coop and Run are $879.95 and $399.95, respectively, from Williams-Sonoma's Agrarian line.
Above: In the Pacific Northwest, Seattle Tilth offers classes on urban livestock and will be offering a tour, on July 14, of some of the area's urban chicken farms. Ticket prices range from $5 (for children) to $12 (for adult non-members). Image via La Ferme de Sourrou.
Above: The Seattle tour will include a stop at Floppy Ears Farm. Image via Seattle Tilth.