In a handful of cities, urban chicken farming is all the rage. The vaguely prehistoric Gallus gallus domesticus is a common sight here in Austin: not a week passes without a roving band of escaped chickens appearing in my neighborhood, and the nearest neighborhood bar faces a fenced-off empty lot housing an entire flock.
Chickens are the ideal animal for urban farming: they're small, domesticated, and as filmmaker Werner Herzog argues in this anti-chicken rant, they're not exactly the sharpest beaks in the barnyard:
Some swear by chickens as household pets, a phenomenon documented in the beguiling PBS film The Natural History of the Chicken:
They're also relatively easy to take care of, consume kitchen waste and produce compost, and of course, provide food for carnivores and lacto-ovo vegetarians alike.