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:

Werner Herzog on Chickens from Tom Streithorst on Vimeo.

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.

Sold on urban chicken farming? This how-to video by the sustainable living advocates at ioby teaches you all the basics to start an urban chicken farm of your own:

Paul M. Davis


Paul M. Davis

Paul M. Davis tells stories online and off, exploring the spaces where data, art, and civics intersect. I currently work with a number of organizations including Pivotal and

Things I share: Knowledge, technology, reusable resources, goodwill.