Chickens: the basis for every backyard

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From her keyboard (and her creative mental genius) to our Tumblr, we present to you Hailey’s first authored blog post!

You may be thinking: chickens…what the cluck? But… seriously, this is a real thing!   

On January 31, 2012, The San Diego City Council made changes to amendments concerning urban agriculture.  These new municipal codes allow for residents of San Diego to own miniature goats, bee hives and, yep you guessed it, chickens!  Along with these backyard additions, codes were also added that benefit farmers markets and retail farms. These changes were passed in hopes of creating a healthier San Diego with greater access to healthy and sustainable foods.  Just about anyone in the City of San Diego can own chickens under a few restrictions.

Now, why would anyone want a bunch of clucking chickens running around their backyard? Believe it or not owning chickens comes with several eco-friendly pecks…I mean perks:

  • The most obvious (and delicious) is eggs: Nothing beats a fresh egg, especially if it’s from your very own chicken.  When you buy eggs from your typical grocery stores, they can be expensive and not always the best quality.  Having backyard chickens, however, can help save you money and provide you with great tasting protein.  

  • Fertilizer: Chicken poop actually makes for a great fertilizer for your garden since it is so high in nitrogen (which is really good for soil).  Chickens can also help keep your garden pest-free as bugs are one of chickens’ most favorite snacks.  They eat bugs from your garden that would normally harm your plants (and keep you from using harmful pesticides).

  • Compost: Chickens also make for great composters.  They eat pretty much anything and absolutely love leftovers. Instead of throwing away food scraps that are leftover from a meal, feed it to the chickens!

  • They are excellent pets: Why have a dog or cat that you constantly need to give attention to and train, when you can have chickens!  They are low maintenance and don’t cost much to care for. Plus, they live outdoors so there’s no need to worry about them ruining your perfect white carpet.  In addition, these eco-friendly birds benefit from being your pets just as much as you benefit from having them.  Chickens that produce eggs we buy in grocery stores live in huge factory farms.  These places have terrible living conditions that don’t allow them to do normal chicken things (walk, flap their wings, chill with other fellow chickens, etc.).  Basically, when you have chickens living in your backyard, it’s a healthier lifestyle for them.  Even better, you aren’t supporting those factories that create these poor conditions for the chickens. 

The 1:1 team thinks that backyard chickens, goats, and bees are a great way to be sustainable.  If you want to learn more about how to have chickens of your own, San Diego Sustainable Living Institute holds classes on keeping chickens.  For other success stories, pictures, and more information on keeping chickens visit Backyard Chickens.  C’mon don’t be a chicken, start raising chickens!