Alas, it looks as if the once red-hot backyard chicken fad is losing ground amongst the Michael Pollan-inspired urban pioneer set, because chickens are, well, a big pain in the ass. And they don't accessorize well, either.
From this story on nbcnews.com
Despite visions of quaint coops, happy birds and cheap eggs, the growing trend of raising backyard chickens in urban settings is backfiring, critics say, as disillusioned city dwellers dump unwanted fowl on animal shelters and sanctuaries. Hundreds of chickens, sometimes dozens at a time, are being abandoned each year at the nation’s shelters from California to New York as some hipster farmers discover that hens lay eggs for two years, but can live for a good decade longer, and that actually raising the birds can be noisy, messy, labor-intensive and expensive.
Because chickens are notoriously hard to sex, some backyard farmers wind up with roosters, which are often culled and killed because they can be noisy, aggressive and illegal, and, of course, they don’t lay eggs at all. In addition to the noise, many urban farmers are surprised that chickens attract pests like rats, and predators including foxes, raccoons, hawks, and even neighborhood dogs. When they get sick or hurt, they need care that can run into the hundreds of dollars, boosting the price of that home-grown egg far beyond even the most expensive grocery store brand.
The problem, it seems, comes when people realize that actually doing so takes some effort, and forces you to make the kind of honest and sometimes painful decisions you never have to make in a supermarket, at least in regard to animals.