Chickens: The New Family Dog?

March 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm 5 comments

Chickens as pets urban living trends

By Randy White
Editor Lawns to Gardens

Move over Rover, and make way for the new family pecker.

Yes folks, we have arrived at a crucial turning point and marker of change. If you plot major Peak Oil and system change events in terms of time, we have a new historical marker to add to the chart. The Age of Urban Chickens has returned!

I wish I knew about raising chickens. Here is a blog that knows everything about it. But what I do know is many Portlanders are now entering the “Chicken as a Pet” market, creating new job opportunities along with it.

After all, when the economy is tanking the way it is, people are looking for ways to sustain themselves. Chickens scratch up the ground, poop on your lawn, and give you free eggs. What pet can give you more? The best part is that the cat may chase it around but can’t really do anything to it since the chicken can peck back. Like my friend Mark says “It’s like any great disfunctional family.”

My neighbor happens to be a man who has skills in woodworking. In this crap economy, he could easily start building and selling custom chicken coops. I know this because there are people, right now, willing to shell out between $100 – $300 for a chicken coop, depending on features.

Features, you ask? That’s right. This is the coolest time ever to be alive, because as Peak Oil kicks in, entrepreneurs and engineers get to redesign civilization in real time. With all the low-cost technologies that make it easy for engineers and artists to build prototypes at a low cost, there are going to be some awesome new things that people build while we reorganize our hyper-local human ecosystems.

By that, I mean that in order to functionally navigate the downward slope of the energy crash, we need to be fun and creative. Life could really suck if we let it and don’t grasp onto this opportunity to reorganize our lives for the better. So imagine the kind of creative chicken coops that people like my neighbor will be building (from scrap and reclaimed materials, of course).

Prefab chicken coops

Smart builders can make the coops include dual functioanlity, such as adding in a a storage shed or make it a portable Rave station as this example shows:

There is no limit to our creativity. All we need to do in order to save ourselves are a few simple things. Here they are, in order:

1) Take the top 20 artists from Burning Man
2) Pair them with the top engineers of our day
3) Fund their projects such as cool, low cost chicken coops that serve multiple functions

And think beyond existing demand. Marketers today are thinking like today. Uh uh. Think like tomorrow. Right now.

While you do that, I’m going to think up names to call my chickens.

Entry filed under: Around Portland, Community Building, Creativity, environmental, future, How To, Peak Oil, Permaculture, Solutions, Trends, Videos. Tags: , , , .

Trends To Watch As Peak Oil Continues The Forbidden Fuel

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. d.a.  |  March 24, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Timely links! We’re receiving eight chicks and a pair of young geese this Friday. Spouse built our chicken coop from scratch. Since we have several acres, they’ll have free run of the property (we’ll bring them back into the coop at night for protection). Looking forward to the eggs!

  • 2. Jeremy Dore  |  April 13, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Creativity is the key here, as you rightly say. I read recently that some permaculture designs now link the air from a chicken shed with a greenhouse/glasshouse in colder climates. That way the warmth from the chickens keeps the greenhouse heated, allowing early/late season crops to be raised. The carbon dioxide that the chickens breath out helps the plants grow faster (commercial farmers actually buy CO2 to pump into their greenhouses!) and the chickens provide a great source of manure. Now that’s creative design!

  • 3. bob  |  June 25, 2008 at 9:10 am

    i’m trying to get at least a qualitative idea of what would happen to my lawn area (1.5 acres of grass lawn, will be moving there next month) if I were to plop down, say, chickens, and possibly alpacas. I don’t know the exact makeup of the lawn. It seems like a nice regular mowed lawn. I’m not interested in mowing it, or at least not much of it. I am certainly not going to mow for 4 hours/week as does the present owner. In addition to the other benefits of keeping chickens and possibly alpacas (and any other aninmals one might suggest), I was hoping the animals might eat the grass so I don’t have to mow, or at least mow much. Any info about how much the grass they would eat, what it would look like after they eat it, and if the “normal” lawn grasses are okay for these or any other animals, that would be great. Thanks,

  • 4. Keeping Chickens  |  August 27, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Great chicken info post. I’ve bookmarked a couple of the links you’ve included as I think they’ll come in handy.
    I’ve just got 4 Isa Brown chickens. They’re 18 weeks old, so won’t be earning their ‘keep’ for another couple of weeks yet.
    One thing that I’ve noticed is that the chickens are a tremendous ‘time waster’… I work from home and so seem to have spent the best part of two weeks watching the chickens!
    Oh yeah and another thing, the chickens are certainly sorting out the garden ‘pests’. Slugs are now a rare site in our garden, as soon as one slithers in to view, either the chickens nab ’em immediately or the kids grab ’em and feed them to the chickens!
    Last but not least, the chickens do seem to be producing a awful lot of ‘poo’… The compost heap will certainly be being ‘fueled’ by our new feathered friends!
    Keeping Chickens

  • 5. Steve Cage  |  August 28, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Chickens are the new dog! check out something for everyone!


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